Failure Competition Finalist Three

It is time to select the winner of this semester’s learning from failure competition. We have selected three finalists. We will feature one of them each of the next three days and then have a vote on Thursday to pick a winner. Last semester we had over 800 votes. The winner should be the story that inspired you the most and gave you the best insight into what failure teaches about success. Thanks to all the participated! The winner will get a letter from me about their story to show potential employers. Here is the third entry:

Haley Huitt

Before I became a student at UCF I was a student at a smaller college a couple hours away. I wanted to get my AA degree there and then transfer to UCF afterwards. Back then I used to push myself to the limit. I had two jobs and on top of that was going to school full time. I also had a boyfriend and a dog to keep happy. It never seemed to catch up to me. I was indestructible. I ignored the fact that I was losing sleep and harming my health.

After I finished my AA Degree I moved to Orlando. I don’t know how but the next thing I know I had two jobs and was signed up for two classes at UCF. I didn’t know what UCF classes were like so I only took two to be on the safe side. My restaurant employer asked if I would be able to handle this huge work load. I said of course, not a problem! I was used to it. I would work from 5:30am to 2pm at that job and then rush home to let my dog outside. Then I would go to my second job from 3pm to 9pm. Eventually, I fell behind in my classes. These classes were so much more intense than the classes back home. I kept telling my restaurant employer that I couldn’t work as many hours. Initially, I was told that I would only be working 32 hours a week. However, they were working me about 50 hours a week and on top of that were working me like a dog. I had not one, not two, but six positions because the company was short staffed. They didn’t allow me to have a break because usually I was the only one working. I would be so exhausted from that job that I would be fighting to stay awake at my other job. After a while, the manager wouldn’t schedule someone to relieve me until 5pm. So basically I was stuck there until 5. They didn’t care that I had a second job and most importantly, lectures to watch. Honestly, I just left at 2pm most days and left the restaurant empty. I wanted to quit both jobs so badly but I couldn’t. The second shift job hired me first and I felt that I had to be loyal to that company, especially since they needed the extra help. I definitely couldn’t quit the restaurant job because I was making so much money. In the end, I got really sick and had to go to the hospital. I had to quit both jobs and was unable to pay my bills. I had to stay home for a few months just so I could recover. I didn’t think I was ever going to find a job and be able to finish school. This was a personal failure to me because I couldn’t be perfect and do everything I wanted. It was really hard for me to get over.

The first lesson here is to not push yourself to the extreme. My health issues from the last few years have progressed tremendously. It has made a huge impact on my daily activities. I am constantly in and out of the doctor’s office because I didn’t take care of myself. School has always been my main priority, but in some cases it can’t always be. It doesn’t matter if you graduate with a 4.0 if you are constantly sick. After calling off work or going home early from your job too many times will cause you to lose your job. I may not be graduating on time but I am finally getting there! The second lesson I’ve learned is to not settle for a crummy job. If your employer is running you into the ground you should not have to put up with it. Something good will come along eventually. No one deserves to be treated the way I was at my job in the restaurant. My advice is to have some respect for yourself and to never give up! Something good will come along eventually. Even though it took a little time, I found a great job where I have started to grow with. I’ve already been promoted and will be promoted again after I graduate! Patience is the key to success!


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