Why College Is The Best Time To Make Mistakes

by Mylene Mendoza   |  Oct 12, 2019
Image: pexels.com
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Not everyone gets to say that college was the best four or five years of their lives. Some people’s college experiences can get complicated and you’re bound to screw up majorly at certain points—and that’s totally okay. The tea is, college is when we really should be making mistakes, because it is also the best place for us to learn from them.

College is like our pregame before we enter the real world.

College is when we get a subtle taste of what it’s like in the “real world,” but without the restraints of #adulting holding us back from making poor decisions. (We still have profs telling us where to go and what to do at this point!) Use your college years to just go for things you want to experience, even if it may seem like you’re setting yourself up for failure. After all, the earlier we make mistakes, the sooner we learn how to bounce back from them, and the likelihood of committing the same blunders in the future would be much less.

We’ve got four to five years to do what we want.

It might seem like we’re plagued with a lot of responsibilities in college, but what we often overlook is that we’ve got a lot of room and time to experiment and take risks. We’re not bound by nine-to-five working hours; those four to five years of undergraduate studies are ours to control. Do you want to use the first two years of college bumping your grades up so that you can focus on extra-curricular work during the last two or three years? Maybe you’d rather work on your mutli-tasking skills and juggle academics and extra-curriculars simultaneously. The key is to create a timetable you can work with while remaining flexible enough to accommodate any sudden changes in your plans.


But what if you’re not good with sticking to a timetable? Then throw it out the window and go with your own flow. Your college years are yours to utilize however you want, after all!

Messing up in college costs a lot less than making mistakes in the real world.

While it might feel like the end of the world when we fail a subject or miss a deadline, you’ll realize that, in hindsight, these mistakes can be a learning experience. Maybe you can re-evaluate how you juggle your tasks, or simply experiment with a better personal system. Either way, it’ll definitely prepare you for when you finally take on that first job!

So make as many mistakes in college while you still can, just don’t take for granted the life lessons embedded in every slip-up.

We’ve got mentors and peers who can guide us and support us when we mess up.

When we fail a subject, our professors, guidance counselors, and deans would be more than willing to offer us advice on what we can do moving forward. When we find ourselves caught in a romantic dilemma, our blockmates, friends, and even orgmates would be more than game for some #RealTalk, and maybe even throw in a shoulder to cry on.

In college, we’re surrounded by people from different walks of life. We get to (or are forced to!) meet and interact with personalities we wouldn’t normally meet anywhere else. The college social scene makes it less taxing to make mistakes because you’re with people who are going through similar experiences and making their own mistakes, just like you.

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What’s the point of college if you’re already winning in life?

While we’re programmed to aim for excellence in college, we can’t be expected to deliver topnotch performance every single time. We didn’t enter college to be the cookie-cutter college student of every parent’s dreams. College is where we go to let loose and surrender ourselves to be shaped by our experiences—and that includes experiencing failures, messing up, and eventually learning to pick ourselves up.

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Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer
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