I’ve not failed.
I’ve just found ways that won’t work.

by Pauline on May 21st 2016

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, it has just been over a month since my last one but, I have an excuse which all student bloggers will all feel me on: it’s exam session. How am I? Still alive but I’m barely breathing.

I finish my second year of university 4 weeks – a part of me hopes that time will fly past but the other part makes me want it to go as slow as possible so I have time to study more minus the academic breakdowns.

So a lot has happened since my last post, if you’ve been keeping up with me on my other social media accounts, you’ll probably know about all this already but in summary:

Crossing old bridges

Over Easter, I re-connected with one of my closest friends from secondary school, we went on a little trip to Birmingham, ate Japanese food and took cute selfies. The following day after this, I got to meet up with my old group of friends also from school and caught up over Asian food yet again. It was a lovely catch up – everyone was still the same but so many things changed about them too!

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A little party never hurt anybody

I attended my annual course Ball for the second year running. It was a fun as usual, I even won  a Grammy an award (or two!) Although the food was dry and not worth the money, I think having a night once a year where I can dress up was worth it – I mean, I don’t usually get to be a real life Disney princess every night.

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Interview success and downfalls

Aside from the academic side of the university, I am pleased to announce that after successful interviews, I am now a Code First: Girls and International Science Ambassador at my university. I’m excited to have such a leading role as well as a face of both fields that I am truly very passionate of, I will definitely be posting more on my experiences of these roles in future but for now GO SCIENCE, TECH AND WOMEN! WOO!

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But… it’s not all rainbows and sunshine I’m afraid. Early March/April, I applied for an industrial placement in Oxford which I felt was a future role I could vividly see myself in as well as in the industry I am passionate about. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it.

BUT being my optimistic self, I always try to turn any disappointments into positive experiences, lessons and achievements:

I didn’t get it but …

  • I overcame my aggressive anxiety: I went to Oxford for an interview, alone. I know this might not be a big deal to most people but having to fight that initial anxiety on the interview itself as well as travelling alone for the first time was incredibly difficult for me.Despite this, I got the courage to step on that packed train, nearly sat on someone’s laptop when I lost my balance walking to my seat and embarrassingly asked the guy next to me if he could wake me up at my stop. This was a mini-victory for me!
  • I got to see my weaknesses and strengths in a real life graduate-world setting: the experience gave me a chance to reflect on what I am great at which I’m thrilled about seeing as it was always labelled as my weakness before which means I improved!More importantly, it gave me a chance to highlight what my weaknesses are now in terms of applying in this field and I’ve made it a challenge to work on it until it becomes another thing to add to my list of strengths.
  • I had the opportunity to meet amazing people: I left the building feeling inspired, motivated and refreshed by the incredibly passionate people working in the industry with their feedback and comments that encouraged me to go for what I love!
  • I didn’t fail, I succeeded: It wasn’t actually a student placement at all but a graduate one and I managed to beat the graduate competition all the way to the interview stage. An achievement in my book and a reminder that I succeeded in more ways than another.

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Admittedly, it was very tough for me at first not to dwell on the disappointment but with my wonderful family and friends by my side reminding me that a single failure doesn’t mean I’m destined to fail for life – I picked myself up quickly and felt much more motivated and driven than ever to work towards my goal.

Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

So for the other students like me who are trying to make it through this hard exam season, just remember that they’re grades on a piece of paper; don’t let a single test define your intelligence, abilities and future prospects!

Good luck to those who have exams! I’ll see you guys on the other side where there are vibrant green grass, flowers and rainbows (hurry up June 7th!)


Posted under: Explaw, Goals, Personal


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15 comments

  1. I love how no matter what you try to look on the bright side! =3 I should do that more. XD

    I feel you with going places alone. SCARY!

  2. Cat says:

    I think that’s great that you reconnected with some old friends! It’s something I’ve always meant to do, but then I have doubts since we haven’t talked in so long. I also agree that it’s nice to have an occasion to dress up for once in a while 🙂

    Yay! Congrats on being a Code First: Girls and International Science Ambassador! As a women in the tech industry, I think it’s awesome when more is done to encourage girls to get into tech and science. Sorry that you didn’t get the industrial placement though 🙁 That’s great that you’re looking at it from a positive angle. It still sounds like it was a good experience, and go you for overcoming your anxiety! Experiences like this help build you up for the next thing you tackle!

  3. Michelle says:

    Exactly, you may not have gotten what you wanted, but at least you figured out the silver lining to it. Unfortunately, not everything has silver linings to it, to which I’ve discovered, but regardless, you kept your spirits up and realized that good came out of the things that wouldn’t work. To me, real failure is never trying at all, or just giving up when it gets rough or giving up in general. That’s real failure, it’s never not working out, and that’s what happened in your case.

    I’m fine, honestly. I’m just have a bad time recently, with getting bronchitis, a throat infection and prosecuting my other neighbor with aggravated assault. He almost mowed me and my dog mom, Mina and our dogs down with his truck a few days ago. Also, still swimming in debt from the accident, but at least some good things are happening. Stay well! Stay positive!

  4. Kimmy says:

    Congrats on becoming an ambassador!

    I think you have the right attitude. You should always try to make something positive and see things more half full. And life is about gaining experiences! It wouldn’t be fun otherwise and we wouldn’t learn anything if things just came easily.

    Continue being awesome!!

  5. Nancy says:

    I thought I am the only one who’s finishing school in June XD. Hang on in there! YOoooOOu can do it!!

    Reconnecting with old friends is awesome! You get to catch up and having that trust established make things easier! Congratulations on winning the awards!

    More congratulations to your appointment as the international science ambassador! Go you, and hope you’ll inspire many girls (and guys) to code!

    Not everyone gets a job offer after an interview or application. I think it’s good to have a job rejection because that experience really opens your eyes and calls for improvement or a look at another perspective. Keep it up!

  6. Becca says:

    That ball looks like a lot of fun! It’s a shame the food wasn’t very good, but it’s always nice to be able to dress up and feel like a princess! I’ve not been to a ball before, so it seems very fairy-tale like to me. And congrats on the two awards!!

    Congrats as well on being an International Ambassador for your school! I’m sorry you didn’t get the industrial placement though. But you’ve learned so much about the experience and I’m so impressed at how optimistic you are being about the interview and process. I’m a bit nervous about applying to jobs because I take rejection pretty hard, so I will have to remember your words when I do start.

  7. Kaela says:

    Goooo girl! 🙂 Keep up that optimistic attitude. I like how you looked beyond your failures and instead focused on your learnings from them. That’s something I’ve been literally trying to get myself to do more of.

    Congratulations on being a Code First: Girls, International Science Ambassador, and for also overcoming your anxiety by traveling and pushing yourself to go to the interview all on your own. I myself have been quietly and *slowly* getting out of my comfort zone too with my own situation. I haven’t been doing any major leaps but baby steps is a start. You’ve inspired me to continue doing it. 🙂

    Also, I love that quote! I will be taking note of it.

  8. Tiff K says:

    Congrats on 2nd year and with all the exams and also for getting into that org! YEHES GO SCIENCE AND WOMEN! I am so pumped when there are women in scientific fields.

    Whenever I hear about failure, I now just think of Zootopia’s Try Everything.

    I wanna try everything
    I wanna try even though I could fail

    I’ll keep on making those new mistakes
    I’ll keep on making them every day
    Those new mistakes

    Gives me hope. Let’s continue to be positive! 😀

  9. Tara says:

    Reconnecting with old friends can be good 🙂 What I like even better is meeting up with an old friend after not seeing them for a long time. There’s definitely a lot to catch up on, and there are so many things to also reminiscence about, too!

    Congrats on your ambassadorship! It’s good that you’re taking the opportunities to do all these things that will help you in the long run.

    It does suck when you don’t get the job you interviewed for, but at the least you tried your best. Maybe you can contact them and see how you can improve yourself for the future?

    There will be many other chances in the future. Just remember that! ^_^

  10. Kya says:

    Even though you didn’t get the one you wanted its really wonderful that you have been able to look at this way and still have a position that is really good. 😀 Be proud!

  11. Chynna says:

    Welcome back!

    I never had exams for my course in university, but I totally feel you because I had a buttload of coursework. Crazy! I hope all your exams go well – I know you’ll do great 🙂

    Sorry here you didn’t get the placement, but I’m glad to see you’re taking positive things from this. It’s always good to get experience like this, because you can use as practice for when you apply to other placements eg. What you can say in order to make you stand out?

    Proud of yew, either way <3

  12. Erin Nicole says:

    Congrats on everything since your last blog! That is awesome!growing and maturing is hard but you always feel so much better when you know you are doing better for yourself. 🙂

  13. Georgie says:

    I am rooting for you! You will pass with flying colours! I am sure the four weeks will pass quickly. Although I am commenting on this blog post a week after you posted it and it feels like so much time has passed – I read a bit of it when you did post it. :/ I hope it feels like it’s going fast for you, and that you aren’t getting stressed, either!

    Sounds great that you got to catch up with some old friends. I don’t keep in touch with my old high school friends much. I only talk to a couple from university, but I guess we just weren’t that close.

    I like that you are being positive even though you didn’t get accepted. It is a total feat that you are an ambassador for Code First: Girls. You know how much I care and support women working in technology and in male-dominated fields. 🙂 You have my support 10000%.

    I would be too nervous to ask someone to wake me up at my stop! Though in your case I suppose a lot of people were travelling long distances and would understand. I just don’t know if I’d trust someone. It would probably depend on the situation. I often asked people to mind my things when I was using my laptop at university and needed to just take a toilet break. I don’t feel like I could do that if it was in a more public spot haha.

    ?

  14. Clare says:

    Good luck with Uni! I remember my college days too, I had to really stop maintaining my blog and focus on school since its becoming crazy year after year! Hang in there, it will all be worth it after thats for sure 🙂 Congratulations on becoming an ambassador to Codefirst, it’s the first time i’ve heard that. Also my first time on you blog, its great to know another blogger who loves to code 🙂