“Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to error that counts.” – Nikki Giovanni. Life is about making mistakes. This is an essential part of life and it is how we grow and learn in our everyday lives. It is okay to make mistakes because they change us for the better. But that only works when we take the time to fix it. Someone who does not learn from their mistakes is a person who does not learn at all.
The strongest people, despite their setbacks, tend to have the biggest comebacks. Fixing it is the part that counts and makes a difference. I learned from my mistake when I decided I did not need to study for an exam. This is the mistake that has made the biggest impact on my life. Among all of the mistakes I have made, this one had the biggest impact. It happened my second year of college. I was taking Anatomy and Physiology and our first exam was coming up.
This exam was on material that we should have learned in the course before this one.
So, this exam was a recap of the previous course. Although I passed the last course with a B, I did not pay attention to any of the information being taught. So because I passed that class, I thought I would do just fine on this exam. I figured if I “looked” over the material, it would be sufficient. Exam day is here and I am feeling ok about it.
During the exam, I am completely lost because everything looks foreign. I have no idea of what is going on, so I hope I guess the correct answer. I finished the exam and I turn it in. I did not feel like I failed, I honestly did not feel anything. After the exam, the class went to the lab where we worked in our lab manuals. Our instructor, Dr. Ellison, sent out an email saying she graded the exams and they are posted. I had no clue that she would grade them so fast. I did not even have time to mentally prepare myself for the grade I could have possibly gotten. After reading the email, I immediately went to go see what I made on the exam. My heart began to race and then, it dropped. I made 65% on my first exam in Anatomy. I was devastated. I could not believe I failed the exam. For the rest of the class I was quiet and I thought about what happened. When class was over with, I left. On my way home I cried and cried because I was hurt and deep down, I was embarrassed. When I got home I told my parents about the test. This made everything worse.
So now, I am getting a lecture from my parents and I feel terrible. I knew I did not study and my parents knew it too. As much as I did not want to hear what they were saying, they were right. I did not study because I did not care, I was wasting my time, and I was not thinking about my future. After having that talk with my parents, I had a talk with myself. I sat down and thought, “What am I doing?” “Am I going to school to waste my time?” And so many other questions crossed my mind. But, at that moment I realized I am trying to get somewhere in life. Not studying may seem like is not a big deal, but it is. That just shows my lack of maturity and my thinking is all wrong. So I decided to change and better myself. I am going to work hard, I am going to learn, and I am going to be the best that I can be. Since making that mistake, I have made an effort to be better. I made time to study for every exam and I did it every day. No one likes studying because it is hard and it is boring, but you have to do it. And the more you do it, the easier it gets. I decided to go above and beyond to right this wrong. When I found out the date of our next exam, I started studying that day. Our exam was in two weeks, but I did not want to wait to study, I needed every day to count. Every day I studied day and night. I even got together with a few of my classmates and formed a study group. I studied so much that I had nothing else to study. Now, I was reviewing my notes every day and listening to my instructor’s online lectures.
Finally, the two weeks have gone by, it is exam say, and I feel great! Sitting down to take the exam felt extremely different this time. This time I was prepared and it felt good. I understood everything and answered the questions with ease. After going over my answers one last time, I turned in the exam. I decided to wait after the exam was over with to see my score, so I waited in the hallway with some of the people from my study group. While we waited, we discussed our answers. Class ended, so we met our instructor in the lab where she would be showing us our score. As Dr. Ellison started handing back the exam papers, my heart began to race just like the last time. Looking at my score, I realized that because I did not make the same mistake, I went from a 65% on the first exam to 96% on the second one. In the end, life is about making mistakes and learning from them. The best thing to do when we make a mistake is to fix it. When a mistake is made, we take responsibility, learn from it, and grow, even if it is a small one. That is why it is ok to make mistakes.
When I look back, I think about how much I have grown since fixing the mistake. I think about how I have made the decision to do things differently now and how I prevent the same mistake from happening again. The way I prevented it from happening again was by simply studying and working hard for the next exam. I am the person I am today because I corrected a mistake. A mistake that does not seem like a big deal to most people, but it had a huge impact on my life.