My Best Teacher

Ashley - Rexburg, Idaho
Entered on January 29, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

My Best Teacher

Some say it’s best to learn from other’s mistakes rather than make your own; but I disagree with that statement. It is good to observe others and try not to make the same mistakes as them, but until you’ve actually experienced the situation firsthand, you can’t truly relate to it and learn from it.

Rexburg, Idaho (where I go to school) is a fairly small city with incredibly cold temperatures during the winter. People warned me about how freezing it would be here, especially this time of year, for weeks before I came, and I prepared accordingly. However, as I expected, you can’t genuinely appreciate how cold it really is until you get here and have the opportunity to experience it firsthand.

As I stepped out of my apartment my first of school, I knew it would be freezing and all the roads and sidewalks would be extremely slippery. My roommates warned me to use extra caution, and I did. However, two minutes later when me and a friend were walking out to his car, he hit some ice and began to slip. Amused by the situation, I started laughing. Just then, as I was laughing at him, I hit the same sheet of ice he had just walked over and all hope was lost.

It took all of 3 seconds for me to completely lose my footing. My legs flew up in the air and I slammed back onto the ice, and then laid there with the wind completely knocked out of me.

My roommates had told me I would fall. I was even expecting the possibility of falling, and being extra careful not to, yet still I fell. Before I understood that it was slippery outside and I needed to be careful, but after I fell, I knew for myself just how slippery it was. It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate the advice of my roommates, it was just that I couldn’t honestly relate to what they were cautioning me about, so I didn’t even know how to prevent myself from falling.

In my life, I follow this same pattern. I am open to the council of others, but many times, even despite my efforts, I have to learn things for myself. I respect the advice I receive, and try to act accordingly, but ultimately I have to consider my options and make whatever decision I think is best. This way there are no “what if” factors to consider and in the end I know I did what I thought was best even if it turns out there may have been a better alternative. Thus, regardless the outcome, my decisions give me experience which teaches me more than any other source could ever attempt.