5 Stages of Failure (Repost From Isa Adney)

Hey Guys!

I found this post from one of my Facebook friends, and fellow Phi Theta Kappa Alumni, Isa Adney. I related to it, and I thought you might enjoy reading it. So here it is:

The 5 Stages of Failure: How I felt when Harvard said no

 Author’s Note: I decided to share the personal experience below because of all the e-mails I’ve received over the years from students who’ve failed a test or a class or come across an obstacle MUCH greater than not getting into a dream graduate program. This is for you. Do not give up. 
If you’ve been following this blog you know I recently interviewed as one of the top 50 for Harvard’s EdLD program in Boston last week. It seemed as if I was one of the youngest being considered by far, and thus I did not make the top 25 who were accepted into the program. I found out last Friday night and to say I was crushed is an understatement.
It’s been 5 days and I feel like I’ve been going through something that reminded me of the 5 stages of grief, but for failure. I’m no psychologist so I am completely making this up, but here’s what happened to me:
Stage 1: Embarrassment The first thing I said when I found out was: oh my gosh I’m going to have to tell everyone I didn’t get in. I’m so embarrassed. 
Stage 2: Denial Maybe they made a mistake. Yes! I’ll get an e-mail and they’ll be like, “sorry Isa, even though we’re Harvard we just don’t have it together and sent you the wrong email, you actually DID get accepted.” That e-mail did not come. 
Stage 3: Self-loathing Even though rationally I know failure is integral to success and have read dozens of books on how to bounce back from failure, none of it worked in that moment.  For example, platitudes like “you can get bitter or get better” went through my head. I knew I would get better. I knew I would come out of this. I knew I was still dedicated to my mission of helping students break the cycles of poverty through education. But in that exact moment I still felt bitter.  And I questioned my worth completely. These questions consumed me: what am I doing? why am I trying so hard? what made me think I was good enough for this? should I just give up? have I set my sights too high? am I just the worst? am I not cut out for this? am I even making a difference?  This is the ugliest place to be, and for a few days I felt absolutely numb. It’s a place I knew I could not or would not stay, but it seems impossible not to visit, even for a moment, when failure happens.
Stage 4: Acceptance of Encouragement Though embarrassment is what I felt first, I knew I needed to get the telling of my failure over with.  I emailed the handful of people who directly helped me get to the interview process with their advice and recommendation letters. I e-mailed close friends and family who’d been encouraging me all along. And I made the dreaded Facebook announcement. Then what happened next honestly shocked me. People said the kindest things that reaffirmed my worth and future, including the wonderful Harvard professors and current EdLD students who’d offered their gracious help in my application and interview process. Now of course, you know I’m the first to tell anyone that college acceptance does NOT define you. But like all advice, it’s easier said than felt, especially in the depths of initial failure.  I decided to sit back and just soak up what others were saying. When I was in the self-loathing stage it would have been easy to just say “oh they’re just being nice” or “what they’re saying isn’t actually true.” But instead I decide to let the encouragement wash over me.  I decided to believe what people were saying was true, even if I didn’t feel it in the moment.  Stage 5: Hope Because of other people’s encouragement I began to hope. I wish I could say I had the strength all by myself and didn’t need anyone to help me overcome this failure. But that’s just not true. And in fact, my book is all about why other people – peers, professors, and professional mentors – are integral to success. We all need other people to tell us what they see in us in the dark times when we just cannot feel it ourselves.  So let yourself go through the process, whatever that means for you, but don’t do it alone. Tell people about your failures. Ask them for advice. Use failure to think about what you really want and other ways you can still get there.  What also helped me hope again was my mission statement: helping students break cycles of poverty through education. While I’d failed at one of my goals that I thought would help me get there (i.e. getting into Harvard) I knew this wasn’t the only route available. I could come at it from other directions, and that is just what I will do.  Failure is not easy at all. Even knowing that pressing on after failure is a requirement for success doesn’t make it any easier in the moment. In fact it’s even harder than all the books prepared me for.  In the moments when I felt heartbroken, hopeless, and numb I felt like I was also failing at “failing forward,” which made it even worse.  I think it’s important to acknowledge the sadness. I no longer believe that people who find success after failure are those who never go to that dark place – I think the key is just that they don’t stay there.  Fail hard. Fail again. Build your strength. Don’t do it alone. Act even when you don’t have motivation. And write down what really moves you – that thing you really want, that you’re really working for; that thing that moves you, excites you, motivates you. That thing that will keep you going even when your immediate goals don’t work out.  Have you written it down yet? Go ahead. Do it now. Read it every morning. And keep going. 
Hope you enjoyed reading that. Isa also has a blog, you can check it out at http://www.communitycollegesuccess.com/  I highly recommend her posts.
She is also the author of a book titled Community College Success.

College Tip #8: What to do when you are bored on campus

Hey guys!

Hope your week went well?!

So I know that there are times when you are just bored with nothing to do. Instead of going to the mall (if your college town has one) or going to see a movie, I have a few tips on what you can do without spending much money.

1) Go to your college team games: Pick out a sport team in your school that you think you might like, and follow their games. I follow the basketball team in my school and attend their home games. If you think you wouldn’t like it, try it out you might be surprised that you actually like that sport. If you still don’t like it, keep going for the cute boys 😉

2) School events: Look out for posters around campus announcing events going on. You might find something that interests you. Plus most of the school events are sponsored using student activity fees, so you would be making good use of your money.

3) Friends, Roommates, Floor mates: Plan an event and invite everybody on your dorm floor. Chances are there are people looking for something to do too. It doesn’t have to be something big, maybe a game night or a tv night. You can even make it a potluck so that there is food, and you don’t have to spend lots of money.

I hope you find these tips useful. If you still can find anything to do after trying all these, feel free to go to the mall or watch a movie 🙂

Thanks for reading.

**xx Prettywitgla33es

College Tip #7: Preparing for Tests

Hey guys!

Hope y’all are doing good!

Today’s college tip is about preparing for tests. I had a couple of tests this week and I realized that people around me didn’t seem to be prepared for the tests, so I decided to write a post giving you guys some pointers.

1. Know your learning style: This applies not only to preparing for tests, but also succeeding as a student in general. When you know your learning style, you will be able to prepare for your test effectively. For example, auditory learners might want to get an audiobook copy of their textbooks, or even read aloud rather than reading silently.

2. Review: I know that the rule is to put in time to study for each course everyday outside the classroom. I also know that most regular students do not follow this rule. Even if you don’t review after each class, it is advisable for you to do so multiple times some days before your test. If you are used to having cramming sessions before your tests, your cramming would be a lot more effective with a little review before.

3. Set study priorities: When studying for a test, you should focus on the things that are most important. You can get clues on what is important by listening to your professor in class. Some professors also give out study guides, and that is a great tool to utilize. Also if you’re studying for multiple tests, concentrate more on the ones you are weak on.

4. Study groups: Some people find it easier to focus on studying if they are studying with other people. If you’re one of these people, find other people to study with. However, some other students study better alone. If you are a student like that, avoid study groups.

5. Get some sleep: The biggest mistake most students make is not getting any sleep before their tests. If you like studying at night, study two nights before your test, not the night before. Getting a good night rest helps your brain to be well relaxed and it makes it easier for you to remember the things you read.

I hope you find these tips useful. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have by commenting below.

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful weekend!

**xx Prettywitgla33es

Test taking tips from other bloggers
Davidson Tutoring: http://davidsontutoring.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/study-skills-pointers-how-to-be-prepared-for-your-mid-terms/

College Tip #6: What To Do When You Have A Not-so-nice Professor

There are times when you register for a class, and on the first day of class you find yourself not liking the professor. Most people’s response to this situation would be to drop the class. However there are a couple of things you can do, and steps you can take to see if it gets better.
1. Go to class: As hard as this might sound since you don’t like the professor, you need to do it. Attending class regularly, and paying attention would often make difficult professors go a tad bit softer on you. Everybody likes it when people listen and pay attention to them. Trust me, that professor is not an exemption.
2. Go to their office hours: I know this also sound hard. It is more difficult to be alone with someone you don’t like. But this also helps. About 90% of students never go to see any of their professors during office hours. Being among the 10% that does gives you an advantage.
3. Make sure you are not the one with the problem: Sometimes, the professor might be nice, and you are just the problem. You need to make sure that you are being a good student, and not giving the professor a hard time.

If any of these tips don’t work, then you may consider dropping the class. Remember, if you stay in that class and you still don’t like the professor, there is a good chance that your grade would be lower than if you had taken the class with someone you like. Note, the drop in grade will not be the professors fault.

Hope these tips are helpful!
Thanks for reading!
**xx Prettywitgla33es

College tip #5: Making the best of the holidays

So the holidays are fast approaching! For some of us, it has even began. Here are some tips to make the best use of the holidays:
1. Go home: If you can, try to spend the holidays with your family. I know that it is hard for all students to go home. For example, international students might not be able to go home to their families during this period. If you find yourself having to stay in school for the holidays, look for people in the same position as you. It is better to spend your holidays with people than to stay alone throughout.
2. If you have a roommate staying in school, try to do something nice for your roommate before you leave. For example, you can give him/her a Christmas gift before you leave. Also, try not to rub the fact that you are going home in.
3. Prepare for next semester. It might seem like it’s too early to start preparing for the next semester, but trust me, it’s not. Usually, school starts in the second week of January. That gives you little time to prepare, so it is better to start now.
Hope you guys find this useful.
Thank you for reading
**xx prettywitgla33es

College Tip #3: Ways to Save Money as a College Student


I’m sorry i missed blogging last week. I had to go to a museum for my art class, and we were pretty much there all day.

So today’s tips are on how to save money while you are in college.

1. Reduce the amount you spend every day on things like coffee, and movie tickets: I am not saying that you should give up coffee; i understand that you might need it as a college student. All i’m saying is that you could buy a cheap coffee maker and save a lot of money from that instead of going to Starbucks. Also, why not rent a movie and eat microwave popcorn with your friends instead of spending $10 on a movie ticket.

2. Get a room mate: Rooms on campus are usually cheaper if you choose to have 1 or more roommates. Even if you live off campus, having a roommate would help to reduce the cost of rent. Who knows, you might even become lifelong friends with your roommate!

3. Buy used books: Books can be really expensive. Why not buy used books and save some money. Some sites and stores that sell used books might even save you up to 50%.

4. Sell back your books: There are some books you have that you know you might never open again after the class has ended. Why not sell it back for some cash?!!

5. Use Cash: As a college student, try as much as possible to avoid using a credit card. Also as convenient as a debit card can be, try to avoid it too. The best way to spend is to pay with cash. Paying with cash helps you to be conscious of how much you are spending, and believe it or not, it saves you money.

Hope you find these tips helpful.

Feel free to comment on how you save or saved money as a college student.

Thank you for reading!

**xx Prettywitgla33es

College Tip #2: Try not to Procrastinate


Hope you all had a lovely week?! My week was pretty hectic because i had a few papers due, as well as exams this week. Being stressed out this week is something that i could have theoretically avoided since i knew about the papers and exams right from the beginning of the semester (In my defense, every single week this semester has been packed for me.)  Anyways, that brings me to my college tip for this week:

Try not to procrastinate

When you look over your syllabus, every due date just seems like it is so far away. This makes so many students relax and put off the work till the due date is approaching. Truth is, as far as the due date might seem,  it approaches quicker than most of us expect or imagine. 

I know that not many students would want to start their work months before it due, but you should try to start at least 2 weeks before it is due, you dont have to finish it then but it helps if you start early. I know students who write their papers a day before it is due. The problem with that is, so many things can go wrong. For example, your computer can crash (this has happened to me before). Moreover, starting your work ahead gives you time to do essential things, like proofreading your paper. Recently, i wrote a whole paper and after reading it I realized i didn’t care about the topic enough to do justice to the paper, so I changed my topic. I ended up getting an A for my new topic, and i was so sure that i wouldn’t have gotten an A with my previous topic. If i had started writing a day before, I wouldn’t have been able to change my topic.

This is not to say I dont procrastinate. But if I procrastinate, i put the work off till a realistic time, not the day before. And I think that is very helpful.


Thank you for reading!

Feel free to leave any questions or suggestion you might have in the comments.

**XX Prettywitgla33es

College Life : Tips and tricks (#1 Choosing Classes and Professors)


So I spent a lot of time visiting the blogs of people that follow me, and i found out that a number of you guys are college students. I love sharing my experiences with people and hoping that it helps them. Recently, I have found myself in a couple of positions where i’ve had to give advice to my fellow college students (mostly new students). As an International Student Ambassador, many of the new students remembered me from orientation and from time to time they stop me around campus and ask me questions. I am also the chair of my PTK chapter’s mentoring commitee. I would like to share a few tips with you about college (you might have learnt some of them already). I would be posting new tips and tricks every Saturday from now on.

Choosing Classes and Professors

One of the most important things while in college is choosing your classes. Some schools have a set of classes that students must take to complete their major. If you are in a school like that, good for you! However, more schools nowadays are having open curriculums where students are allowed to pick the classes towards their major. If you find yourself in this situation, the first thing you need to ask is which classes are most important for you. It is also best to note that most classes usually last at least 10 weeks, so you do not want to take a class that you would be miserable in.

As for choosing professors, I found that most people go by the ratings on RateMyProfessor.com. While the site is extremely useful to get an insight on what the professor is like, the ratings are not always a true judge of the professor. I find that most of the bad ratings come from students who do not do their work, and somehow expect a teacher to give them good grades. So be weary about those online ratings, they are sometimes not right.

Since registration for classes for spring has started in some schools, I hope this post is useful for all the students out there reading.

For those of you who are not college students but have gone through this process, feel free to leave your advice/ tips in the comment section below.

Thank you very much for reading.

**xx Prettywitgla33es

What have you said/done to make someone feel better today?


I missed blogging this past week but as my stats show, even though i wasn’t here, you guys did not stop visiting. I’m very thankful for that.

This first few days of this week were very wet here in Tampa, Florida. Since i usually take the bus in the mornings to school, this wasn’t the best weather for me. Tuesday was the worst; i woke up late because for some reason both my phone and my tablet had died, so none of the alarms went off. Then i hurriedly got ready so i would not miss the bus. I got to the bus stop 2 minutes before the scheduled arrival time of the bus, but the bus ended up being fifteen minutes late. So there i was at the bus stop with the rain pouring down heavily upon me. My umbrella could do so little to keep me dry. Since the first bus had been 15 minutes late, that meant i missed my next bus. So i had to wait for another 30 minutes under the rain for the next bus. By this time, my hair was so frizzy (If you’ve ever been to Tampa before, you know how humid it is). 

By the time i got to school, i was ready for the week to be over. Then, someone complimented my hair saying “it’s hard to find many black women using their natural hair these days. Your hair is so nice and it adds to your beauty”.  After this compliment, i felt a lot better even though i had thought my hair looked terrible. I ended up having a better day than i thought i would have.

I know i tell you guys a lot about my days, but the main reason i’m telling you this story is to point out how a comment can change somebody’s day. There are so many people out there today that are having a bad day and could really use one small gesture that would change their day.

As you go about your day, try to smile to people and if you know them, why not give them a hug, or tell them something nice! You never know, your small gesture might be the highlight of someone’s day

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I love you guys!

**xx Prettywitgla33es

My Monday!

Hey Guys!

I was on my bed and about to go to sleep when i remebered that i had not done a post for today. I dont really have anything else to blog about,  so i would just tell you how my day went.

My first class for the day was my math class. It was actually really fun because we did Escher-type tesselations, and Maping. We used little pieces of construction paper to make our own patterns for tesselation. At the end, the class looked like a 3rd grade art class!!

My next class was my visual arts class(an art appreciation class) which started with a quiz! (*Notice the exclamation mark after “quiz”?). Anyways, that went good, as did the rest of the class.

After that, i had my environmental science class which is quite longer than the rest of my classes. I didn’t notice this when i was registering for the class.

Fortunately, the class ended about 10 minutes early (and Yes! this makes a lot of difference). I went to get my second application essay reviewed in the writing center. Turned out my essay was pretty good; there was not even a single typo! The only issue i had was with the placement of periods and commas outside of the quotation marks. Apparently, in America the period or comma is placed right before the quotation marks. That’s one of the few issues I’ve been working on with regards to switching from British english to American.

In all, my day went really well. Not too boring for a monday, and not too exciting either.

How did your monday go? Tell me in the comments below 🙂

Thank you very much for reading. Dont forget to hit the “like” and “follow” buttons if you liked this post.


**xx Prettywitgla33es


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 229 other followers


Shine on Award

Most Influential blog of the year

Most Influential Blog of the Year Award