Throughout life we are taught "Never give up!" and, whilst this has been used as a way to encourage us, I find it quite damaging. Giving up is regarded as a failure and we try our hardest to not give up on anything and believe that 'anything is possible'.
But this isn't always the case. Sometimes it is perfectly acceptable, and in my opinion more responsible, to give up and know when to call it a day.
From a personal perspective, it is this mantra that has caused me the most grief. I often feel that I can't admit defeat because it will look like I can't be bothered to try harder because it is actually achievable when, in reality, it's probably a sinking ship that can't be saved.
I hate the pressure that the fear of giving up gives us. The idea that 'giving up' is a sign of weakness or laziness, or shows you don't try hard enough, is total rubbish. You might put your all into something and it just won't work out. I think it is much more responsible and adult to know when and where to call it quits on something. It is much more mature to decide to end something while it's ok to do so than force yourself into some unnecessary pressure to save something that is going no where.
I've often found myself refusing to give up on something because I'm sure that eventually it will work out but, as Ive gotten older, I've started to think 'when do I stop waiting around for something?' because I could honestly be waiting forever. What's the point in waiting for something you know deep down won't work out or , if it does, won't work out the way you anticipated. It's not fair on yourself.
Since I've allowed myself to give up on some things, I've found my life much more positive. Sure, not everything has worked out how I wanted but by being OK with knowing when it's time to give up I can learn from my mistakes and hopefully learn not to do them again. I feel no guilt in giving up. I don't see it so much as giving up but more of knowing when something is worth fighting for and when it is going to be a wasted effort.
This obviously doesn't apply to every situation. Don't give up on school. Do give up your current method of revising/studying because if you aren't doing well, it's probably the way you are teaching yourself. Give up that method, scrap it, try a new one. Don't give up on uni after being there for two years and you're finding third year hard but do 'give up' uni if you failed the first year because this isn't going to work out is it? Just remember; learn when it's ok to give up and don't feel like a failure if you do 'give up'. It's not a failure at all, it's just a life decision you have to make to move forward. And that's perfectly ok.