Thoughts on Failure

The transcript of this video is below.

Parents care a lot about grades. They want their kids to get into a good school to get a good job.

But who defines good?

It’s not a word that dictates any more about a person than the buzzwords on their resume.

My freshman year of high school I would cry over my math homework at the desk in our living room. No matter how much effort I put into studying, I never felt like I understood what I needed to do to succeed.

I never felt good about my work or the class. I asked the teacher for help, but that never felt like enough.

One day while crying over a failed test my mom asked me: “Did you try?”

I told her I asked the teacher for help after school, I did extra homework problems. Whatever the teacher recommended, I did.

She then asked, “Did you do everything you could?”

I told her yes.

She patted my back and hugged me. “Then you gave it your best. It’s okay that you’re not good at math. At least you can say you tried.”

Failure sucks. It is the worst feeling to know you didn’t succeed somewhere that you should have. But failure or the feeling of failure isn’t something to look at negatively.

If you tried and did all you could, then you didn’t fail.

You did your best.

It’s okay to not be good at something.

So it goes.

The transcript of this video is below.

As a freshman, my friend Jess told me that the next four years would fly by. Time is a goon.

It’s the weekend before finals, and as I and my peers write term papers and rehearse presentations, I’m faced with bidding farewell to a place I’m privileged to call home. This bittersweet experience makes my throat get tight and my eyes well.

For the first time in four years, I’m going to pack up my room and not move across campus for the summer. I won’t walk into the Office of Residence Life for work and spend my evenings hanging out with friends on the RA staff.

College is this strange time in your life where you are figuring out who you are. A process that doesn’t stop after you put on the cap and gown.

In two weeks I’m going to cross a stage and be given a diploma. A piece of paper that represents my academic achievement. What it doesn’t show is the tears, mental breakdowns, coffee cups, laughter, late nights, and friends I gained along the way.

I grew far more at college than I ever would have anticipated. That growth changed me for the better, even though at times it didn’t feel worth it.

Wherever I end up I will have these memories to look back on. They say when one door closes, another opens. But this feels like more than that. This is more than closing a chapter of my life.

So it goes.

Walden & Senior Year

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”  – Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

I hated reading Walden for my senior American Lit Seminar class.

Some of that might be because I kept falling asleep while reading the selected chapters . And others is because if I were an editor, there were a lot of sections I would have entirely cut for how useless they seemed. But I’m also wondering if I didn’t read the right sections at the right time, or because I was reading it for school my amount of analysis of the book was purely academic.

While writing my final essay for that class, I had to connect three or four of the novels together under one theme. For whatever reason I picked Walden, a strange decision given my strong feelings about the book. As I flipped through it looking for the quotes I needed, I found the quote I used at the start of the post.

I reread it several times and highlighted it.

My high school classmates are married, and some with children. I’m finishing up the Fall semester of my senior year of college. As I write this I’m procrastinating on a ten-page paper (my last final), and completing four more grad school app essays.

Life has taken me in many different directions, all off the beaten path. And I don’t regret it. The drum beat of my life has driven me to pursue my passion and given me opportunities I only dreamed of in high school.

For what its worth, keeping pace with others is a lose-lose situation. You’ll feel like you’re always behind, and that life is unfair. And that can damage your relationships with others because you might feel jaded. Comparing myself to my friends was more detrimental than it was encouraging.

Figuring out what I needed to be happy was all it took for me to be more complacent with what I have and what I’m doing. Listening to the rhythm of my own path was the smartest decision I’ve ever made.

Happy Gilmore Girls Eve

I did a video on my YouTube channel about a similar topic, so feel free to head over there if you don’t want to read!

At 3 AM EST, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is dropping on Netflix, and I’ll be back in my favorite hometown.

Stars Hollow.

I’ll be able to return to Luke’s Diner and do my homework at the counter. Then I can sneak a burger and fries into the town hall meeting and listen to Taylor’s next crazy idea to drum up tourism.

Gilmore Girls was the signature show of my childhood. It was one of the many shows my mom and I sat down to watch.

If I were home, my mom and I would get our favorite snacks and settle down on the couch to watch all four of the new episodes. Instead, she’s working at the hospital and I’m 3,000 miles away finishing up my senior year.

Lorelai and Rory are two characters that my mom and I have always identified with. My mom and I recognized many of the trials and laughs that the Gilmore Girls experienced. We’re not as snappy with our pop culture references, and our lives didn’t always move nearly as fast.

At some point we opened our life to a third, and that third became a part of our family on April 2, 2016.

My mom isn’t exactly Lorelai, but what makes them similar is their tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit. Not to mention their unconditional love for their daughter.

I’ve been compared to Rory on a number of occasions as more of my family has watched the show and saw the resemblance. My book collection is out of control and I’m studying writing and communication.

There’s infinitely more to the show that I’ve left out. The show was more than I could have ever wanted, and its up there in my Top 5 shows with Parks and Recreation and The Newsroom.

Are there any shows that have held a high place in your life? Who is a character that you identify closely with?

How do you decide?

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question we’re asked from when we’re little kids all the way up to our senior year of high school, and even through the college years.

Its a big question. And not an easy one to answer at 5, 18, or even now at 26.

I remember saying to my mom that I wanted to be an astronaut, or a pilot. Later a firefighter, or an architect. And for a short time, a meteorologist (all because of the jackets the King 5 anchors wore).

As I got older, I realized that so many of those careers involved math. And numbers aren’t my thing. Give me some statistics, and already compiled data, and I’m completely happy with those. But ask me to figure out the answer to an equation, and I’m out the door.

The last three years of school have taught me what I’m good at, but just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean that’s where your passion is. I’m good at the jobs I do because I don’t like to give anything less than 100%.

It comes as no surprise that the last three years at school have led me in a variety of directions that I’ve enjoyed; student involvement, diversity, residence life, social media, and creative writing. With the first month of my senior year nearly complete, I have come to a turning point: what do I pursue in higher education?

I’m happy with all of the extra curricular activities I’ve participated in. But how will that all balance out in the end?

I know I want to work on a college campus, but ultimately, I transferred to SNHU for it’s academics. The Creative Writing Program was impressive, and has pushed me and my writing in a direction that I like.

Its time to fill out those applications, take the GREs, compile my recommendation letters, and hope for the best.

All of those steps are a daunting process now that my research is done. I need to sit, put my headphones on, and get all the applications done. And then take everything else one piece at a time.

Last but not least is the waiting.

The schools I’m looking at are all over the country. I have an ideal path under the hopes that everything falls into place. And then there’s the backups.

Will I end up back on the West Coast? Or perhaps I’ll suddenly be farther north? What about moving to the Midwest?

My next move makes my heart pound.

Move-In

Its hard to imagine that at this time four years ago, I got on a plane and flew to the East Coast for the first time to start my first year at college. And its even crazier to think that my very first year here would set up quite the chain of events that have shaped me so much.

This is my last year as an undergrad. My last year as an RA and ARA, where I’ve learned so much, and found a calling to higher education.

It won’t hit me that its my last year until I’m done with my last final before graduation, or signed off of my last night on duty. Or maybe when I’m showing my family around New Hampshire when they finally come to visit (for my graduation no less).

I went home for my mom’s wedding in April and family that I hadn’t spoken to very much told me that they followed how I was doing on Facebook. They spoke highly of how much I had thrived being away from family and close friends. I wasn’t sure what they meant, and shrugged it off; but I understand what they mean now.

In the last four years I’ve gained confidence. This assurance has led me to doubt myself less – though sometimes those thoughts still sneak in. I feel more comfortable in my own skin. My social circles have changed with new faces.

On Wednesday, my Fall classes for senior year start, and so does my search for grad schools. Part of that search is meeting with many of the people around campus that I can call my mentors. They’ll help guide me in making choices that could steer me in a wide variety of ways.

I have all of my end goals in mind. It ultimately comes down to how I hope to achieve them.

Here’s to senior year.

Comic reviews will return soon! RA training has kept me busy, and I didn’t have time or energy to schedule posts to go up while I was busy. But fear not, I have read several comics that I can write reviews for so that way there won’t be as big of a drought.