“Nobody is Perfect”

Laura - Paradise Valley, Arizona
Entered on August 27, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

There will always be mistakes, unless you’re the next Virgin Mary. My life, in its seventeen years so far, has been riddled with them. I have a habit of not thinking of the consequences of my actions ahead of my actions, which is a driving force of my mess-ups. Varying from telling a white lie about sleepovers, to cheating, to drug possession, all have turned on me, even if I didn’t immediately get in trouble. Once is enough for me, and I quickly learn, the hard way, which was the right choice.

I have cheated twice, but in two very different ways. I cheated on a freshman English essay, and on my boyfriend of four years. I was on the freshman rowing team and traveled out of state every weekend, which ate up most of my homework time. I was very behind in all my classes, but English was the only one I was in danger of failing. At the time, copying a friend’s English essay seemed like such an easy way to catch up. The only problem was that she had already turned in the assignment but didn’t tell me. Naturally the teacher recognized the same essay and called me into the Dean of Students office. Eight hours of Saturday detention and a zero for that assignment definitely taught me my lesson. To this day I cannot look that English teacher in the eye.

Cheating on my boyfriend was one of the worst mistakes I have made to date. At the time I wasn’t thinking about the trouble a drunk teenage girl could get into in a foreign country with lax drinking laws. Drinking with strange older French guys didn’t help either. It took close to a year to build up the courage to tell Sean, my boyfriend of 4 years, what had happened. I was so ashamed that I allowed my morals to slip after a few drinks. Since that night I haven’t touched alcohol because I know what kind of girl I turn into. It has been tough explaining it to friends at parties, but I am willing to sacrifice that pleasure in order to gain back Sean’s trust. There is still strained trust between us, but I’m working on it. After all, I messed up, not him.

I look back now and realize what I should have done differently. But the thing is, I didn’t act wisely and I don’t have a time machine to change my past. I have never repeated those mistakes, I am just making new ones, since nobody is perfect. I believe in mistakes, not dwelling on them, but learning from them.