I’ve decided to do this post because tomorrow is my last exam of the year! My summer officially starts in 23 hours!! I’m going to be so relieved once it is all over but of course, then there’s the long wait until results day where I can constantly fear failure.
I wonder whether the fear of failure is like an inherited and ingrown thing that we’re born with or whether we develop it because of our capitalist society with the insane education system we have…
I don’t want to sound big-headed or anything but I haven’t ever failed at anything. But then, I’ve never been to school (I’ll write a post about that later on in the week) so I haven’t had to do half the amount of tests that everyone else has had to do. I guess I’m also motivated to work harder because there are lots of criticising people out there who think the way I’m educated isn’t really a proper way of education. I honestly prefer it to school and think that if I went to school I would be a different person, I wouldn’t have met my best friend (how crazy is that?!) and I wouldn’t have the relationship that I do with my amazing family. So I have a need to prove them wrong, I know quite a few people who think that because I don’t go to school I will never get the grades I would get at school and I’ll never learn the stuff people learn at school. This is all wrong. But as well as having a need to prove them wrong and being motivated because of that I also then have a much stronger fear of failure because then it will just add to their prejudice and make them have evidence that they’re right.
When I took my first GCSE last year (English), I took it two years early just because I was always reading and writing and my Mum thought it would be really easy for me to do and if I waited any longer I would just get bored and not do any work and get a bad grade. I didn’t work for this exam at all, I did a few pass papers and that was it, I think a did a total of two. I wasn’t interested in improving my grammar or punctuation, I just didn’t care. As a result of my lack of effort I got a C, which is still pretty bloody good given that I was only 14 and didn’t do any work for it. I stupidly thought that because I could read and write really well and everyone was always telling me how amazing my writing was that I didn’t need to do any work, that was back when I was uneducated in the crazy ways of the education system, where pure talent for something isn’t good enough to get you an A*. The point I’m trying to make is that last year, I didn’t have the plan for my life that I have now and trying to get into a sixth form if you don’t currently go to a school is going to be really tough and the grades I get in these exams and next years exams is really important so my fear of failure is really high. The worst thing is, I feel really positive about my exams and I think I did really well but I feel like I can’t let myself be positive in case I’ve done really badly, even if I don’t get a U anything below a C is a fail as I need A*-C to get into sixth form. I can’t afford to get a D.
I’m also afraid of failing in acting, a year ago when I started going to my drama group I realised that acting is my passion and it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. I have such a massive fear of not being able to do it as a career because I just won’t earn enough money so it won’t be possible. I really want to be a TV and film actor but the TV and film industry isn’t only about talent, it’s about your appearance more than anything else. You could be the most talented actor or actress in the world and if you don’t look the part you won’t get the part. I, personally, am not all that confident and happy with my appearance but everyone is always telling me how beautiful I am, but that’s just family and close friends, not casting agencies.
I really hate that we live in a society where we need to fear failure, it’s so stupid. As if failing isn’t bad enough and doesn’t make us feel bad enough we have to deal with the criticism from teachers, parents and anyone else who thinks they have the right to tell us how rubbish we are and it’s just not right. We shouldn’t need to feel failure, everyone has different abilities and interests. Maybe we had a headache the day of the exam or we were feeling a bit fed up or maybe we were absolutely exhausted from the long hours of studying! All of these things could effect our grades but once you get your grades they’re basically set in stone. You can of course, get them remarked but that’s a gamble because on the one hand you could get a higher mark (which would be a good thing!) but on the other hand you might get a lower mark and then you’re stuck with that second mark. Why do people have to make life so difficult?
I’m also slightly scared that I won’t get offered a place at any of my chosen sixth forms and that makes me really sad, because I really want to go. I would see not getting in as a failure, that I had tried hard with exams and had this dream of going to sixth form but I still wasn’t good enough. And if I do get in I have a fear that it will turn out I don’t enjoy it or I don’t enjoy one of the subjects, or I love all of the subjects but get really bad marks in my final exams and let myself and my school down.
There are just so many things that we can fail at and that just makes it all scary. I’m scared that my first ever relationship will fail somehow for some reason. I just hate that we have to fear failure, that society puts us under loads of pressure to never fail. Because actually, I think failure is an important lesson. We need to fail sometimes in order to grow and become a more rounded, better person that is much more prepared for life. And I wish that when we did fail, instead of being made to feel worse by everyone around us telling us we should have worked harder and what did we expect yada yada yada they should encourage us and try and make us feel better.
Sorry this post went on forever, and sorry it wasn’t very interesting, failure is just something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and so decided to turn it into a post.
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Inspired Teen 🙂