How to Learn from Your Mistakes

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Getting low grades can be a letdown, especially on an assignment you’ve been labouring over. There’s nothing more depressing than pouring your heart and soul into something, only to find out that all your hard work has been dismissed by a single alphabetical letter. 

That being said, what many students don’t understand is that with every bad or middling grade, there arises an opportunity to come back stronger—to strengthen your resolve, get better grades, and give you the knowledge and confidence required to move forward. 

It’s simple, really; when things go wrong, you have to learn from your mistakes. 

We all have problems that impede our success, self-imposed obstacles which we encounter time and time again. For example, in some of my assignments I struggle with using past-tense and present-tense. It was only after I carefully considered my teacher’s responses to my assignments and applied that feedback to my work that my grades started to improve. 

I had effectively learned my lesson.

Some of us can be resistant to taking criticism. As a result, we can gloss over information we’re receiving which would otherwise benefit us. One of the strategies for overcoming this stubbornness is to remember that your teachers are trying to help you, not hinder you. If your teachers didn’t care, they wouldn’t be giving you feedback on your assignments, and their feedback would simply be: “Yeah, you did this thing wrong.”

Another element of using failure as a stepping stone to success is to not beat yourself up over everything you did wrong. You have to remember not to feel let down by your mistakes. Don’t pity yourself into despair—use that feeling of disappointment to remind yourself not to repeat the same mistake. 

Say you got a bad grade. What did you learn from it? Personally, I failed miserably in Marketing, but I did learn a thing or two about marketing tactics. I learned that some companies employ certain colour schemes so that consumers can spot their products easily at the shopping mall, for example. 

In short, not every failed course is a wasted opportunity to discover something you hadn’t known before.

Don’t shut your mind off to a new experience just because you got graded badly. Instead, revel in the chance to try something new.


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