Suppose this just happened. You've just failed to get into your university of choice. Imagine you are one of these two people:
You're a very intelligent person. All throughout your life, good grades have come to you with very little effort and through this, you've become slack with your work. You want the place at this university, but you don't want it so much that you'll make a serious change in your working life to get it. You've not put in much time and yet what you want has still come easily until you. Until now. Suddenly, the work is much harder than you remember it being but, old habits dying hard, you're still not putting in enough effort. You think you can do it all at the last minute so you keep waiting until a few days before the exam. Then you realise that the mountain you've presented yourself with is much too large for someone of even your intelligence - you simply can't handle it. You fail the exam and you've not been able to get where you want to be, not because of any sort of lack of intelligence, but because you were not dedicated enough to using your ability. Although you are very capable, your confidence in your abilities and your slack work ethic have led to you not being where you know you should be.
You aren't an intelligent person and you know that you have to work hard to reach your goals. Through hard work you've found that you can just about achieve what you need to move forward, but the content this time is more difficult. You want the place at this university more than anything to date in your educational life and you work harder than you could have ever imagined working for this goal but, despite the endless hours of study, you still find yourself struggling to keep up. The content you're trying to handle is simply too much for you and, despite your best efforts, you are unable to understand all of it. Come the exam, you do not get the grades you need and the university does not accept you. Although you pushed yourself as much as you possibly can, you still failed the exam. You were the best you could be, but you are simply not good enough.
So basically - which of these situations would you feel worse being in? The more intelligent person who did too little work, or the less intelligent person who worked hard but couldn't handle the task? Why? Have you ever been in, or known someone in, either of these situations?
My first year of college was the first scenario in a nutshell and it was not pleasant at all, but I can safely say that I'd choose that again as opposed to the other one. It's one thing to just let yourself slip knowing that you have the ability to pick yourself up, but it would hurt so much more if you constantly did your best only to realize that your best still wasn't meeting the standard.
As of this moment I'm in #1. I'm just too lazy to begin this years work. I've still got 2 weeks...I suppose that's just me...but I don't know. At times I know I could have put a lot more effort into my studies, especially because I've proven to myself I'm capable of doing well. This year though I plan to be the 3Ds. Diligent, Disciplined and Determined.
I can relate very strongly to #1 and I can vouch for the fact that it's totally devastating to come to the realisation that you are better than what you've let yourself become. You look around at people who are where you should be and you feel like you've completely wasted several years of life and are so far behind that to even think of catching up fills you with anger.
Having said that, even though I can't relate to it, I think #2 would be worse. To know that you are your best and you are still not good enough is to know that you've progressed exactly as far in life as you are ever going to. In #1 you at least have options. They're self-esteem crushing options, but they're options.
The first situation. It relates to me a lot. I regret not working harder and for slacking off a lot last year during my studies. I know how it feels because I've felt it very recently.
As for the second situation... I can't really tell as I don't think I've been in that situation before.. Well, maybe only during my piano exams, but that isn't related to university lol, so no. But I know that feeling too.
So...if I had to choose which situation I would feel worse in, it would have to be...the second one. I've tried my very best, but failed, short by only 5 marks. Happened many times. It feels terrible. Ugh.
I don't relate to either because I'm not particularly intelligent or unintelligent and I have a firm grasp of my workload.
I'd certainly imagine scenario #2 is worse than the first, because in the first scenario you know that you didn't put the effort in and that's why you didn't get in to the University, you only have yourself to blame. In the second scenario you tried and more importantly you put everything into it and spent a long time preparing for it and then you just couldn't do it, it would be far far worse to know that even your best isn't enough to get you where you want to be and I'd be far more devastated to be in that situation, and well, I doubt it would be great for your self esteem to know even after all that you couldn't pass the hurdle.
Well, number 1 basically describes me to T... except that I did get into the university I wanted (both of them actually, since I ended transferring after a semester). I realized sometime between the end of high school and the start of college that life won't solve my problems for me, and there isn't anyone looking out for me but me, and have put forth a lot more effort as of late than I used to. That said, the second one would be much more devasting to me, because it means that I've reached my limit. I can never achieve what I want, and there is absolutely no way to surpass where I am right now in that situation. I hope never to face a situation like that.
Number two. At least I can say I gave it my best. I hate idling and I hate sloth. If people do nothing and expect to pass with "talent" alone, they don't have any of my respect. Some people just don't have the capacity for intelligence, but let's put it this way: I rather hire someone who cares about their job than someone who gives a half-hearted effort.
You know your failings with #2, and you learn more from failing. With #1 it is like you can never truly improve yourself.
Actually, the only class I had problems with, It's grammar and all these things. So...the worse one is the first one. Because you had the ability to do it, but you where too lazy. That may happen to me cause sometimes I'm lazy to even pick the phone that's ringing...It's boring, when I was 4 to 6 I always had to do it. the better one is the 2nd one since you tried your best.
I can easily relate to #1, but #2 is by far the worse scenario, and it brings my "what if" situation true because no matter how much you tried your best, life will be cruel to you and not give you what you wanted thus shattering all of your hopes and dreams and convert to Nihlism.