We’ve all heard the saying, “You win some, you lose some.” It’s the inescapable truth that reminds us that everyone will undoubtedly have disappointments thrown their way at some point in their lifetime. It is important to understand that although these happenings may be discouraging, there is a lot to learn from them.
This year, I had the distinct honor of being nominated to participate in the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program, a summer instructional program for intellectually advanced or artistically inclined high school students. I was nominated in the area of communicative arts, better known as English. I made it through the first two rounds with ease—or so I thought. I was under the impression that I had dominated my semi-finalist interview, but I was proven wrong once the finalists were announced and I was not one of them. Oh the pain! Oh the agony! I was totally baffled. I moped for a day or two, until a former teacher of mine reminded me that everything is a learning experience and that I must accept this defeat and move on.
Her words were comforting as I realized there was nowhere to go but up. I knew I had to learn from this, internalize it, and convert my negativity into purely positive energy. Whenever you are defeated, you must use the defeat to improve yourself, no matter how upset you may be. High school is all about growth—most of which will prepare you for college and the road ahead. A low standardized test score or rejection from the school soccer team does not signal the end of the world, because there is always room for improvement. These setbacks trigger the innate need to do better, to obtain the prestigious “A,” or to finally pursue the internship at your doctor’s office. Students who seek true success recognize the potential in their losses or their mistakes.
The college process is similar to a sports season: a number of games lead to the championship, where the best of the best compete. During the season, you win some games and you lose some, but what truly counts is what you do after the losses. Do you complain incessantly and dwell on what went wrong or do you work harder to prepare for the championship game? Think about this the next time you did not achieve your original goal. But until next time, stay focused and study hard; college is closer than you think.