17 Jul 2020
In the pits of self-shame and failure
It sucks to fail. It really does.
The feeling of failing has never settled well with me. Maybe it's the fact I thought I liked challenging myself and maybe I exaggerated it a bit. Well the Masters degree was a challenge and yet I failed to accomplish the challenge.
After four years of dragging my UDSM Masters degree dissertation for far too long, the university has finally made me swallow the bitter pill of being discontinued. Its funny when you're a student you definitely know being discontinued is the end result of not finishing your research for a Master's degree course but we somehow feel like a miracle might happen and get the degree without it. When I opened the email notification on my phone and read through the announcement I felt a sharp knife like feeling in my stomach accompanied by gastric pains I now always feel when I get anxious. The feeling of receiving bad news perhaps of a loved one. But this hits differently because it was eventually to be expected if anyone doesn't finish their research on allocated time.
But how did I get here? I honestly don't have a particular answer. I will take a large portion of the failure share, let's say 70% and give 30% to the university. I need to take full responsibility for this. I can give a couple reasons of course but oneself is always embarrassed to admit to being lazy. I caused this, I was lazy, not bold enough to challenge my research topic, to challenge my supervisor's unavailability, got caught up with life and new jobs, not correcting my work on time, supervisor going on sabbatical, the cumbersome process of submitting corrections etc. The list goes on and on. I am trying my best not shift the blame on the bureaucratic nature of UDSM and supervisors but it played a large part. The fact that you can't even email your supervisor corrections as you've to print hard copies and deliver them physically is just one hell of a reason to have someone curse out the whole cumbersome process.
How does one process failing to accomplish something that was in your means to attain all along? I mean I have had a good academic track record I just didn't finish this. The thoughts of this defeat takes me through a dark pit of self pity and regrets. I will try to take myself through self forgiveness for wasting years of own resources, time and energy that I will never get back. Just allowing myself to take it up as a challenge in life and lesson learnt. I need to let go. I need to find solitude in the fact that I took the coursework and did well so if it's the knowledge, well I got it! I just don't have the certificate to swing around in the corporate world because I didn't finish my dissertation. What I need for now is to bombard myself with other simple accomplishments that can help me overcome shame and self embarrassment. Maybe set Aaliyah's "Try again" as my ring tone for a couple of months and rereading Love without conditions by Paul Ferrini while I try to solve my mess. There's no excuse for not working hard enough, NONE!
Maybe this is the one big negative I need to turn into a positive. As the best TV dad Jack Pearson would say "There is no lemon so sour you can't make something resembling lemonade". All I know is I need to make a deliberate and conscious effort to challenge myself to try again. As to when that will happen I don't know but it better be soon while I can still channel this energy. FIRST, let's try to appeal the decision of the university senate and see what happens.
P.S I didn't fail, I just didn't finish (still trying to console myself but as the new age would say "nobody ain’t got time for that")
First time writer,
A highly motivated young professional looking to inspire and create meaningful conversations.
By Faith Leshabari on 17 Jul 2020
Join #TheMovement Now
Empower helps millions of job seekers and employers find the right fit every day. Start hiring now on Africa’s #1 job site.*Become a Mover