Laura Coletti | Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I feel bad for people who have it easy all the time.
I might sound crazy, but it’s true. If I could have a perfect life or a life full of mistakes, I’d take the latter in a heartbeat.
Mistakes are fun. Mistakes make life interesting. Mistakes are good to learn from. And if variety is the spice of life, well, consider mistakes crushed red pepper; you’d never eat it on its own, but it definitely gives your food more flavor.
Mistakes are certainly essential to making the most of college. Not that there is anything wrong with the kids who know that they want to be doctors from day one and then, in fact, become doctors. Personally, though, I got a really worthwhile experience from the roundabout path I took to becoming a finance major. And guess what? I don’t even want to work in financial services. I want to work in public relations. That’s another thing mistakes are good for – learning what you want through discovering what you don’t want.
Mistakes teach lessons. Over my collegiate career, mistakes have allowed my outlook on social life to shift from “I’m doing this because norms say I should” to “I’m doing what I feel comfortable with, and if people think less of me because of it, that’s their loss.” Those are some of my favorite lessons from mistakes, because they’ve led to the absolutely wonderful group of friends I have today. Mistakes help you figure out the people you really want to stick around and who you’re better off without.
Mistakes make you better. Maybe it’s just my competitive nature, but few things irk me more than not being as good as other people at something I care about. Without ever experiencing failure, where would our competitive drive come from?
At the risk of sounding parental, mistakes build character. They help you realize things about the world around you as well as things about yourself. And believe me, life is a lot easier if you can learn to laugh at yourself.
We’re all at a point in our lives that is concentrated by very high growth – socially, academically and perhaps spiritually. Mistakes facilitate growth, and that’s healthy. Nobody should be embarrassed by mistakes, unless they make the same ones over and over again.
This is the prime of our lives. Let’s take risks, let’s dare to be different and let’s not be afraid of mistakes. They’re inevitable, so let us accept them as a positive instead of fearing them as a negative. There are countless clichÃ©s, sayings and songs about mistakes; take them to heart. You will be better off.
Perfection is overrated, anyway.