Learning From Your Mistakes


Image Credited Tori D.

Mistakes are a part of life but to move on, you have to learn from them.

Everyone makes mistakes, right? We’ve all done something we regret that we wish we could go back and change. And some mistakes are bigger than others. But the only way to truly learn from a mistake is to acknowledge it and move on.

One assignment in Language Arts required our class to complete an AR test that was due every three weeks. I cheated on that AR test. At the time, I felt like it was my only option. The due date was approaching and I didn’t know if I had already completed a test. I had procrastinated and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish in time. So I resorted to asking a classmate for help. He used my Chromebook and took the test for me. I felt relieved, yet simultaneously regretful because I knew what I did was wrong.  Little did I know that the consequences were soon to come.

When the hammer fell, I couldn’t grasp how disappointed everyone was. Eventually, I came to understand that my teachers legitimately cared about me, which was why they were so discouraged. They wanted me to understand that I could do better, and that I should have done things on my own without cheating. Their disappointment helped me recognize that they were only trying to set me up for success and teach a lesson that I would need in 8th grade and beyond.

Because this was the first time I’d ever gotten in significant trouble, I felt insanely guilty. I had taken advantage of another classmate for my own sake. Not only was it guilt – I also felt their disappointment. Disappointment from my teachers, friends, peers and family. One choice impacted several relationships. That regret weighed on my heart.

But one phrase from a teacher stood out, “I would rather have you make this mistake now than in high school or college.” Her words stuck as they showed me that this was only one choice of several that I will likely grow from in my lifetime. But I couldn’t let it define me. I wouldn’t let it define who I am. I wrestled with the fear that this mistake would be the end of what I’d worked so hard to accomplish at Day Creek. But instead, I chose to learn from it and change myself for the better.

There is grace in being honest about our dents and flaws. I’ve learned to move on and remember that one incident isn’t the end of the world. Yes, it was embarrassing for me, but it’s better to grow from an isolated mistake and sacrifice a little dignity in an effort to be a better, stronger me.