David Mekhaiel


Failure with a capital F, as in Forty percent on my first-year physics midterm (it was actually 38% but 40% works better so let’s go with that).  I had never failed academically up until that point and I wasn’t ready for it. Ironically enough I now laugh at that experience. This is definitely not something I enjoy hearing right after a bad exam but ultimately the reality is: “Failure is the Best Teacher.” Failure taught me to humility, understanding the limits of my own capabilities and asking for help when I really needed it, helping me to deal with my future academic struggles. Failure taught me how to plan ahead for obstacles, helping me better prepare for exams in the years since. Failure taught me resilience, helping me finally get a response after emailing 60 professors about a research position. Failing taught me to be compassionate to others, helping me support my friends as they struggle with their own failures. Failure taught me how to be joyful even during the rough times, helping remember that sometimes things aren’t great, but life moves on.