Pro Tem is the Bilingual Newspaper of Glendon College. Founded in 1962, it is York University’s oldest student-run publication, and Ontario’s first bilingual newspaper. All content is produced and edited by students, for students.

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Pro Tem est le journal bilingue du Collège Glendon. Ayant été fondé en 1962, nous sommes la publication la plus ancienne de l’Université York ainsi que le premier journal bilingue en Ontario. Tout le contenu est produit et édité par les étudiants, pour les étudiants.

Why I’m a Fan of Failing

Why I’m a Fan of Failing

Why are you afraid of failing?

It’s an honest-to-goodness question. Why are you so afraid of failing? Is there a specific reason? I was once extremely afraid to fail, too. Although everyone’s standard of failure is different, a failure is a failure no matter how big or small. Why was I so afraid of it? I realized that it was because failure for me was the universe’s way of telling me that I wasn’t good enough. However, once I stopped fearing failure, I became more successful and started loving myself even more.

I am a fan of failure because without it I would not be who I am today. For every small little failure I’ve had in my life, I have overcome it and been rewarded with a success, love, and support.

At twelve years old, I tried out for a dance studio. I didn’t make the team that I wanted. Looking back as an adult, I wouldn’t have been the right fit for the team, but at the time, I was heartbroken. I was a failure, a disgrace, not good enough for anything—that’s what I thought. I cried to my mom for what felt like hours before she looked me in the eye and told me, “Prove them wrong.”

That summer I dedicated my life to dance; I took intensives, privates, and stretch classes. That summer I realized I wasn’t a failure. It shaped my work ethic as a dancer and the style I grew to develop throughout my later years of dance. This moment in my life during which I failed to accomplish my task pushed me to new limits. Out of my failure came success.

At seventeen, I took an English class. I was afraid to fail. My teacher wanted me to do something I wasn’t comfortable with: She wanted me to talk about my feelings. The first two months of journaling on The Book of Negroes consisted of good grammar, proper punctuation, and filtered thoughts. I wrote what I thought I was supposed to write. However, it wasn’t reflective of my true feelings—how the book was really affecting me. I only got a C+ on my first set of journal entries. I was devastated. It was the lowest mark I had ever received. I went to my teacher and I asked her what I could do. She told me to write more about how I felt reading the book.

Once I opened up, I started writing more and more. I wrote things that didn’t necessarily make sense at first, but they were concepts and theories that I could develop. I was thinking critically by reflecting on my life, the book, and society. I was writing a beautiful mess. I was learning a lot about myself and I was terrified. I got an A.

At nineteen, I heard that Glendon was looking for new eAmbassadors. I wanted to do it; I was excited. I told my friends that I was thinking about it. Almost everyone that I told said to go for it. One person, however, said something along the lines of, “you’ll never get it.” I was hurt and felt like a failure. There was obviously a reason this person didn’t think I had what it takes.

It took only one friend to look me in the eye and say a simple sentence: “I think you have what it takes.” From that moment, it clicked. I didn’t care that the other person didn’t think I could do it; I had to try. I had so many people supporting me and I wasn’t going to let one person tell me I was a failure before I even tried.

Between the support of my close friends and the help of a veteran eAmbassador, I became confident. Trying my best and not being accepted didn’t make me a failure; I merely failed on that particular attempt. It was failing, but not failure. I would, and will, still have opportunities to retry things. But to be a failure is to be defeated. Failing no longer scared me.

I am twenty-one, and even though I still don’t like the idea of failing, I know that often it is the force of failure that makes you push harder, fight stronger, and dig deeper. Of course I’m still afraid to be a failure, but I’m not afraid of failing. The only way I can be a failure is if I don’t even try. Failing has taught me many lessons, but most importantly, it taught me that I shouldn’t be afraid of it. In essence, failing taught me that I am not a failure.

If there is anything you should take away from the text, it’s this: Failing isn’t fun, but it is sometimes necessary to help us grow. That is why I’m a fan of failing.


Radio Glendon Column 2

Radio Glendon Column 2

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