Failing Forward 

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Hi, I'm Tanya!

Happy New Year guys! I hope 2018 is going great for you all. This is my first blog of 2018. I had hopes of posting in the first week of the year but I had a lot of reflection to do. I’ve decided that I’m going to be more vulnerable and open with you guys. I’ve always had a little issue walking the thin line between revealing and not revealing too much at the same time. Being as private as I am, believe me when I say it’s HARD but I started my blog so that I could share my experience and at least inspire one person.

WARNING!!! This post might be a tad bit lengthy but I promise it’ll be worth it. So here goes…

It was the end of the fall semester 2015. By then I was at the end of semester 2 of my BSN program. Now let me back track a little bit and give a little background. By the time fall 2015 semester came around I had already completed my first set of nursing classes and was well on my way to semester 2. I felt like I was finally on the road to fulfilling my purpose and was on my way to becoming the Christina Yang (true Grey’s Anatomy fans would know of this legend) of nursing. Semester 2 classes consisted of: Gerontology, Clinical Skills Lab, Mental Health, Clinical Rotation and the silent killer Medsurg.  I started the semester like how I usually do, giving myself a pep talk, prayer and writing my goals for the semester (to get all A’s). Like some of you guys know, at the start of the semester, most professors like to brag or make it seems like their class is harder than a rock. Little did they know Tanya wasn’t phased by these scare tactics (nope, they gotta bring Jesus himself before they can scare me lol). While most of my classmates were freaking out based on what these professors would say, I would whisper to myself ” girl you got your schooling from the Islands so you know you got this!” In my Medsurg class, the professor stated from the jump that exam #2 would be the hardest exam of the semester and depending on how we did we should reconsider if we wanted to continue or not. Was I fazed?…….Nope.


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Exam one came and I passed so that gave me the confidence booster I needed to carry me through the rest of the semester. Now my fellow nursing students and even nurses; I’m sure at some point Medsurg was giving you the business and more. Let me telllllll you exam #2 which was based on fluid and electrolytes beat my ass worst than Mayweather beat McGregor, it knocked me OUT! Now I didn’t get an extremely low grade, but it was low based on my standard and wasn’t a passing grade(keep in mind at my school an 80 was considered a C). It wasn’t a case where I didn’t prepare because I did, but something about that exam just didn’t make sense to me, not to this very day. As my friend Gigi likes to say we only get 24 hours to be in our feelings and it’s back to regular programming the next day. So being the optimistic person that I pride myself on being, I knew I had to come real hard the next few exams.  Now every student KNOWS  that when you fail an exam it drops your grade to the ground but let you get a good grade that grade barely moves up the ladder lol (it’s hard out here for us). I didn’t let getting unsatisfactory grade deter me, I did the work and prepared for exam #3. Now all my other classes were going well but Medsurg and the theory part of skills were consistently kicking my butt. It’s not easy taking an exam knowing all the answers are right and you gotta select the best one, sometimes my best answer ain’t the answer they’re looking for lol (This is where the critical thinking of nursing comes into play). I studied my ass off and tried to do my best on the next 3 exams and finals to ensure that I would have a passing grade at the end of the semester.


Let’s fast forward to the end of the semester, you know that nervous feeling you get when anticipating your grades? Welll there were back flips going on in my stomach while I waited that afternoon. The other grades came in and they were great but the 2 grades I was really concerned about seemed to have been taking forever to be posted. I must’ve refreshed that blackboard page a million times that afternoon and having a mini anxiety attack each time lol. The notification popped up Medsurg: D, Skills: D. In that instant my body just shut down and went numb.  Who would’ve known that those 2 grades would later determine where my life would be headed.

I failed one class by point 5 and the other by point 8. The school I was attending at the time didn’t do the standard round up of a grade so I was screwed. Saying I was devastated is an utter and complete understatement; I WAS DE-VA-STA-TED! My future, like I had envisioned it, was no more. I’m a very emotional person so of course I cried like a baby. Not knowing what to say, I sat in silence for a while before breaking the news to my loved ones. Now you’re probably saying why All the dramatics or why not take them over next semester , well my friends failing 2 classes is an automatic dismissal from the nursing program in which I was enrolled and meant I had to wait 2 whole years to reapply to the program.

After talking to my loved ones, deciding what to do next was on my agenda. I started looking for schools to apply to literally the next day.  I knew changing my environment was a priority.  Me failing wasn’t necessarily a case of not being  prepared because I did everything to the best of my ability, not to make any excuses but I strongly believe that the many surrounding distractions is what contributed to me failing but at the end of the day I can’t point fingers at anyone but myself. I should’ve known how to block out the distractions as well as putting my needs first but that’s another story for another blog post(coming soon).


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I never like to say I was depressed simply because I’ve seen that word thrown around too loosely, as soon as things don’t go our way. Depression is a mental health disorder and I didn’t want to associate myself with that without having the facts and I also didn’t want that to be me. While I may have had some symptoms they were mild in my case. Was I sad? Absolutely! I had my period where I was down, always in my head overthinking, looking at my classmates progress and would get in my feelings and think about the coulda, shoulda, woulda. I lost my appetite ( which is why I’m trying to gain 15lbs). I was just a Debbie downer but I sure hid that well from the people around me.


I moved to Georgia after getting into a school there. I was excited and was sure that my second chance was on the horizon. After enrolling, I decided to meet with my adviser to ensure I was on the right track with my classes etc. Only to be met with “I’m afraid you can’t pursue a nursing degree here after further revision of your transcript. Our philosophy is if you failed at one school who’s to say you won’t fail here? We can’t have that.” I was so livid that if you were to cut me that day you wouldn’t have gotten any blood. Again, I was sad for quick moment and then I picked myself up and tried an alternate route. I decided to try Respiratory Therapy; the plan was to pursue my nursing degree after getting the Respiratory Therapy degree. I then proceeded to taking necessary prerequisite classes for the RT program. Before the start of the fall semester program, I made the tough decision not to continue because my heart just wasn’t there, and I was not feeling any kind of satisfaction, additionally my heart was still with nursing and always will be. I took that semester off to solely apply to nursing programs. You know life has a tendency to not go your way when you want it to. I kept meeting stumbling blocks, after stumbling, blocks after stumbling blocks and every now and then I would question why me???


One of my mission is to showcase how I turned my stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Here I am with a blog that’s suppose to be geared toward my progress in nursing school but yet I am not currently in a nursing school/ program at the moment. So how can I give you advice you may ask,  well I’ve been in the program long enough to know the ins and outs and ultimately my blog was created to document my unique journey through nursing school and this all apart of my journey.

WHEW!!. now that I got that off my chest …

I decided to tell my story because I know I’m not the only one and I wanted to offer help to others like me. I had to get comfortable with failing, often times we tend to let failure be negative when it’s not. I had to learn this the hard way. What good would the world be if none of us failed? I mean even successful people failed at something at some point in their life.

Nursing is truly my passion and giving up is never going to be an option; no amount of failures or stumbling blocks will take that away from me. I have had time to reflect and ever so often I do a self evaluation to determine what is and isn’t working and ways in which I can improve, change and grow,  and what is it that I can do better. A very wise woman told me recently “Don’t repeat the same actions expecting a a different result.”

All this coincides with why I chose the title for my blog post. It came to me randomly in a dream and I saw it fitting.  I believe failure builds character, it sure changed me for the better, the way I think has certainly changed, my ambition and my drive has also changed. I want you to know failing is not the end.

If you’re passionate about something go for it, and never stop trying until you get to your desired destination and  know taking an alternate route to get there isn’t such a bad thing.

Can you think of a time where you failed and got back up? Felt defeated but overcame? Leave a comment and let’s discuss.
Look out for a follow up to this post this next week!


Comments +

  1. Gillian says:

    Best wishes for 2018. May God be the light in your path.

  2. Girl, this is super inspiring. I admire you so much and I’m confident God has given you great strength and resolve to achieve your goals, despite the roadbumps in the way.

  3. Latoya says:

    Thanks for sharing keep your head up, and keep working towards your goals

  4. Can’t have been easy to share your story so thank you! Although my experiences are completely different, I completely agree with the underlying message here! Failure isn’t something we should strive for but we can’t be afraid of it and we can’t let it get us down! It will come, our strength is in how we pick ourselves up and move forward! Failing Forward!

  5. Thank you for being so open! My undergraduate degree was pushed back a semester due to me failing a class and I was heartbroken so I can’t imagine how you felt. This is an amazing story of not giving up. Like your friend said, we get a moment to be in our feelings but then we need to evaluate the situation and press forward. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Britt says:

    All my life, since I was 4, I wanted to be an engineer. Everyone knew this. In school I excelled. I loved school. When I applied for colleges I got accepted into all of them. I picked the best one. I loved college too. Did very well. Graduated zero loans. College was a very warm and loving and supportive experience. Then I applied to grad school. Different environment, cut throat people, unfriendly…. not what I was use to. Also I was at a different place when I attended grad school. I was young, 20 decided to let my boyfriend (my first love) move with me after he basically flunked out of the engineering program…..
    Well fast forward, my first semester was nothing that I thought it would be… new environment, all these heavy unnecessary books, professors thinking they’re GOD…. boyfriend and just everything in between…. to make a long story short I didn’t do so great which was the first time in my life. So I basically had to repeat everything again the next year. So basically everyone knows you failed if you’re back taking freshman classes…… I did it again and basically failed again not Bc the classes were hard but mentally I wasn’t ready Bc I had so much other things occupying my mind…. so I took a few years off, worked at some corporations in the meantime, lived a little…. but since my calling in life was to become an engineer when the opportunity came back I went back, found my groove and excelled….
    I say to you. Give yourself time to grow and experience the world before diving back into school. Life is the greatest teacher the classroom is outside of a those brick buildings.
    Your path was written there are different routes for you to take. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Thank you for sharing your story with me, your story has given me hope as it’s also similar to mine. I know they’re different routes and I’ve told myself to not stress as much ever again. Like you said I need to give myself time to grow and my path is already written for me. Sometimes we gotta be so thankful for growth.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m facing so many obstacles now just to get into nursing school so this was truly inspiring

  8. Dellea says:

    When I started my PhD program, someone told me, “It’s not how smart you are – it’s about persistence”. You’re definitely persistent and resilient (just like Cristina!) and that will carry you to the end. Please remember that you are more than a grade and forgive yourself for past “failures”. I know from personal experience how heavy the shame can feel. Good luck and thanks for sharing🌻

  9. It was very brave of you to share you story. This is inspirational and never giving up on a dream is something I stand by whole heartedly. I hope 2018 is a year of amazing things for you! Great post!

  10. Really inspiring post. Glad you were able to pull through. We all face challenges, but it’s how we deal with them that define our character.

  11. I absolutely love how you’re not giving up. Everything happens for a reason and your story will undoubtedly inspire many others to keep going even when they’ve failed. I wish you the best of luck!

  12. Khia says:

    Thank you for letting your transparency inspire us. Praying for you and your journey that God love and guide.

  13. callmevrinds says:

    I actually can completely relate to this! I was dismissed from a pharmacy program for getting an F in organic chem II and I was absolutely devasted. I cannot even begin to describe how depressed I was and how much I felt like I had no purpose in life anymore. Luckily, I ended up discovering that pharmacy wasn’t for me and found my true passion in nursing. I’m starting my first semester right now so I do feel a little anxious after reading your story about medsurge! But I will definitely do my best. Thank you for sharing! Not everyone likes to admit a time when they failed, but your story is certainly inspiring.

    • Thank you for reading! Organic chem is no joke. Good luck with your first semester. Don’t be too nervous as this is an exciting time for you. Study hard, take good notes and make sure to look them after each class that way you’ll be able retain the information by test time instead of trying to cram everything in days before the exam. If you need help don’t hesitate to send me an email, I’ll be happy to help.

  14. Thanks you for the openness and honesty of this post. I’m not sure if I would have shared my struggle years ago when I was going to school for education. It was so hard for me, raising a child with special needs and working full-time. My test to become a certified teacher kicked my but. One test I had to take 3 times, which cost me money, I didn’t have. I eventually passed and became certified.

    If you know nursing is what you were called to do, DO IT! There is someone in this world that you will bless in your job.

    Charlene – –

  15. Thanks for sharing. Failing certainly is not the end… some would argue it’s the beginning

  16. Debbie says:

    I know it’s not easy to share something so personal, so thank you! This is very very inspiring!!
    I definitely agree, you can’t let failure stop you from achieving your goals. I try to see failures as an opportunity to learn something and to make necessary improvements. It’s so easy to dwell on the negatives and let it consume you, but good on you for keeping on going despite the many obstacles that you faced. I wish you all the best in pursuing your nursing career 💛

  17. […] I’ve been figuring out what I wanted my next step to be. Like I’ve mentioned in my  Failing Forward post I have encountered several stumbling blocks on my pursuit to my nursing degree. At times […]

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