Making Mistakes and Making Changes

by Kali Dang

I could hear voices down the hall as I darted through the school doors at 7:50 am. With my keys in one hand and my coffee in the other, I arrived in my first period class and sat in my seat just as Mrs. Taylor began explaining short run and long run economics. I expected a very long and complicated answer, chock full of economic terms that I wouldn’t understand due to my inattention over the past week. But I never got one. Instead, Mrs. Taylor explained, “In the short run, everything is fixed. You have to take what you have in the moment and do what you can with it.

But in the long run, everything can change, and nothing is permanent. You could wake up tomorrow and change the whole production.” Throughout my time at Sherwood, I’ve moved with caution and lived in fear of making mistakes. You only get four years here to prepare yourself for college, and the last thing I wanted was to mess up. I, like many others, have been ready to graduate and move on in life since first stepping foot into Sherwood High School’s hallowed halls.

But I’ve also been afraid; of choosing the wrong classes, the wrong friends, the wrong path, the wrong major, the wrong college. After being reminded that nothing is permanent, however, I began to recognize the endless possibilities available: I can transfer schools. I could wake up one day and turn my entire life around. I can change my major. I can change my mind.

And change it again. I can make mistakes now, so that by the time I have to deal with a problem in the short run, I won’t have to simply make do with what I have. But rather, I will be confident with what I’ve set myself up with. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes in the past four years. From not doing newspaper, to not taking a class seriously, to unnecessarily stressing myself out with difficult courses.

But I’ve learned that in the long run everything can and will change, so there’s no reason to stress about the short run today. The past four years at Sherwood have made me bolder and less afraid of the uncertain. “Messing up” no longer makes the hairs on the back of my neck stick up in terror, but puts me at ease for the future I’ll face. As I move on, from Sherwood and beyond, I’m going to keep making mistakes and keep changing. I’m going to move without fear and never back down. Nothing is permanent, so I’m going to keep living like it.