Grad School: Failing


Most people believe that failure and success are pretty black and white, but that is not the case.

Everyone wants to promote success who had found it through the American system of the dream. Hard work does not always equate to success. What is personal success and what is societal success are completely different. Most people try to find success in making money and not making themselves happy. I never realized how miserable the dream could make me until I started grad school. Although, smart and ambitious in my own way, my graduate program started making me miserable and caused me to lose sight of my personal success.

After two years of fighting a downward battle I had to make a unique choice: admitting to the chair of my department that I was unable to complete an assignment. Not just one assignment, but two assignments. It was a devastating blow to my ego and even more it would mean a blow to my GPA. Here I am, 26 years old, and contemplating giving up a chance at my PhD. I was hit with a dilemma I saw coming from the day I received my grade from my midterm which was right below a B average. In graduate school you need a B to pass anything. Here I was with a below B average grade and struggling with the educational teaching of the department chair. Do not get me wrong, my chair is an amazing educator, but I have to say the way I learn is through repetition of the application that is being applied to the material which consisted of age-old and some new methodologies. If you're not an analytical person then do not go into a graduate Humanities program. I knew that I came to be challenged, but not to the point I feel so mentally challenged that I stopped enjoying the challenge. I sure did not get into graduate school to be perceived as unintelligent and made out to be an idiot in regards to my superiors.

I feel as though my chair expects students to think and operate on the same mental capacity as them, a world renown literature and theatre intellectual, with too many accomplish things and plaques hanging on the wall. Although, as students, we all hope to be as successful as my chair and gradually through experience and education, we might be able to accomplish something in our career fields. My issue is not with my chair as much as it with myself. We must all set standards for our life and our happiness. We must not equate trivial things or temperamental situations to our entire happiness. I realize that even if I don't pass this class it is my duty as a graduate student to at least TRY to complete the work asked of me. To know my own limits, not allowing the course material or professor's demands, to get in the way of my own judgement on what I can do at any given time.

Failure to adequately plan was my issue and that is something I really need to work out. The issue of my grammar is also another area I need to work on. So, in the depths of despair, way in the back of my mind that houses all the things I've learned about myself, I have come to realize that 1) I need to stop procrastinating and 2) I need to work with someone on my grammar skills. I am one year from taking my comp exams and I really want to get my masters degree. There are people who go through life getting perfect grades and they never fail and they don't know how sweet it is to have a comeback and to overcome themselves or their fears. Obviously, I am not that person and I have known so much failure that success is not an accomplishment but it is a testament to the kind of person I am. I can't be upset about failing a course because it taught me a much needed lesson about hard work, perseverance, and happiness. I learned that people will tell you, "you can't be happy and succeed," but that is just wrong! You can be happy and that happiness may come at the expense of your dream, but there is always a lesson to be learned. We must take the time as young people to learn lessons outside of the class, outside of society, and inside of ourselves.

Never stop believing in your dreams... They are yours to be had, so don't give up on them and don't give them away to the person who decided to be unhappily successful.

Thanks for listening,

This blog is NOT geared toward sexual orientation or gender classification. This blog is based solely on the blog authors experience and research. This blog is geared toward promoting a mixture of masculine and feminine attire and with an integrated genderless lifestyle.

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  1. Awww what a great post. I read every word.

    While I don't have much to say because I skipped out of Graduate school, I just wanted to tell you to keep your head of and whatever your vision is, don't lose sight of that. I've heard Graduate school is a monster but clearly not many of us (*cough* me) are even willing to walk into the battle.

    Good news, the two things you state that prevented you from meeting your goal are both things that can be approved upon. You're trying to find a balance with pacing and you want to improve your Grammar. Obviously, pacing you can fix with better scheduling, as you suggested, one way I have learned to become a better writer is through reading a lot. Perhaps you should pick up a few interesting books at the library.

    xo, N

  2. Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Yes, grad school is hard but it is possible. You have to dedicate yourself to the work. I'm glad I've learned some valued lessons and I hope to do better in the future. The funny thing is, I have a ton of books in my apartment, and I actually read more books than I watch tv since I don't have cable. Yet, I should maybe read more for pleasure. Thanks for the tip. xoxo


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