I’ve been racking my brain for quite some time now trying to figure out why I’ve been having a hard time adjusting to the college life.
Ever since I’ve left my home country Tunisia & came to Toulouse, France for my studies I’ve been adjusting. Never feeling really at my place. Always having my guard up & my mind working overtime. Analyzing every little thing & scrutinizing every detail.
And it’s been bothering me. Because I’m not an over thinker by nature. I’m more of a let it flow & we’ll see what happens later kind of person.
So why am I having such a hard time letting go of things?
Is it because of my studies? No! I like studying law. It’s hard, yes, but isn’t life about overcoming challenges & not backing away from difficulties?
Is it because of the unknown city that I’m now living in? It’s a no again. Toulouse is quite the nice place to live actually.
Is it because I’m missing my family? Well I do miss them but it’s not the “I can’t live another day without you” miss them. In fact, my mother often times jokes about how little I miss them.
So what is it?
Well the answer lies in one word actually: FAILING.
Or rather, the fear of failing.
Yes, I have come to learn that the fear of failing can be quite paralyzing. A bitch really.
All my life I have played by the books. And the good ones at that. My parents rarely had to scold me, my teachers never punished me, and my relatives always gushed about how polite I am. In fact & this is a little anecdote, if you ask my parents about my baby blabberings they will tell you I had none. I basically kept my mouth shut till I could properly talk.
My school work was near irreproachable. Of course I went through my “teenager phase” where I stopped doing homeworks & studying for tests because that was SO not cool! But I ended up graduating from high school with the honours and with my teachers & family sending me off to college with high hopes & a great conviction that I’m going to succeed in life.
Except, I didn’t share their conviction.
Not when I started college. Not when I saw the sea of hopeful students all sharing my dreams. Not when I got my first grade in law school. Yeah, definitely not that moment. Not when I sat back in class & listened to some of my classmates going at it about the refugees crisis or the United Nations reform. And I have my opinions about these subjects. Why couldn’t I speak up though?
I was too scared to say something wrong. Too scared that my classmates would scoff at something I said & think “Wow she’s so dumb”. And Yet, I sometimes scoff at them & think “Wow they’re so dumb” but that doesn’t keep them from stating their points of view.
Failure. It’s only 7 letters but a million restrictions.
That fear of failure is what’s restricting me from excelling at college. It’s what’s restricting me from making new friends. It’s what restricting me from trying new things, enrolling in clubs & making my voice heard.
And it’s sad really because I have SO many things that I want to accomplish. So many dreams that I want to witness become reality.
I’ve always been a dreamer. I mean studying abroad has always been a dream of mine since I was 12 & I was determined to make it happen. And I did. But now as I write this, I’m adding fear of failure to my profile. I’m a dreamer afraid of failing. It’s sad really because what does that make me?
A failing dreamer.
Because if I don’t have the willpower to overcome that fear, my dreams will only stay dreams. Sad, dull & unfulfilled dreams. A waste of my time. A shame.
So as I write this, I pledge to work on this fear. Even if there’s the chance of failing at overcoming it. But it’s all a vicious circle so I have to start somewhere right? That’s what I tell myself anyways.
I make a promise that when I’m old & grey & senile & forgetting my children’s name I will look back on my life & softly smile at all the things I’ve accomplished, the places I’ve been & the people I’ve met. I will equally cherish my moments of glory & my embarrassments. I will equally be proud of my successes & my failures. Because I would have come to the realization that maybe…
Sometimes, it is ok to fail too.