aking mistakes is inevitable. By making mistakes we learn some of our smallest and biggest life lessons. The great part about mistakes is that they help you grow! Even though you have pressures coming from your teachers, parents, coaches, peers, or society it is OK to make mistakes.
I have teenagers just like you come into my office asking to help them “be a better person” or “do better in school.” Most of the times, they are already doing the best the can.
The key to mistakes is reminding yourself that it is just that… a mistake.
At times you cannot control it and other times you just don’t know any better and that’s OK too (as long as you learn from it). You are in a period of finding yourself, which may include sometimes falling into peer pressure and sometimes making the wrong choice.
This reminds me of a story of when I was in middle school. I was staying with my older sister because my parents were out of town. My parents were strict and I know they gave my sister rules for me to follow. But the next day it was an early release day and all my friends were going to walk and hang out at the nearby Taco Bell.
So what did I do?
I purposely did not tell my sister it was early release day and after school, I walked to Taco Bell with my friends. Around 4:00 PM, when it was the ‘normal’ time for me to walk to my sisters, I walked to her house.
Oh did I get in trouble! My sister was worried something happened to me and although she promised to not tell my parents, I was grounded while I stayed at her place.
How could I do that to my sister?
Did the peer pressure get to me? I just wanted to have fun but even though I knew it was wrong, I still did it. But I learned after seeing the worry in my sister’s face that I would no longer lie to her because the feeling of shame and guilt did not feel right.
The point is as teens you usually know right from wrong and sometimes you will choose wrong. It’s not about the choice you make at the moment but what you learned from that decision and how you can avoid it in the future.
The same goes with making mistakes at school. Some exams and homework are harder than others. There are times your head won’t be in it but always try your best.
Just as Big Sean quotes in Bounce Back, “last night took an L but tonight I bounce back.” Learning how to bounce back from the loss (or mistake in this case) is essential to growing into a bigger and better person.