In the past few days I’ve watched the University of Oregon’s dynamic shift as students slowly become more and more reclusive as finals approach. The library becomes a culture all in its own as sleep deprived students march in and out like it’s an ant colony and stores on campus are picked to the bone of energy drinks.
Dead week, the week before finals, has been a historically awful event for the general population of students. While it isn’t as bad as finals week it is a week that stands to remind everyone of what’s to come. Students piece together their final projects and prepare for the worst going into the last days of the terms with the Brightside being a break is just on the other side.
I was reading over a blog post on Garr Reynolds’ blog Presentation Zen and was slightly amused by the heading of the post “Before success comes the courage to fail”. I think this is a brilliant way to go into the final few weeks of school or before taking on any arduous task. While no one wants to start something thinking they will fail I see failure as a great motivator.
A mixture of fear and personal disappointment drives so many students to spend those late nights in the library, frantically trying to learn what they should have spent the past ten weeks learning and the ominous “dead week” definitely helps remind students of possible failures. While this is a macabre way of looking at finals no one can deny that students aren’t spending countless hours in the library out of a love for learning.
Failure, but ultimately fear to fail, is what I feel drives so many people to success in their endeavors. Once you can comprehend the possibility of failure you create the opportunity to take the necessary steps to ensure success.
Photo credit: scott_hampson via flikr