by Paige Calabrese ’18
After the Patriots suffered an unexpected loss in Sunday’s Super Bowl game against the Eagles, we were reminded that life does not always go the way we anticipate, or even want. When we experience setbacks or disappointments, the manner in which we respond to them is more determinant of our character than any individual achievement or failure.
Everyone knows the crushing feeling of frustration and shame that floods your body when you prepare for a reward or beneficial outcome after spending hours studying, working, or practicing, only to be grossly dismayed when you miss the mark entirely and fail miserably. Similarly, everyone knows the subsequent aftermath of sitting alone in a dark bedroom while online shopping, eating Ben & Jerry’s, and listening to the “Life Sucks” playlist on Spotify. However, limiting our self-pity and wallowing is essential to bouncing back and coming to an understanding of our goals and life paths.
Rejections and let-downs and disappointments happen because not everything is meant to be part of an individual’s life path; as upsetting as they are, they serve as indicators that a person, job, object, etc. is not right for us and that something else, something that better fits our needs, is out there.
Failure and rejection are terrifying to anticipate and depressing to experience, but maintaining an open mind and optimistic outlook throughout will lead to deeper self-reflection, better understanding of your values and goals, and greater appreciation for what you already have.