Allow yourself a margin of error

Carly Besser Opinion Editor

I dropped my first class last week. As a traditionally good student with the perseverance to stick things out, this took a toll on my conscience for a while. I’ve never been a quitter.

I wasn’t failing this class, but I didn’t feel confident in my performance. It wasn’t in my major, it wasn’t what I expected it to be and it came to the point where I would loathe waking up in the morning to attend. I lost sleep thinking about whether or not to drop the course, but in the end, it seemed like the best option for me.

While feeling bombarded with guilt, I had a revelation. I imagined myself as a middle-aged adult with a stable job, reflecting on everything I had to do to get to where I am. I thought about how I dropped that one elective course my senior year of college. Did it severely impact my life and my prospects for a career? No.

Because we’re in college, we feel pressured to already know who we want to be and what we want to do. We accept the fact that being here is hard work and it won’t be the four-year party that “Animal House” made it seem like. But there has to be a line where we think of our happiness at some point. Sometimes, to be happy, we have to allow ourselves a margin of error.

This isn’t a testament to drop your classes because they’re hard or boring, but it is a way of letting you know that it will be OK if that’s the conclusion you come to. Whether it’s scheduling issues, one failed test, a bad paper or a feud between roommates, allow yourself to be wrong and move on.

Allowing myself to admit failure was something I had a hard time with in my first years at Murray State. In my transition from high school to college, there were a couple discrepancies in how I tested and handled my newfound adulthood.

I bombed a quiz and it upset me to the point of tears. I wondered if I even deserved to be here. Now that I’m applying to graduate, I know that one quiz didn’t stop me and I deserve to be here just as much as anyone else.

No one understands this better than your professors. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t want to see you fail either and they will be there to talk to you if you’re feeling disheartened.

Most of us have heard professors say “just because you failed the first test doesn’t mean you will fail the class,” so take your failures as a lesson to better prepare for the next obstacle.

As corny and sentimental as it may sound, we are all learning. With learning comes mistakes and with a commitment like college, you may find yourself making a lot of them. Getting this editor position wasn’t smooth sailing.

I’ve had my fair share of typos, design errors and miscommunications. I have too much pride to say that I’m a horrible journalist, but I also have the integrity to say that I’m not perfect.

If you’re having a bad semester, your grades aren’t as stellar as you’re used to or you’re having a hard time acclimating to life on campus, just breathe. Don’t lose sleep over it like I did for four years.

Column by Carly Besser, Opinion Editor