Failing a test. It can be a good thing.
Seriously, go with me on this for a minute.
Wherever you came from, you were one of the best. Chances are, you could have made any career choice you wanted, and you chose dentistry. Now you’re here in dental school, and it’s tougher than you thought it was going to be. The work doesn’t seem so hard, but the course load is overwhelming. It can be like trying to drink from a fire hose at times!
Before it’s all said and done, you’re probably going to fail an exam or two. If this has never happened to you in your academic career before (which is quite possible), it is probably going to be a very ego shattering moment. Shock. Denial. Anger. Wanting to throw a sharp instrument at someone. Wanting to run out the door and curse the whole place and the whole profession. You’ll probably go through all of this. How do you handle it?
You’re not alone. Everyone that has graduated from dental school has been through what you’re going through. The challenges and expectations in dental school are unlike anything you’ve encountered thus far. Some of the hardest working and smartest students fail dental school exams. A quiz you weren’t ready for. A practical and it’s just not your day. We’ve all been there. It’s probably going to happen if it hasn’t already.
Learning how to rebound from failure and move on to the next challenge is one of the most essential skills for every dental student, if not the most essential skill. Failure teaches humility in the face of a profession with incredible challenges. Failure teaches patience in the process of becoming a dentist. It doesn’t happen over night, it takes years. Failure is an opportunity for improvement. It is a message to you to dig deeper, to refocus your commitment, and to be completely honest with yourself. How are you going to right the ship?
Dental school “rewards” those that figure this out the fastest. Learn from your failures, don’t let them drag you down!