April 13, 2016

Failure, in Hindsight

As a little disclaimer, this post is fairly personal, but I recognize that many of our readers are high school aged and can likely relate. Bear with me :)

Until this year, I'd never really been someone who was afraid of failing. Getting a bad grade on a test, not doing as well as I'd hoped in a golf match, and other small "failures" were easy to brush off and forget a few hours later. Yet, the moment I walked into school the first day of my junior year, it just felt different. Suddenly it seemed like every single thing I did inside and outside of that building counted to my future, and that completely freaked me out. Sure, my teachers and advisors had been saying for years to get involved, get the best grades you can, and "make your mark" on high school, but in that moment it finally began to sink in.

I would say that 70% of the difference is recognizing how competitive college truly is. Daily, I hear of seniors who appear on paper to be the perfect applicant get rejected from schools they thought they would get into. I'd say the other 30% is realizing that I'm nearing the home stretch of my high school career; have I made the most of the opportunity? Are there classes I wish I took, clubs I wish I joined? Am I doing enough to make myself different enough?

Those are the million dollar questions that pop into my head on a regular basis. So, when I found out I had been accepted into my school's chapter of National Honor Society, I was instantly excited and spontaneously decided to run for a position on the executive board. I decided on secretary, wrote a quick speech, and handed my form in with confidence that things would work out.

A little background information...
At the end of my freshman year, I ran to be the treasurer of the class of 2017. Getting up on stage and speaking in front of 300 of my peers and teachers was honestly the scariest moment of my life. However after nailing my speech and feeling confident about my response from the audience, I truly thought I had won. As it turns out, I was wrong. I lost to the person whom I least expected and felt so, incredibly, embarrassed. From that point forward, I was never a fan of public speaking and was too nervous to run against another classmate for the entirety of my sophomore year.

Back to the present
For me, running for an NHS position was a big deal. I wanted to redeem myself, and, who am I kidding, it would be a nice addition to a college application. However when it came time to read our speeches to all the Junior members of the club, I found out I was running against three other girls. My speech went well, but I didn't want to get too hopeful, the odds were not in my favor and I sensed a repeat of freshman year. 

Tuesday night was the induction ceremony into NHS in which the club advisor was to announce the new executive board in front of all the students and parents. I told myself I didn't expect to win, that I would be okay with losing, and that I shouldn't be upset. Yet when it was time to announce the secretary and my name wasn't called, I still felt the shock and heartbreak that I swore to myself I'd bury inside. Losing is hard, especially twice, and I don't think there is any magic way of making it sting less. I got my hopes up, even if I didn't want to.

I've always been a fan of the saying that "when one door closes, another one opens" and I'd like to think that applies here. Over the past two years, I've become increasingly involved in my school's Green Team, Student Council, and Model United Nations Club. I know I want to hold a exec position in Green Team, and possibly even Model UN if it all plays out. I have found things in high school that I'm passionate about and I confident now that I'm doing all that I can to make the most of high school. Losing one election allows me more free time to run for a different position in another club. From failing, I feel as though I've made the greatest revelations about myself. Surely I don't know what the future holds, particularly in regards to college, but I at least can say that I'm doing my best. How could I ask any more of myself?

What are your thoughts on perseverance?


Preppy by the Sea  


  1. I love this post SO much! Last week, I didn't get into a program at my school that I'd really wanted to do, and I was really upset about it! This post helped me a lot though - I love your inspirational posts!

    XO, Brooke

  2. totally agree. I'm right there with you in the whole applying for college process, along with ACT's which are so stressful. It's hard to understand how one test can impact so much on what college you go to, but it is what it is. Great post, thanks for sharing!

  3. Julianna,

    I LOVE that you were able to make the most of a tough situation. I am also such a firm believer that "everything happens for a reason". For some reason or another, the world thought it would be best if you didn't have that position; it probably has something better in mind. :)

    PS. I was just accepted into my school's NHS as well!

    XOXO Paulina