Have No Fear Failure is Here? As a teenager and growing student, many people are faced with the fears of failure; Mine was evidently school. Growing throughout elementary and middle school up to about 8th grade I was always told I had potential. I always did decent in school, you know typical smart kid who doesn’t put forth 100% effort all the time unless deemed necessary or interested. But up till I got to high school and grew older I began being faced with harder and way more challenging tasks inside the classroom. School was no longer a place I could cruise through and still be on top.
I began developing fears of not being good enough for my parents expectations and even my own expectations. The heavier and harder the workload became, the less production my teachers would get out of me. I was always told the same thing; “you’re not working hard enough Terrence” or “you’re not living up to your potential”, and even teachers began questioning my work ethic and ability. Me knowing my capabilities and knowing that I was smarter than what I had shown, I knew I was just as smart or even smarter than most of the crowned “Honor Roll” students I began to not care as much and not many teachers were able to get much effort out of me.
I began searching for attention elsewhere inside the classroom, sort of becoming a class clown at times and still at times having intellectual outburst here and there making my peers and teachers wonder why I hadn’t always performed as such in school. l began to believe that the work and production my teachers received out of me the less expectations they would have for me, thus making my fear of failure impossible because in order to fail in my eyes you had to attempt to try.
I spent almost 3 and a third of a year believing that it was okay for me to just not try and give my teachers minimal effort each day, but one day I was told something and it clicked and still stays with me today. It was my Oceanography teacher, Mrs. Smith-Edwards. A teacher I had often butted heads with and I always ended up wondering why at times we were very cool and then other times we would argue and argue like brother and sister. She said something to me that will stick with me forever.
It was last class period I would have in her class and I had just finished her Final exam and I was headed out the door prepared to go home because I hadn’t had any more exams to take. As I’m walking out the door she says something like, “T! (All my teachers called me T) can you stay after and help me move these boxes please”. Me being the impatient but helpful person I am I said “yeah sure”. So I moved this little box that any kid in my class could have easily moved outside of her moving it herself.
She stopped what she was doing at her cabinet and she showed me my final exam grade and it said 89% B+. A surprised me began smiling excited that I would pass the class with almost a B average for the year. She looked at me and said “T, you are smart. You have given me 40% effort and still somehow you still have managed to pass my class, I struggle dealing with students who are incapable but try hard every single day and you don’t show me any effort and still manage to do have a decent grade… ” “Why are you afraid?
You are easily one of the most gifted students I have encountered and you show no effort? “. I just sat there lost and confused and wondered how she knew and wonder why I had wasted all this time not living up to my full potential, Thad let my fear of failure keep me from being the best student I could be. I now look at it and regret the decisions I made in the past. Everyday i have learned to allow myself have higher expectations than I have before. There was a lesson in what my teacher said to me and I will forever thank her for it. She truly saved my life.