Recently, I’ve seen people face a lot of adversities, as well as facing some myself, whether it’s exam stress, divorce, financial difficulties, or other hardship. So, I thought it seemed a good time to share some of the insight I’d gained from my own disappointments in order that it might make someone else feel better.
Not long ago, (about a week ago-queue Bobby Schmurda) I received my exam results and despite my hard-work-and I mean REAL. HARD. WORK-I was disappointed in my grades…because out of 11 exams I had failed 3 of the more important ones. It’s the first time in my academic life where I’d actually sacrificed sleep, chilling with friends, TV, reading, writing, attending weddings etc, in order to stay focused and achieve what I know I could. The first time where I’d actually looked at the higher end of the awards and thought, “I can get that!” The first time where I’d voiced those thoughts with my classmates…more than once.
Background-(feel free to ignore)
To provide a brief background, I had enrolled on the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at the University of Law, but instead of the 9 month course I decided to take on the 6 month accelerated course. In terms of content, the courses were the same, it literally just meant instead of attending university twice a week, I had a five day schedule. This obviously meant that students had to be prepared to be on the ball 7 days a week, as the prep work alone for workshops was intensive. In fact, the university said that we would be doing the work equivalent to a full-time job (approx. 50 hour week) if not more. However-and this is a big however- the reason for me attending the UofL in the first place was because the exams were open-book so I thought I would fair better as exams have not always been my strong point. Once enrolled, and I do 100% blame the university on all counts for this, a lot of the students, including myself, were alerted to the fact that it was a closed book exam now and the course itself had been switched up in line with feedback from law firms who had worked with the uni previously.
What did this mean for us?
It meant that teachers were not 100% sure about what was examinable; there were no past papers to go on apart from the specimen paper provided, which was inadequate not even a complete paper; we had the opportunity of sitting one mock paper and in hindsight I believe the marking was more lenient for it, thereby not benefiting us in anyway. Simester 1 alone saw a lot of problems. Students who were used to the organised schools of Eton and Oxford were PISSED (to put it mildly) at the sub-standard schooling we were receiving. People like me on the other scale of society were more focused on the heavy investment towards our education we had made and the lack of care it seemed that was being exercised.
We stand, we fight
When you put in the prep required and don’t reach your goals-there’s two things you have to evaluate. Firstly, either your prep was wrong. Now, in my case, I think I probably could have squeezed a few more hours in if I’m looking at quantity of prep. In terms of quality, what I thought was required was clearly not right. And that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes-don’t mean we gna stop eating cookies right!
The second aspect is that sometimes it’s just your turn to learn a lesson. Are you a quitter or a fighter? When it gets hard and there’s a lot on the line, do you fall or conquer? No we don’t, we stand we fight and we win.
And it’s these words that I have had to keep repeating to myself. I’m now in Simester 2 and although some would argue “oh like come on failing exams compared to having a miscarriage or a terminal illness is so small”, but it’s not always about the calamity itself. It’s the impact of it. For my disappointment, it’s the work I put in. For your miscarriage, it’s the years of trying to have a child. For your divorce, it’s the years you tried to make it work. For you losing that business deal, it was the research and prep and sleepless nights you put in. Losing a pound for an obese person is a massive achievement. Losing (or gaining) a pound for an athlete is second nature. You can’t compare two people’s struggles. What you can compare, is the level of dedication and patience that is exercised post-failure.
You lost a child-but you didn’t neglect your second child in your healing. You divorced your wife, but you didn’t bash her and share all her secrets. You failed your exams, but you didn’t quit and sign on.
Your state of mind is your present and future. Change it and change your path in this short short life. Remember your prayers, remember your struggle and don’t stop walking, even when that path gets a bit rocky.
P.S- major reference to the Hunger Games which I have only just watched and absolutely love !