Learning From Experience

Deanna - Fairfield, Connecticut
Entered on March 26, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

The mistakes we make today shape us into the people we will become in the future. We learn from our mistakes as well as other’s mistakes. We know right from wrong, whether or not we choose to make the right decisions and face the consequences. I believe we learn from our experiences. If we decide to be spontaneous and create new experiences, chances are, we will learn a lot about ourselves. It’s your choice, whether or not you want to create new experiences to learn from, or stick to the same old routine that we live by from day to day.

At the beginning of this year, I let a classmate listen to my I-Pod during class. She kept insisting that she take it home with her just listen to it, and I wouldn’t let her borrow it. Finally with all of her begging, I told her she could take it with her but she’d have to give it back the next day. When the next day came, she lied and told me she left it at home and she would be sure to bring it to me tomorrow. Tomorrow came and still no I-Pod. After a few days passed, she confessed that she had lost the I-Pod and misplaced it somewhere. Dissatisfied, I came to the conclusion that I probably wouldn’t ever get my I-Pod back. This I-Pod was my birthday present and I had it for only four months. The lesson I learned was to only trust the people that I know best. This student wasn’t a close friend, and she was definitely intimidating. I felt so stupid for letting her borrow such an expensive gift. I understood that I had to get over the whole situation, and forget about the I-Pod, because there were more important things to enjoy, instead of a device. Luckily, the following Christmas, my parents had bought me a new I-Pod that I truly appreciated. This time, I would take care of it, and re-evaluate the people I trusted. This experience had taught me not to be a push-over, and let someone take advantage of my personal belongings.

It’s only human for people to make mistakes, but it’s more important that people are able to learn from them and change their ways. Sometimes, I feel afraid of change, but sometimes it can be for the better. Some things are better left behind and forgotten, instead of always on your mind, and bringing you down. Our experiences should teach us something meaningful, whatever it may be.

I remember when I was 6 years old, and my grandfather had died. My family and I would always visit my grandparents on Sunday’s in the Bronx before he passed. It was almost like a tradition for my family, including my aunt’s and uncle’s, to visit at least once every weekend. There were many get-togethers and family parties at their house. I can remember the day of the funeral, seeing his body peacefully lie in the coffin with a rose in his hands, something too difficult for a kid my age to see. One minute he’s giving you piggy-back rides, and the next he’s laying there serenely. At age 6, I couldn’t help but cry uncontrollably. After time had passed, I accepted the fact that my grandfather wasn’t coming back and there wasn’t anything I could do to bring him back or even rewind time. This tragic experience had taught me to accept things that I can’t change.

Unfortunately, in some situations, people have to learn things the hard way. I believe some of life’s most important lessons are learned from experience. The experiences and situations we go through form our personalities and builds knowledge. Not only can we learn from what we are taught, we can learn from what we know and what we’ve experienced. As said by Alfred Tennyson in the poem “Ulysses”, “I am a part of all that I have met” (line 18).