Don’t let your failures define you

Kennedy Ballinger

When I was in high school I struggled with anxiety and depression. This took most of the energy out of me and it was hard to focus on my education. This lasted from my sophomore year of high school to my freshman year of college, and it made learning incredibly difficult. I barely graduated from high school because I would fail or constantly drop classes because of my mental health, but I pushed through with the help of my parents and high school guidance counselor. 

I started college almost two years ago here at DMACC, and I had the mindset that because of my high school experience, I couldn’t do well in college. I was actively letting my “failures” and my past define me. My first semester at DMACC was extremely difficult. I hadn’t learned much in high school because I was just trying to push through, which meant I would accept a C or D as a grade in a class. This made jumping into college very overwhelming because I felt like I had to catch up to a high school level of education while actively learning and retaining a college education. At the same time, I was still trying to get better mentally, which combined with the schoolwork made life in general very hard.

I got through my first semester of college which was encouraging in the sense that I made it through something on my own, so then I decided I was going to turn my life around. This decision truly happened in a split second, and it was because I was no longer going to look at my life as a failure. I turned those “failures” into a motivation for me to do better.

I began to crack down on my mental health by going to regular therapy sessions, which allowed me to focus more on my education. During my second and third semesters at DMACC, I focused on grades and getting my GPA up, and I figured out what I would major in. I went into my college experience having no idea what I wanted to be in life or what I was going to major in, and I let it discourage me. There were so many people around me who seemed to have life figured out, but I can say with confidence now that that was not the case. There are a lot of people who do not have college or a career path figured out, and that is completely normal and okay. Things tend to work themselves out sometimes, and if it did for me it will for you. 

In my fourth semester, I had gotten my GPA up and into a routine that helped my personal and college life. I had also gotten significantly better mentally, so I was able to focus on things that I enjoyed. I signed up for an American government and a criminal justice class because I enjoy learning about those topics, and within that semester I figured out my major and what career I want to pursue. I decided to major in political science, and then get a law degree to become a defense attorney. This would have seemed impossible to my past self, and I wish I could go back in time to tell her that after everything I have been through, I have made it to the other side. 

With that said, I want to say that you can too. I share my story in hopes of inspiring others and just letting people know that things will be okay. No matter what you may be going through, big or small, things will work out. Don’t let your failures define who you are and who you could be, and start taking chances in life. Start with the little things and work up to the big things. We all walk a path in life that may seem so different from others; this path can be lonely but after some time you begin to realize our paths are intertwined and that they might not be all that different from others after all. Our paths in life are bumpy sometimes, but like a steamroller, the path you’re on will get smoothed out by something in the end. 

One Comment

  1. I’m not buying that s***

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