I Learned to Fail First

  • iftekhar
  • Oct 14, 2015
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Back in 2009 when I made up my mind to go back to school and get my Bachelors Degree, I didn’t know what to expect or what’s coming ahead. I didn’t know how bumpy my ride going to be. What I knew for sure is that I will do it regardless and I will get my degree. It was more like a do or die kind of promise to myself.

One Monday morning, I was wondering around the 42nd street in Manhattan and looking for the CUNY Welcome Center for good 30 minutes, asking people for the direction. Back then the CUNY Welcome Center was at the 42nd street between 5th and 6th Ave. When I reached the office, I was instructed by an individuals who basically explained everything that I need to do to get my admission. I came home with a big “to do” list and soon enough I gathered all of my documents and sent my papers for evaluation. Within three months time, I got number of responses back from CUNY and finally got a date for my ACT (American College Testing) test. Right after the test, I got a feeling that I did good in the exam. The result turned out to be pretty as well and soon I got enrolled for Spring 2010 semester.

I had to leave my old job as I couldn’t work around my class schedule. Perhaps this the single most important reason why I had hard time finishing my degree. You know how it works! From 2010-2015, I joined and left so many workplaces that I don’t even want to remember. It was very frustrating and I used to get upset thinking about the possible financial hardship. It became from bad to worse by mid 2012. America is in economic recession and I don’t have a job for good 2/3 months. It became so serious of an issue that I started loosing my focus from my studies. None of my family members were here in the U.S. and I didn’t know anyone who could lend me some money for few days. I was having trouble with buying my daily meals. It brings tears in my eyes even today when I think of about it.

Now, one person who I must mention on this post is my landlord, who was kind enough to understand my hardship pretty well and never asked for the rent. When I was working full time, I always paid my rent on time and most probably he knew that I wouldn’t be late if I had the money. I think he knew what exactly I am going through. He even offered me some cash which I wasn’t expecting at all. I politely refused to take any money but I would definitely be in his debt forever, for his kindness and graciousness.

Failure & FrustrationFailure Brings Frustration.

By Fall 2012, I was devastated by the financial hardship and it had huge effect on my studies. Thing were pretty messed up. So much so that at some point I felt like giving it all up. My dream to pursue my education in the U.S. seemed pretty bleak. There was no way I could have paid my tuition for my Spring 2013 classes unless my uncle would have stepped in to rescue me. On this post, I would like to thank him once again for his support all the way.

One morning, I sat down by the window at the nearest Dunkin Donuts and decided to have a serious discussion with myself. I was sipping my coffee and asking myself, should I go through all these ups and downs to get my damn degree or should I just give it up and look for jobs? I had to make up my mind. Someone inside me was keep repeating, don’t give up your dream, fight for it, try it even harder. I just couldn’t make myself understand that I am not going to make it like this. I had to bring some radical changes to my life and get things in order. The one inside me was naive and arrogant enough not to give up like this, middle of the way. I decided to listen to my heart.

By the end of 2012, I managed to find a part time job. The office was pretty close to my school and my boss allowed me to work around my class schedule. Spring 2013 semester was a fresh start for me, I was pretty pumped up and ready for any kind of challenge. That semester, my result came out to be a very good one and that saga continued until my graduation. Not to mention, I am now more confident and prepared for my Masters degree than ever before.

The reason I wrote all these is because, I know that there are individuals out there who are struggling in life with so much more complexities and issues. I may or may not understand your problems with its entirety because all of our issues are different and unique. However, the struggle and the fight to overcome the hurdles are pretty much the same.

What’s important in life is to get to know yourself. Who you are, what exactly you are capable of, how far you can push yourself to achieve your goal?. What is your weakness or your strength? A clear and precise understanding of someone’s self is vital to achieve success in life. Even though we can argue on what exactly I meant by “success” but you get the idea. It’s the pure determination and hard work accompanied by few sacrifices here and there that we all must be ready to accept in order to achieve “success”. There is no shortcut to that except few exceptions.

Think of about a person, it could be your fellow classmate who had to drop out from school. Did you ever wonder what happened to him or her? why he or she had to drop out? Most probably you don’t and that’s normal. Why? it’s because “people don’t glorify failure stories”. You might feel bad for that person for a day or two and then you would forget everything. You always get to see the successful individuals taking the stage and talking about their success stories. And we all want to be one of them. But did you ever think what exactly they had to go through, to become whoever they are right now? Trust me, every successful individual has a story to tell and it’s a story of their struggle and hardship. You never get to know the story of a failed individual or do you?

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