Learn As You Go

Caitlin - Louisville, Kentucky
Entered on November 18, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that in order to learn a lesson in life, you must live the mistake. Throughout the six years I have spent in middle and high school, I have discovered that most of the do’s and don’ts I learned through actually living them. It may just be me, but you can tell me that something will end up a certain way and I still have to go and do it to find out on my own. My father has always said that experience is life’s greatest teacher. He says you must learn from your mistakes. I agree. It’s like we are all babies to life. We learn early on that we should not touch the stove if it’s on because it hurts. It’s the same with everything else. If you chew gum in class and you get a detention, then you learn that you shouldn’t chew gum anymore. Your friends may have told you that you would get caught, but you thought that you could get away with it. You learned your lesson. As I live through experiences in my life, I catch onto little things that help me indicate how something in the future may turn out.

For example, last November, my sister Shay and I got into an argument about how she thought I was being disrespectful to my father. I told her that she was not my mother and that I could, in fact, talk to my father however I wanted. He just so happened to hear my little bout of pride and he had a different opinion about my statement. Being my parent and all, he made it very clear that I had no right to speak to him that way. I was mad and I said some considerably ugly things to him. I was angry and not thinking, which worked out to my severe disadvantage. Not only was I grounded, but I learned that I should probably keep my mouth shut when I get caught in the wrong.

After almost two months of extra chores, no allowance, and restricted social time I was free again. So what is the first thing I did? I smarted off to him about a comment he made to me about my room being messy. This time was different though. I kept my mouth shut while he yelled at me and then later on I vented my anger to my sister. I avoided being grounded. This information about how my dad reacts to certain situations was stored away in my head, always to be remembered.

As I live life, experiences like those are filed away in my mind and they guide me to make decisions later on. They also enable me to pass on my knowledge to my friends and family. I think this is why older people are wiser than the young. They have lived life and learned from it. I believe that living is the only way you can learn anything.