Overcoming Challenges and Failures Make the Best Stories


September 20, 2017

School is in full swing.  You’ve made commitments.  You are looking ahead and realize there is a lot of hard work between you and the end of the semester.  Do you think you’ve bitten off more than you should have?  Are you worried it might be too much?  Are you wondering if you will fail?  Before you decide to give in before you even try, stop and think about what’s really at stake?

When you get ready to leave college you will look back and need to tell the story to others of what you achieved and who you have become?  You will need to think of real examples of when you faced challenges, how you handled it, and whether you succeeded or failed what you learned from it. College is the time to find your limits and stretch yourself and your work at Student Experience will push you to do both.  At times, this will feel uncomfortable and it may even cause stress.  But, these are also the times where you might surprise yourself and realize you are capable of more than you thought.  You can focus in and make it all happen.  You can do it. 

You may also try and fail.  But, even when you fail — do you really?  Failure has an unfair connotation.  Failure is often when you learn the most about yourself.  When you fail, you learn your limitations and where you should work to improve.  If you look at failure from a different perspective, failure often happens because you took a risk – you didn’t play it safe; you didn’t just give up.  

Employers will always ask you to tell them about a time you faced a challenge; about a time you failed; about a time you learned about yourself.  They want to hear stories about the workplace competencies the Competitive Edge encourages you to develop – things like your ability to manage conflict; resilience, independence, and time management.  These are the competencies you develop when you face challenges head on and you take a risk that might lead to failure.  And, these will also be the stories you tell employers or graduate school admissions committees that will help you compete to achieve your future success, land your dream job or admission to your school of choice.  Think carefully about what challenges you opt out of or opportunities to fail that you give away; think about what’s really at stake.


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About Gregg Saunders

Gregg Saunders is passionate about helping others grow and reach their future success.  He has been President of Student Experience since 1993.  He has brought a unique combination of student development and business together, effectively challenging and supporting students to accomplish more than they thought they could.


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