A challenge can be seen as a difficult task or problem. It is difficulty one faces while trying to reach a particular goal or task. The thing about challenges is that once you're able to overcome them, you come out stronger and better than you were before. It's like a process that shapes you and pushes you to limits, testing how much you can endure. It takes grace to be able to get through the challenges we face everyday.
Challenges can come in so many ways. It could come as a result of loss of something or someone very valuable to you or it could be setbacks, things that didn't go exactly as planned, issues that prevents you from getting to your goal and aim. It could also be failure which forces you to re-evaluate issues on why things turned out the way they did.
I'm going to be sharing a specific event in my life that made me look at things differently. I'm a school lover, I love anything school related and I don't see it as a bore. I've come to find out that the academic world intrigues me a lot.
I finished secondary school in 2016 and I really hoped to gain admission into the university of my choice that year. It didn't exactly turn out as planned and this was a huge setback for me considering I wanted to finish the university early and I had already started making plans of the things I wanted to achieve at a specific time in the future. To me, this was a big challenge. My friends had gotten admission and I felt left out. It seemed like at that point everybody around me was doing well except for me and I thought my time was wasting. Life is unpredictable, we make our own plans but sometimes it has its own surprises.
How did I deal with this?
This was an academic disappointment for me but I had to cope with it.
Accept that this was happening
Challenges are part of our everyday life. I had to come to terms with the fact that this is life, I had no power to change the way things were. I couldn't deny what I was feeling at the time. I was sad, I was unhappy and I cried a few times but I had to accept the way things were. I realized that it's okay for me to feel all these sad emotions. It's okay to let it out and not bottle up whatever it is you're feeling. It's part of living.
I planned better
Yes, I was feeling all of these sad emotions but I couldn't dwell on them. I had to ask myself questions. What is it that hindered me from getting admission? What was I doing wrong? How can I make it better? I was going to take the exams that qualified me for the university again. I had to study harder and better. I realized I didn't practice a lot of past questions but had dwelled mostly on my own knowledge so I made sure I have time to that. I put in extra hours to learn the topics I didn't understand better so that I can perform better.
I'm not alone
In the course of staying home for another year, I realised that I wasn't alone. They were many other people in my shoes but I was too focused on myself to notice. The fact that I wasn't alone made me feel better and made things easier for me. I believed it was just a phase and I could get through it. They are people that have been in my shoes and they had gotten through it.
I had support from family and friends
Support goes a long way in life. After my performance in the exam was below expectation, I expected my parents to be mad at me. Surprisingly, they were very cool with me and supported me. They assured me that everything was going to be fine and that there was room for me to do better. That support helped me a lot and prompted me to even do better the next time because I didn't want to disappoint them. Sometimes, all we need is an encouraging word from a friend or family to make things easier.
I made enquiries.
Considering I was trying to get into the university, I took it upon myself to engage with those that were already in the system. I listened to their stories and what it was like for them when they were applying to get into school too. I think that period helped me to understand the system even before I entered it. I got a lot of tips that helped me. It's okay to ask people for help. They're people that are more knowledgeable than we are and we have to listen to them.
I was optimistic and trusted God
Given my situation at the time, there was a lot of things going through my mind like I wasn't deserving, I wasn't good enough. If I couldn't get admission when I freshly out of school how then will I concentrate and get admission the following year. I had to discard those negative thoughts and replace it with positive thoughts. The thought that I had a year to myself to explore and do the things I want to do for myself, that God wanted it this way. The thought that there was a reason why I didn't do well in my exams and the admission didn't come through. I believed God had better plans in store for me. Trusting God and having positive thoughts in situations has really helped me. I try not to concentrate on the cons but rather the pros of the situation.
I took the exams again
There's a saying that it's not over until it's over. I didn't give up because it didn't work the first time, instead, I took the exams again because I was more confident now. I believed I could do better than before. I didn't allow the past to weigh me down but rather I kept pushing. Quitting wasn't an option. Whatever it is I go through, I look on the bright side that I'll only be losing if I give up.
I'm happy to say that considering that very issue, I got admission the following year. I didn't end up in my dream university but I'm much happier now. I believe things actually worked out for my good because considering the fact that if I had gotten the admission the previous year, I wouldn't have had the amazing friends I have today as well as the opportunities to be better that present themselves everyday. I've learned to embrace challenges now and see them as an opportunity to learn and be a better person.
This is my entry for the question
How do you overcome challenges that life throws at you?
That you to my friend @bmjc98 for informing me about this.
A big thank you to the amazing @Jane for this opportunity.