While I like to showcase my success here, it has not all been plain sailing. Behind the scenes, I fail in so many things I try. So alongside my success, I also want to make my failures visible; they are part of my progress. Through those failures, I have developed a thicker skin, and become grittier at trying.

Inspired by Johannes HausHofer’s ‘CV of Failures’, here’s an abbreviated list of the things I put much effort into, but didn’t work out in my favour.

DEGREE PROGRAMMES I DID NOT GET INTO

  • DPhil in Psychology (2019)
    University of Oxford
  • PhD in Psychology (2018)
    University of Cambridge
  • MPhil in Psychology (2013)
    University of Cambridge
  • BA Creative Writing (1999)
    Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines)

JOBS I DID NOT GET

Too many to mention, but these are the ones that stand out from memory, because I really wanted them.

 

  • Mature Students Representative
    Edinburgh University Students’ Association
    2021
  • Social Media Manager
    Association of Accounting Technicians
    2018
  • Social Media Manager
    BBC
    2017
  • Assistant Psychologist
    A psychology practice in Essex
    2013
  • Crew Member
    McDonald’s (Philippines)
    1999

SKILLS I DID NOT LEARN

  • I had lots of driving lessons (six different driving instructors), but I never learned how to drive. In 2020, I finally gave up.
  • I don’t know how to ride a bike either.
  • I tried to learn French. C’est trop pour moi.
  • I sometimes lack diplomatic skills. Some of the interviews I did for the DRH Show were never uploaded because they were a disaster.

PAPER REJECTIONS FROM ACADEMIC JOURNALS

They’re probably in the hundreds, but these are the ones on top of my head:

 

  • International Journal of Psychology and Education Studies
  • Psychological Studies

SPEAKING OPPORTUNITIES

I sent proposals to these but never heard back:

 

  • 2021. Webinar on mental health hosted by the Department of Psychology, De La Salle University (Philippines)
  • 2017. I proposed to co-host a conference with the School of Arts and Sciences, Lyceum of the Philippines University
  • 2017. I proposed to co-host a conference with the Department of Psychology, Polytechnic University of the Philippines

COMPETITIONS AND AWARDS I DID NOT WIN

  • 2021: Go Abroad Fund for Virtual Experiences
  • 2021. 3MT Association of Psychological Science
  • 2021. 3MT University of Edinburgh
  • 2020. Online Influence Awards
  • 2019. National Diversity Awards
  • 2017. Independent Social Research Foundation
  • 2006. I never graduated with honours at university.
  • 1999. In spite of studying diligently, I never became a class valedictorian in high school.
  • I applied at countless TED Talks, but nobody wants me.

UNPUBLISHED ARTICLES

I sent articles to these publications, but my pieces were never published:

 

  • Edutopia
  • Heterodox Academy
  • Philippine Daily Inquirer
  • Psychology Today
  • Quillette
  • spiked
  • TES
  • The Guardian
  • UnHerd

THE BOTTOM LINE

Rejections are a part of life and proof of being creative, driven, and stubborn. They continue to inspire me to translate mess-ups into opportunity and learning.