What Have You Learned from Your Failures?

Looking at times you’ve struggled or even failed can provide good material for writing, especially for a college admissions essay, says Rachel Toor, a creative writing professor.  ”Failure is essayistic gold.  Figure out what you’ve learned.  Write about that.  Be honest and say the hardest things you can,” she advises.

So, that’s the subject for today’s writing prompt.  What have your learned from your struggles, your mistakes, your failures?  Don’t be afraid — write from your heart.

Dr. Toor teaches at Eastern Washington University in Spokane and is the author of ”Write Your Way In: Crafting an Unforgettable College Admissions Essay.”

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One Comment

  1. I don’t like to say that there are any failures in life. Failure itself is a word that was created by people that chase success and want to win in all situations and are devastated when something doesn’t work out. Me, I know deep inside of me, that failures are a chance to win. A chance to win experience. Failure is a harsh word and I don’t like to look at the world with this kind of mindset.

    But, if you want to call it like that, yes there have been some failures in my life. One was, that I went to a good school and didn’t finish it. I didn’t finish because I couldn’t fit in with my classmates. I couldn’t integrate and people were somehow very mean to me. This got me into a very deep depression and my self-worth dropped enormously. Everywhere I am, I just know, that because of that, I am not able to connect with people. I feel it everyday, since I was a teenager. I have not been accepted a lot in my life. I felt rejected by a lot of people.

    The failure was, to believe, that people are better than me. That I is not good the way it is.

    The next “failure” was that I worked with people that have drowned me emotionally and physically. Their negativity put me down so much. I had panic attacks and a big depression. I wasn’t able to see anything in a positive light because I followed their mindset. which is completely bad, I am ruining my twenties because of them. I am ruining my life. It feels like I am dying while being alive. Theres a voice inside my head that forbids me to be happy and to be content.

    The failure was to believe that their mindset is something to adhere to my all-day life. And to not step up and telling them how I feel. The failure was to believe I am not good the way I am. I felt the way they felt and I still do. It’s so bad to always think negative. I don’t want to be like this anymore. I just struggle to let go of These thoughts!! Whenever I think of a happy thought, I want to forbid myself this thought because I don’t think I deserve to be happy. Which is complete nonsense.

    The third failure was to fail in an important exam. I failed because I had panic attacks because of these horrible women in the office. I failed because I lived with a psychopath who drowned me emotionally, physically and mentally. I had panic attacks living there and he insulted me all day long. I still struggle to be okay and to not believe what he told me. I dont feel safe in a room.
    The failure was to believe, my self worth is low because of the failed exam. The failure was to believe, that an idiot like this can drown me like this.

    I learned, that the biggest failure in life is to believe that you are a failure. To not think good about yourself. To belittle yourself. Because you think thats what people want. Hey – I am big. and you just gotta deal with that. I will make everything to make myself happy!! Because I deserve it – even if people hate me.

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