Failure is not the end

The librarians' licensure examination results were released this Monday. Some passed, some didn't. If you didn't, this may be a difficult time. You have the right to feel disappointment and regret, but don't stay there. See this as an opportunity to assess yourself and know your weaknesses. Give yourself time but don't be stagnant. Keep moving. 

I am a (new) teacher and taught for the review classes, and before I started I gave a presentation on Board exam tips. I emphasized that for the review, you must be realistic about your own abilities. Visualize success, but always keep in mind that the board exam is a test of analysis and a game of chance - we can't predict the questions and there are only two outcomes: you either pass or fail. You must accept that there will always be the chance of failing.

Though, we see failure as something negative, especially regarding exams and grades but its a matter of perspective - sometimes failure can also teach us important things. This is a quote I shared with students from How to Study by George Fillmore Swain (a very helpful book on studying, you can download it for free at Project Gutenberg): 
You should delight in discovering difficulties which give you an opportunity to test and increase your strength and so avoid future errors. In the same way, examinations should be welcomed, not dreaded. The teacher does not mark you—you mark yourself; the teacher merely records the mark. Even if you fail in the examination, that should indicate to you what you lack, and so be a benefit. Indeed, it is better to fail than to scrape through. There must be a line somewhere. The man just above the line passes, and the man just below the line fails. The former may not be as capable as the latter, but, having passed, he does not remedy his faults; while the man who has failed is required to remedy his.
Assess yourself and if you want to take the board again, good! Now, you have more time and know what you need to focus on the next time you take it. You have lessons learned and now know the mistakes you need to correct. Work on understanding the concepts again and study enough to regain your confidence. Many people passed the exam the second time and even after many times of trying and failing. 

Though, you should ask yourself too if this is what you really want. Do you feel as if you were just pushed into something you actually didn't want to do? If you dread it and hate it, then maybe it's time to think of other possible careers. Life is short to do what we don't love to do anyway.

If you plan to take it again, pray for it. I encourage you to do so because our country needs more professionals and having a license opens up more opportunities for you. Some LIS students have told me that they are still deciding if they want to take the board or not, or whether to pursue librarianship. My advice for them always is to take the board and pass it. Even if you think you don't want this kind of work now, your LIS degree would be a waste if you don't at least try for the license. Even if you eventually decide not to be a librarian, at least you have a professional license and you can still get a job and have something to "fall back" on in case other things don't work out. Librarianship is challenging, but never boring. Keep praying, keep going. 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

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