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Pinay Teacher Shares Her Inspiring Story of Failure in College

Whenever the month of March had entered, students were reminded of the graduation hymn, the marching and handing over of diplomas. For some students, excitement is what they usually feel, but it is not the case for the others.

College is a whole lot tougher than in high school. Most of them survive through numerous sleepless nights of studying, however sometimes it is just not enough. There are still a lot of students who often failed their exams, and worse, their subjects. A few of them gets depressed, but it is wonderful to see students standing up to every downfall.

Just like this aspiring Mathematics and Science Pinay teacher, Aimee Chavez Octaviano who went through a lot of hardships before finally receiving her diploma.

On the afternoon of March 4, she posted her inspiring stories which had reached thousand of reactions and shares.

This is a long post.

To those who feel down because of failing exams… this is my story.

Photo: Aimee Chavez Octaviano

The first picture was taken during the summer before my 2nd year in college, 2013. My family and I visited the National Museum and I took a selfie with the displayed sablay which we, UP students, wear on graduation day. Little did I know that the coming school year would be the hardest I would ever have in my college life and our family’s lives in general since we lost tatay that year in September.

My freshman year came by swiftly. Being a really sensitive person, I had a hard time adjusting to living in a dormitory away from my family. (We’re living in Quezon City but I studied in UP Los Baños, Laguna). I went through high school in FEU Diliman not doing my best, content in just a passing mark. That’s why in freshman year of college, I experienced a lot of firsts (mostly crying lol). First time crying because of waking up late and missing my class since there was no one to wake me up anymore, crying because of feeling homesick, crying because of my first time failing an exam.

When I first failed an exam, I called my mom crying and she said “Ano ba ‘yan Aimee, iniiyakan mo yan? Exam lang ‘yan. I know you can do better” and those words kept me going for three more years. I passed all my subjects in the first year.

Second year college came and boom! First semester, I failed Bio30 Genetics (IT WAS REALLY HARD FOR ME) and Chem40 Organic Chemistry (passed Chem16 and 17, they were easy but 40… huhu). Again, I cried. But I knew it was my fault. It was a fact that the courses were hard but it was also a fact that I did not do my best. Second semester I passed Bio30 finally (yey) but still failed Chem40. On both tries I was under great professors which made the course a lot harder but it’s not right to put the blame on them. It was all my fault.

Before entering third year college, I promised myself I would do better. Not just for myself but for my family especially my parents who constantly work hard for our studies. I looked at my course curriculum and the only way to graduate on time was to file for overload for the next semesters and waive subjects which had prerequisite subjects I haven’t taken up yet and take midyear classes. So I did.

There were actually people who told me “Overload? Hindi mo kakayanin yan.” “Ang hihirap ng subjects na kukunin mo” “Ay nako natry ko na yan believe me susuko ka rin, babagsak ka”

I had no vacation from studying since the start of third year. I took midyear classes. I passed Chem40 on my third take. Passed all my other math, chem, bio, and physics subjects. Did well on my student-teaching courses and on my research (SP). The road wasn’t easy! I still cried a lot of times especially on the last few months before graduation! But I strived hard for that sweet sablay.

And here I am now, teaching mathematics and science to my students.

Do not be afraid of failure. Do not be ashamed of it, even. I am proud of myself for defeating my worst enemy which is myself.

We shouldn’t degrade those who fail. We shouldn’t in any way make them feel bad about themselves. We do not know what they are going through and each individual has their own way of learning. I understand that more now as an educator. We all learn in our own way, at our own pace.

Never let your failure define you. Cliché but true. Never let your failure make you lose track of your dreams and aspirations. You’re on the right track. FAILURES ARE PART OF YOUR JOURNEY. USE THEM TO MAKE YOURSELF STRONGER. FAILURES ONLY MEAN YOU HAVE ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT!

Always remember that you have your family, friends and teachers who love you unconditionally and will never stop supporting you! (Thank youuu! And thank YOU LORD!)

“Bumagsak ako” that’s okay.

As long as it is followed by “Mas gagalingan ko pa sa susunod” 🙂 When there are students who fail I tell them what I have learned in college not so that they would repeat my mistakes but to let them view failures in a different perspective and make them strive harder in the next quizzes or exams because I know they can do it. 🙂

I would like to end this post with this quote, “You only fail when you stop trying”.

Photo: Aimee Chavez Octaviano

She had truly become an inspiration for those students who are struggling to pass every exam and subject that they were facing. She also left a lot of inspiring words every student needs, and her pieces of advice easily got tattooed in netizens’ minds to keep them motivated to finish their studies.


Octaviano taught the millenials that there is always a road which will lead to success.

Written by Reese Barcelon

Reese was an online novelist way back 2011. She began her voyage with a pen and paper in hand, which advanced into a laptop after some time. Living in a fictional world with the books she read and dramas she watched gave her solace and became her happy pill.

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