17 People Who Failed Their Exams But Still Won At Life

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1. The debt-free genius:

17 People Who Failed Their Exams But Still Won At Life
Comedy Central

“I barely passed high school, but I got a good job in IT after school. Now I make more money than my friends who went to university and I don’t have any student debt.” —yesiiii

2. The hard worker:

17 People Who Failed Their Exams But Still Won At Life
Roc Nation

“I didn’t do well on my high school exams and couldn’t get into university with those scores. I worked full-time for three years and thought about what I really wanted to do. Then I moved to the city, and started a preparation course at my university which got me into a Bachelor of Primary Education. If I hadn’t done it like this I wouldn’t have the life experience or maturity to know what I really wanted to do, the friends I’ve made since starting university, or my amazing boyfriend.” —ksellenger

3. The calculus problem solver:

FOX

“I was on my way to becoming a biology major with hopes of going to optometry school. I had an excellent math background and I was doing well in all subjects, then calculus happened. I got a D in that class and realised I’d never make it as an optometrist. It made me reevaluate my options. I never considered being a teacher before, and now I’m a first year at an amazing elementary school. I’m so glad I never got calculus.” —jb2937

4. The med school miracle:

NBC

“I failed an exam in my first year of medical school because I started having severe symptoms of a chronic illness. I was worried I’d have to take out more loan money, and retake the class or the entire year. I was allowed to retake the exam a few months later and I got a 92%. It didn’t affect my career goals at all. It made me stronger, helped me develop a better support network, and has made me a more empathetic physician and person.” — heymeg

5. The non-exam taker:

17 People Who Failed Their Exams But Still Won At Life
Columbia Pictures

“I had to take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) as part of my admission application to graduate school. I don’t believe that the GRE is a good measurement of how successful a future educator will be, so I decided to not take the test. I still had to sit the test to complete my application so I just didn’t answer any of the questions. To make up for it, I submitted a research paper explaining why the test isn’t a good measure of a candidate’s potential. I was accepted and I’m now a graduate student.” —adryennep

6. The new school lover:

Disney

“I failed chemistry and science. I had to repeat the year, so I decided to switch schools and start fresh. At my new school I met my absolutely perfect future husband. Oh, and I got my MA with almost straight A’s.” —joannak4799eaf8f

7. The student-turned-teacher:

Buena Vista Pictures

“In year 11 I was kicked out of home by my abusive mother and began to suffer from heavy depression and anxiety. I had always done well in school but I began to fail during my HSC (Higher School Certificate) when it really mattered. I ended up getting into university through an alternative program and I have a Bachelors, two graduation certificates, and a Masters. At 25, I now work for a university too!” —cassandrag4

8. The summer fun watcher:

FOX

“In my third year of med school, I failed my theory exam and had to retake it. I spent my entire summer studying while everyone else enjoyed themselves. I studied hard and passed. I feel like the initial failure was a catapult to success, it made me seriously reevaluate and reconstruct my study habits. Oh, and I’m now a doctor and finished medical school in the top 10 of my class.” —imzb53

9. The legal dad:

CBS

“My dad dropped out of high school at 16, after his mum died and his dad kicked him out. He lived on his own for a year and worked at a frame shop before deciding to make up his credits at a local community college. He went to university to get a pre-law degree, and then on to law school where he graduated first in his class. As you can tell I’m very proud of my dad.” —coolcoolcoolana

10. The worry-free worker:

Comedy Central

“I didn’t do well in high school and I didn’t receive any college scholarships. I couldn’t afford to go without one, and while I was bitter at first, I just decided to get a retail job. I realised that all my coworkers had degrees, and that they weren’t the ticket into the middle-class like they used to be. I’m making the same amount as them, but the difference is I don’t have 20 years worth of loans to repay. Maybe I’ll go to college someday when it’s cheaper and I know exactly what to do with my life, but for now I’m having a great time living with no debt.” —notthatplatypus

11. The pro photographer:

E!

“I failed all my higher exams and didn’t get into university to study politics. I thought I failed at life. I then decided to go to college and study photography, which was only a hobby at the time. A year later, I’m getting booked to do photo shoots and also have a job as a youth worker helping kids. It’s better than being a politician!” —naomia48eb06a24

12. The third time charmer:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

“The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is supposed to mirror what you’ll achieve in your first year as a law student. A score above 155 will usually secure a student a spot in a rather OK school. I took the LSAT for the maximum of three times. The first time I got 139, the second a 142, and the third a 150. I’m now in my third year of law school in NY at an amazing school with a respectable GPA (Grade Point Average). You shouldn’t give up hope, because the impossible can be achieved.” —riversf

13. The technical artist:

Paramount

My PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) scores were so low I had to go through technical stream schooling instead of college. The stigma around technical schools are that they’re for people that are too dumb to go anywhere else. At technical school my passion for digital media was ignited and I learnt the majority of my necessary design software knowledge. After technical school I was accepted to a prestigious art school where I graduated with Honours. Now I’m an art director in a digital agency.” —alyssarxc

14. The non-medical helper:

NBC

“For two years in pre-med I was failing my classes, so I went to the doctor and found out I had ADHD, anxiety, and depression. After another pre-med semester I realised it wasn’t something I could not achieve, so I decided to switch to public health. I’m currently a program manager assisting homeless people to find housing and employment. Switching majors was probably the best decision I ever made because I found out you can still help those in need without having to become a doctor.” —Genesisgonzalez27

15. The language lover:

NBC

“I stressed out so much about exams, and crashed and burned when it came to actually sitting them. I was still able to get into university and discovered my love for languages. Now I live overseas and teach English for a living.” —teash49

16. The late comer:

17 People Who Failed Their Exams But Still Won At Life
CBS

“During my freshman year of college I went to the library to study for my Tuesday biology final. As I was studying, I saw that my exam was on a Thursday not a Tuesday, meaning I had missed it. A missed final meant an automatic F for the exam, which resulted in an F for the semester. I appealed to everyone to no avail, and they offered no help or alternatives. So I decided I wanted a fresh start and applied to a better school and was accepted on the same day. I rocked it at my new school. My GPA started over, I made the dean’s list multiple times, and graduated with honours. An F is never the end!” —whodatv504

17. The dog queen:

17 People Who Failed Their Exams But Still Won At Life
Bravo

“College was difficult for me and I barely graduated with a 2.0 GPA. After college, that GPA looked horrible on my resume and I couldn’t get a job in my field. I gave up on looking and took a temporary job as a dog groomer while I figured myself out. Turns out I’m a fantastically skilled groomer so I started my own grooming business. I now have so many clients that I’m turning them away at my door, I set my own hours, and I make way more money than I ever would have with my degree.” —angies43991b35a

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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