During the week of Oct. 4-8, UCA encouraged its students to embrace their failures in their annual Fail Forward Week.

“The first Fail Forward Week was in 2017 as the brainchild of Dr. Julia Winden-Fey (student success), Dr. Amy Baldwin (student transitions) and Dr. Jayme Stone (learning communities), so this is the fifth year,” Honors College Dean Patricia Smith said. “The hope for students on Fail Forward Week is that they are able to recognize that everyone experiences failures and setbacks, but that it is through these lessons that we learn and grow. In a world in which we all share our success stories on social media, but don’t necessarily share all the hard work or failures that come with it, we want students to be open with themselves and each other about what success really looks like.”

This year’s Fail Forward Week consisted of several activities, some lasting the entire week.

The workshops featured during the week gave students tips on how to get through some of the more difficult aspects of college life.

Workshops included topics such as “Test-taking Tips,” “How to Go to Graduate School” and “Decreasing Your Test Anxiety.”

Student Success hosted a table outside of the Student Center offering students “treats and inspiration.”

At the table was Kilee Webb. “I am a senior peer coach for the Office of Student Success, who hosts Fail Forward Week. It is important for us to normalize failures because they are part of the road to success,” Webb said. “If we can encourage people to share their stories about how they grew from failure, then maybe we can inspire others to push through the failures that they might be struggling with.”

Fail Forward Week is sponsored by the Office of Student Success, Schedler Honors College, Learning Communities and Student Transitions.

The annual Majors Fair and the Student Wellness Fair were also hosted as part of the week’s events. 

The Student Wellness Fair was hosted in the HPER Center. Students were able to learn ways to help them keep up their physical, mental and emotional fitness while entering for chances to win prizes.

The Majors Fair was located in the Student Center Ballroom, giving students the option to speak with other students and faculty from each of UCA’s departments. Each table was decorated in a theme of each department’s choosing and was judged in a table decorating contest. The School of Communication won the competition with their Harry Potter-themed table created by Carmen Edington, a visiting lecturer of writing.

More information about Fail Forward Week, along with resources on why failures are important, is located at https://uca.edu/studentsuccess/fail-forward/.

These resources are available throughout the academic year, not only during Fail Forward Week.

Upcoming events hosted by the Office of Student Success include workshops “Improving Your Social Game” on Oct. 14 in Burdick 205, “Personality and Learning Styles” on Oct. 19 over Zoom, and “Becoming a Better Writer” on Oct. 20 over Zoom. The events are hosted during x-period with the exception of “Becoming a Better Writer,” which is from 3 p.m.-4 p.m.

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