Some things that the majority of people know are: you go to math class to figure out what those weird “number” things mean, you go to cooking seminars to understand how to cook more proficiently and you drink rich chocolaty chocolate Ovaltine because… well it’s rich, chocolaty goodness. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that, in most cases, you make mistakes in order to learn. If people did not learn from the mistakes they have made, how far would we be today as a civilized species? But, learning from your mistakes goes much deeper than just a way of scientific reasoning. Sometimes it means seeing that you made a mistake or even accepting that you were wrong. This is something that you can only do on a personal level.
Back in a small Washington town, in a little known high school, I attended my freshman and sophomore years of high school. Maybe “attended” is the wrong word, more like failed. I failed everything I could get my hands on, and I did not just fail, I actually skipped about two days a week, received nearly no credits, and racked-up more behavioral referrals than anyone I knew. I even got to the point where I was getting caught with alcohol at school! Hard to believe that I am the same student who, in the third grade, achieved a score in the ninety-nine percentile on a statewide standardized math test. In fact, growing up I was praised for my exceeding intelligence. I was constantly being assigned work designed for children much older than me, and easily passing it. That did not last long. Around the end of fifth grade I began to lose interest in what my teachers and siblings were telling me. With my parents divorced before I was half way through elementary school, few examples of people with higher education, and more responsibilities than most teenagers, I had every excuse in the world to fail. And I did, in almost every class. All I could think was, “Nothing drastic is going to happen…at least not today.”
The next thing I know I am sixteen and have no future. At least not one that I could see. I was kicked out of mother’s home, lost my job at a local coffee stand, and without even a high school freshman’s education. I took shelter with my father at my grandparents’ house. Finally, I had a chance to make things right, a chance to learn from my failure. No. I did not see my situation for what it was and failed yet another semester of school, landing me with a 0.7 GPA and few credits to speak of over my two years as a high school student. Had I learned from my mistakes I might still be home in Washington with my girlfriend counting the days until graduation. Then came the end of “today”.
Now living in Denver, Colorado with my brother and sister in-law, both teachers at my new high school, I have finally been able to learn from my past. I am now receiving a 4.0 GPA at George Washington High School. I plan on enlisting in the United States Navy come December, my 17th birthday. After my four years of service I look forward to attending a culinary school. My story would absolutely have a sad ending had I not learned from my failures. No one’s story would have a happy ending had they not recognized their mistakes and learned how to correct something in their life. Whether it is figuring out not to run with scissors or realizing that your last sixteen years of life were in no way a benefit to society, we all must face our mistakes and not make them in the future.
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