Stepping onto a college campus for the first time for many college students is a freeing experience.
They feel as if they have the whole world at their feet. The four years they have ahead of them are full of possibilities and self-discovery.
One obstacle they probably do not expect to face is failure, yet every student experiences major disappointment in some sort of way. This feeling of expectations falling short cause many people to give up and stop fighting through the rollercoaster of college.
How does one combat this desire to go into the fetal position whenever they encounter their first monumental letdown? The key is to reframe the idea that failure is a roadblock by turning it into a stair-step. This idea may seem impossible, but it is crucial to making it through the tough decisions one will face in life on campus and life after college.
The first action taken to start this process is to analyze and examine one’s major fears in life. A fear that is popular amongst college students is not knowing if they are on the right path or if they will not be able to reach the goals they had set for themselves.
STEM, Health Professions and Liberal Arts students will come across or have thoughts about what it will take for them to reach that next level of success.
The loss of an internship that they thought was going to get them connected can be detrimental, but it can also be beneficial for several reasons. It can open doors to somewhere else that suits the student better or lead to a job that gives the student more experience than they would have received with an internship.
After observing and analyzing one’s deepest fears, look at how it translates into daily life. Does this affect interaction with others or create self-esteem issues? If it does, train the brain often by interacting with people that are not apart of the usual crowd or go into a new situation such as applying for Student Ambassadors, Resident Assistant or anything that requires challenging experiences that test oneself.
It will also force one to face the risk of being denied by the organization which might cause some self-doubt, but it will prepare one to figure out what they want to be involved in.
Take risks. Go outside of what is comfortable.
This does not mean one has to change their whole life or their major to find themselves. It is small things such as getting different food at the loft or auditioning for the fall play that catapults someone and encourages them to be more adventurous.
The fear of the unknown may seem daunting and scary when life has been written out for one from kindergarten to high school.
Therefore, when someone is given the keys to their own destiny, they might hyperventilate at the thought of having real control over what they want. Instead of panicking over the scenarios that end in failure, think of the potential and the world that is waiting out there for you.
Embrace the risk of failure. It is there one will find their true selves.