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Ryan D. ’23 on Not Being Afraid to Fail

Ryan D. ’23 has spent his most formative years as a student at The Hun School, enrolling when he was just eleven years old. In his seven years as a student here, he reflects on how the School has shaped him into the young man he is today. While he recalls countless memories, laughs, or lessons learned, there is one invaluable lesson that sticks out to him: “Hun has taught me to never be afraid to fail.” 

Whether it be on the lacrosse field, during NextTerm, or what feels like an impossible calculus quiz, Ryan is a firm believer that failing makes you stronger. 

“I can recall a few moments where this was true during my time at Hun,” Ryan said. “When I came to Hun in Middle School, I specifically remember sitting things out and not participating because I was scared of failing or being wrong. I quickly learned that Hun is a place that pushes you out of your comfort zone in the best way possible and gives you opportunities to grow as a student and individual. I’ve learned that it is okay to fail, because you will learn something about yourself and you will grow.” 

Ryan’s favorite memories during his time at Hun revolve around moments where new and exciting opportunities were at the forefront of the experience, whether battling to take home an MCT title on the lacrosse field or hiking through national parks across the country during NextTerm. He looks back on his time as a student and acknowledges the many snapshots of both academic and personal growth. He has learned to seek out those moments of exploration and potential failure, rather than hide from them. So much so, for his capstone experience, Ryan took a flight to Europe to study the effects of World War I and II with a group of friends who he has bonded with over their love for history discovered through their  ‘WWII In The Global Context’ course. 

“My time at Hun has just been really fun,” he said. “I’m really going to miss the people I’ve met and the special community of this place. During my time, I’ve got to witness physical changes and growth to campus, the addition of NextTerm, and so much more; there has always been something for me to look forward to during my time as a student.” 

Next year, Ryan will be playing lacrosse at Washington & Lee University where he will major in accounting and finance. 

His parting advice for incoming students? You guessed it. “Don’t ever fear failure. I know I keep saying it but it has been a big part of my own experience here.”