- Abby Lopata
As we all know, college is a fun but stressful time in our lives. We are always running around doing something, whether it be studying, socializing, eating, or sleeping. It is the time when we are learning who we are, what skills we need to improve on, and what we hope to accomplish in the future. Recently for me, I have come to realize just how much pressure our society puts on us to succeed and be the best that we can be. Really, society wants us to be perfect. We need a close to perfect GPA to get into graduate school, a perfect resume, a perfect interview, a perfect job. Well, as we all know, there is no such thing as perfection. Even though we all know this is a common fact, I don’t think the majority of us really understand what this means. A few days ago I made a mistake and in a way unintentionally betrayed one of my best friends. It was not anything too extreme but I felt horrible about it. I thought because of what I had done that I was no longer a worthy friend and should not be trusted again. These thoughts seem harsh I know, but at the time I really thought I messed things up. This is because my friends mean the world to me. Without them, I would not be who I am today.
I wanted to point this out because my mistake made me feel shameful, dreadful, sad, frustrated, confused, angry and so much more. All because of my silly mistake, I thought I was not worthy of being a good friend. All because of one mistake. It may seem stupid to someone on the outside, but when it happens to you, you understand. You think maybe you aren’t as good a friend as you thought. You may think you don’t deserve to be friends with that person anymore. Again, this may sound extreme, but people actually have these thoughts and I know that society takes a huge part of the blame. As the days went on, I thought a lot and realized that one mistake does not make me a bad friend. This experience made me see that of course mistakes happen, big and small, but it is the way we deal with them and communicate with our friends that can repair the damage. Luckily, my friend was understanding and said it would not affect our friendship. I was grateful and happy at how understanding he was, but knew that not everyone would have given the same response. I have seen a lot of friendships get ruined and end just because one friend made one mistake. To me this is because they did not live up to their friend’s expectations. In other words, they weren’t perfect. This made me think of a quote by Jean de la Bruyere, “Two persons cannot long be friends if they cannot forgive each other’s little failings.” While I find this to be true, something I want to add is that ‘two persons cannot long be friends if they cannot forgive each other’s little failings and forgive themselves.’
No matter what mistakes you make with friends or in life in general, we need to realize that we are human. Even though society places such an emphasis on success, in order to get there we need to make those mistakes. So know that it is ok and acceptable to make mistakes! Be happy that you made these mistakes because you will learn from them and become a better, more knowledgeable person. In order to move forward and get to where you want to be, you need to forgive yourself and your friends. Remember, these things happen. Life is too short to dwell on the little details. Live, make mistakes, grow, and succeed.
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