Learn from mistakes while you can

By on May 2, 2012

I could tell you why I had the best four years of my life here, and I could tell you not to let your four years fly by without getting involved or making an impact. But, that’s not as important as what I’m about to tell you.

I was recently inspired by a Quinnipiac alum who spoke to students on campus and said that college is an important time of your life because the penalty for messing up isn’t nearly what you’ll have to face in the “real world.” Mike Germano is absolutely right. Yup, we are telling you it’s OK to screw up.

His best example: What happens when an RA catches an underage student with alcohol on campus? He or she gets a warning. In real life? There will be a huge fine to pay and the police will suspend your driver’s license.

I don’t think Mike was encouraging underage drinking, but it’s just a great example of how you can make mistakes in college and, in the grand scheme of things, get away with it. Hopefully, you will learn from it.

College is like a playground for young adults. You can chill out on the swings and spend your time having a little fun on the Quad, or you can challenge yourself on the monkey bars and learn how to become successful.

I chose the latter, but I still wish I had made more mistakes. It would have made me a better person.

I would have had a better sense of how far is too far. I might know a bit more about what works and what doesn’t. And I could have used what I learned to make better decisions in real life, which is now less than three weeks away, seniors.

One way to make mistakes is to take risks. I know, it can be scary, when you don’t know the outcome of whatever it is that you are about to try. Hopefully, your curiosity takes over and you test the water. You might fail, but you can still leave with something to help you for the next time. Walk away a winner no matter what.

Join the Chronicle

If you were inspired by the first 350 words of this article, then I hope you will do what I did and attend one Chronicle staff meeting to see what we do. (No, this is not just targeted at the few print journalism students who haven’t gotten their acts together yet.)

The Chronicle is the closest thing to the real world that Quinnipiac has to offer. What we write in print or post online is open to everyone – not just the student body, the Quinnipiac community or Hamden. What we report can get picked up nationally (seriously, it has, on a few occasions). What we publish can make an impact on the community and cause change. There is a risk for every story we publish.

No matter what your major, the Chronicle has a spot for you, and I promise you will become more responsible. Perhaps most importantly, you will learn how to write. Even if you choose not to write for the paper, we will teach you how to write a professional email, which is a very underrated skill.

No matter what part of the paper you join, you will have a boss, and you will have co-workers. Learning how to work with people and learning how to work for people are also underrated skills. News flash: You aren’t going to like everyone you work with or for. That applies in the real world, and the Chronicle.

We are a friendly bunch of students; we understand that each student brings something different to the organization.

The Chronicle will help you take risks. Without a doubt, it helped me.

Let this sendoff be a thank you to the Chronicle and everyone who I worked with in my four years. I just hope others will follow suit.

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About Lenny Neslin

Editor-in-Chief
Email: editor@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @lsneslin
Year: 2012
Major: Print journalism
Hometown: Hanover, N.H.
Dream Job: Sports Illustrated Writer