Making Mistakes, Senior Addition

Ellen Wexler / The Flat Hat

“James, what should I write my blog post on?” I whined, five second ago, to my friend sitting next to me. “Write it about stealing bagels,” he said, without even bothering to take out his headphones. (But I guess I can’t fault him for this because he’s probably listening to Beyoncé.) (Also because I was probably being pretty annoying.)

Senior year is a lot like stealing bagels. Sometimes, you just got to take some chances, shake things up and see what comes of it. Like maybe you apply for a job that you don’t think you’re qualified for, but then you slay the interview, and end up being a real breadwinner. Get it? Because bagels are made of bread?! Okay, that was dumb, and also this is a mostly dumb metaphor, and I’m going to stop using it now — sorry James.

Senior year is a lot like stealing bagels.

But, in all seriousness, senior year, and just college in general, is a time to take risks that you might not otherwise be willing to consider. And while I don’t actually support stealing or breaking the law in general, most of the mistakes that we do make now won’t come back to haunt us in any particularly significant way in the future. In five years, a lot of things that seem so huge and important at this very moment will have long been forgotten.

I make a lot of mistakes. For example, fun fact, when you’re doing informational interviews with people who live across the country, make sure you specify a time and a time zone. Otherwise, somebody (in this case, me) will end up feeling really confused and embarrassed after accidentally waking up a stranger to talk about what it’s like working in event planning in Los Angeles. Luckily, from my experience, people are nice and understanding and won’t necessarily hold little things against you. People make mistakes, and that’s okay.

I make a lot of mistakes.

Although I was definitely completely mortified by my phone call faux pas at the time, I learned from it and got over it. I also did three more interviews, because one embarrassing incident shouldn’t define your entire experience, and also because I really want to get a job in L.A. The point here, however, is that you shouldn’t be terrified of messing up sometimes. It’s okay to be afraid of making mistakes, because this can help you consider things more carefully — for example, it’s great to be conscientious and thorough and on time for an interview. But everyone makes mistakes, and they’re not the end of world when they do happen, so don’t agonize over them as if they are.

I learned from it and got over it.

I think a lot of times, people don’t take chances because they’re afraid of ruining something — they’re afraid of changing a friendship, or of bombing a speech, or of not making an acapella group — or whatever it is. But nobody goes through life without failing at something, and once you accept that, you’ll probably end up succeeding a lot more because you’ll feel confident about trying a lot more.

I think a lot of times, people don’t take chances because they’re afraid of ruining something.

For the next three months, I’m determined to take some chances and to try everything, even if I’m afraid. Starting right now, I’m going to go get an everything bagel instead of a plain one because I’m really hungry, and you’ve got to start somewhere.


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