Failing Does Not Mean Failure. What You Do Next Decides That.
The distribution of grades from our first anatomy exam was written on the board when we entered lecture. There was an overwhelming majority of A’s and only one person failed.
I sat there feeling bad for that one person. It was one thing when you failed a physics exam in undergrad that over half the class also failed, it was another thing to be the lowest grade by a substantial margin. And then we got the tests back...
I was the one. I failed my first exam of PT school. It was devastating, embarrassing, and made me question if I had what it took.
My confidence was shattered immediately and it was VERY disorienting. My success had always been linked to my identity and in the matter of one test I didn’t feel good enough.
I went to see the professor (as instructed on the top of the exam). She told me one thing that I still remind myself of often.
“Failing does not mean failure. What you do next determines that.”
And that was one of the most valuable things I learned in PT school.
Setbacks are not the final outcome and how you respond after is what counts.