MISSOULA – Curry Health Center Wellness at the University of Montana will present a series of events around the theme “Best Fail Ever” during the month of October to raise awareness about the importance of failure and resiliency for college students.
“Often people view failure as a terrible thing, when in reality failure is often an opportunity to learn and grow,” said Linda Green, director of Wellness at Curry Health Center. “Everyone who has ever accomplished something great has also failed along the way. The purpose of the event is to help reframe how we view success and failure.”
A 2015 survey from the Center of Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State showed half of all students who visit counseling services at the nation’s colleges are experiencing anxiety.
The 2016 National College Health Assesment Survey found that 61 percent of UM students reported feeling anxiety during the past year. Eighty-seven percent of UM students reported feeling overwhelmed by all they had to do.
“We want students to know that successful students aren’t the ones who do everything perfectly. Successful students are the ones who ask for help when they are struggling,” Green said. “Successful students are the ones who don’t give up, but keep trying until they get it right. The people we think of as the most successful often had many failures before they succeeded.”
Curry Health Center Wellness will sponsor graffiti boards across campus Oct. 3-6 where students can share their “Best Fail Ever” stories in an anonymous public space. The boards will be set up on campus at the University Center on Monday, Oct. 3; on the Oval on Tuesday, Oct. 4; in the Lommasson Center on Wednesday, Oct. 5; and in the Gallagher Business Building on Thursday, Oct. 6.
On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Curry Health Center will hold its annual Blue Couch event on the Oval from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Curry Health Center staff will be on hand to listen to UM students share their stories, worries or concerns.
Curry Health Center Wellness will partner with artist Jack Metcalf for a “Best Fail Ever” art exhibit at the Real Good Art Space celebrating failure from 8 to 10 p.m., Friday, Oct. 7. In addition to Metcalf, exhibiting artists include Courtney Blazon, Jeff Medley, Marc Moss, Michael Workman and Liz Williams. The campus graffiti boards also will be on display at the event. The Real Good Art Space is located at 1205 Defoe St. in Missoula.
“An essential trait of an artist – or anyone in a creative field – is the ability to cope with rejection. If not, the individual would not have much longevity in their field,” said Metcalf, who is also an adjunct instructor at UM. “Artists truly are innovators and leaders, and they have to be resilient, self-motivated and see their ideas through. I notice in art school academia, the students that really excel are those that embrace criticism with warm open arms.”
Following the public events, the wellness department’s student-run blog, Health Nut (http://healthnut.umt.edu), will continue to feature videos of students, faculty and staff sharing their “Best Fail Ever” stories. All are invited to share #BestFailEver stories online by tagging @curryhealthcenter on Facebook and Instagram or @curryhealth on Twitter.
For more information on “Best Fail Ever” events, call Curry Health Center Wellness at 406-243-6958 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.