I'm Glad I Failed

The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?


Sitting in the auditorium of Cherry Creek High School, I felt a sudden apprehension in the pit of my stomach. After a long and tumultuous journey, I was here at last. I, along with two of my friends and teammates, had spent the better part of the year preparing for the ACSL National Computer Science Competition, and we were about to learn how we fared.

As the contest organizer started announcing the placement of the teams, I squirmed in my seat. For my team and me, this was more than just getting a shiny medal to hang on our walls; this was about proving to our school administration that we were capable of running a computer science club. Indeed the administration seemed to have a certain petulant attitude towards the topic, and try as we might, they were adamant in their beliefs that we were naïve and inexperienced; we hoped to prove them wrong. As the names rolled by, I closed my eyes. There were shouts of vivacious joy, cries of indignant frustration, until. "[redacted], 30 points."

My eyes shot open. 30 POINTS! No, that can't be; there must have been a mistake. I sank slowly into my seat as the realization that we had come in second to last washed over me. Never in my entire life had I felt like such a loser; at that...

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