November has been a melancholy month. This month, in particular, has been gloomy for many different reasons but for students, this is the time when mid-terms marks or progress reports are revealed. For me, this used to be a stressful time.
In my earlier days of university, I had some low and gloomy moments. The moment teachers would reveal my marks on assignments or midterms would bring anxiety. I would pray to God that I simply passed the exam and the course. At the time I did not realize how my learning disability was impacting my marks. I always knew I had a learning disability, but never experienced any great challenges until university. It is in my nature to work hard at everything I do and I never give up easily, so my challenges in school forced me to buckle down and work harder than I could ever imagine. To put in countless hours of work, and to receive a low or failing grade was devastating to me. No one goes to university with the anticipation of failing. I felt alone and trapped inside myself. Although a mark is nothing but a number I felt confined and restricted by that number. I thought this number denied me access permission to achieve greater things.
Face it, a failing mark is never encouraging or feels great. There is such pressure in achieving high academic marks that when we fall short it can rock our world and in some cases break our confidence. Do not let a number be the definition and permission to your success. Everything in life is a learning process and the greatest lessons learned are from failures. It was at my lowest point that I learned and discovered my strengths. The biggest lesson I learned, that I do not need a permission to achieve my dreams. An academic mark does not define who you are. The pressure to perform well can consume our minds, but do not feel discourage if you are not meeting or fulfilling someone else expectations and standards. If this November the results came back not so positive, do not be discouraged take these steps to reflect and learn and grow from the experience.
· How do you feel about your performance?
· What did you do well?
· What and where can you improve in the future?
· What is one step that you can take today to improve in the future?
You are in control of your success and future. It won’t always be an easy road but you are never on this journey alone. Together there are #NoLimits to what can be achieved.