Semesters go by pretty quickly, don’t they? In the proverbial blink of an eye, December is here and finds us scrambling to finish projects and papers, to study for finals and to prepare for a long holiday season with friends and family.
Maybe you’re graduating this week, and if so, congratulations!
Maybe you’ve had a really great semester. You have awesome grades and you’re proud of your effort. Maybe you’re really looking forward to another semester just like this one.
Maybe this semester hasn’t been your best. You’ve struggled with balancing your school and social life. Combining a heavy course load with an equally heavy work schedule was a bad idea. Maybe you partied a little too much.
Maybe this semester was just a complete disaster. Maybe you’re pushing toward the finish line and looking forward to nothing more than putting these five months permanently behind you.
And that’s OK.
No matter how you look back on your semester, here’s something to remember: in college, your grades aren’t the most important thing. What really matters is that you’re here, surrounded by people from different places and lives, sharing all of their ideas and dreams and goals. You’re getting to know yourself. You’re getting to know others. You’re learning how to be a real adult in a real world. And, most importantly, you’re making mistakes. Some of those mistakes might suck a whole lot, but while you’re in college, they’re far more forgivable than they will be later.
Don’t believe it? Let’s look at some examples.
Back in September, an article in The Arbiter misspelled “balloon.” Three times. On the front page.
Then there was the issue in which we reported about an exhibit honoring the “late” professor and artist Jane Wilson. Turns out Wilson is, in fact, alive and well. Oops.
And then there was one time…well, you get the idea.
Here’s our point: it’s OK to make mistakes. College isn’t about straight As; it’s about getting an education, and trust us when we say those are two very different things. The most valuable things a student can take away from his or her college career are all of the lessons learned from messing up big time and the knowledge that everything turned out for the best. Rarely does a mistake have apocalyptic results, though it may look that way at the time. But every mistake does result in an opportunity to solve a problem and learn how to avoid that problem in the future.
Some of the mistakes we’ve made could have been disastrous had we made them later, in a career setting. Some of us could have lost our jobs for the ways we’ve messed up this semester. That’s why we’re so glad we goofed so many times this year; we may have some cringe-worthy memories of the lectures we sat through with our professors and peers, but nobody got fired.
So congratulations on putting a semester behind you, Boise State. And as you’re tying up the last of your academic loose ends, raise one of your celebratory drinks to the mistakes you’ve made since August—and the person they’ve helped you become.