Learning lessons

Being a student means learning beyond the classroom

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Taylor Hagmann

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Learning lessons

There will always be limitations getting in the way of doing something well, but, there is victory in doing it anyway.

There will always be limitations getting in the way of doing something well, but, there is victory in doing it anyway.

Photo by Can Stock Photo

There will always be limitations getting in the way of doing something well, but, there is victory in doing it anyway.

Photo by Can Stock Photo

Photo by Can Stock Photo

There will always be limitations getting in the way of doing something well, but, there is victory in doing it anyway.

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I was recently reminded of a quote by G. K. Chesterton. In his book, “What’s Wrong with the World,” he says that “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly,”

Boy, did I ever need to be reminded of this quote this semester.

Now, I’m not a perfectionist. In the Myers-Briggs Personality test, I think I’m the quintessential INFP: introverted and quiet, emotionally available and laid back.

For example, the day before my outdoor wedding, my sister came to me and told me it was supposed to rain the day of. My response? “That might be a little chilly.”

(It did rain on my wedding day, but not during the ceremony. The sun came out for a couple of hours before and during. It was lovely.) 

I want to do well in all I do, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, I somehow internalized the idea that I must do things perfectly, even if I had never done it before. This snowballed into the notion that if I had to work at something, if I wasn’t perfect at it right from the start or didn’t see a marked improvement quickly, then I shouldn’t do it at all. 

Due to this faulty thinking, I can be lazy. I try hard, the first time, to get things right and if I don’t, I drop it. This can range in anything from ice skating, to drawing, to musical instruments, to school.

This semester has been a doozy so far. I don’t know exactly why. Maybe it’s the combination of having five classes, totaling 14 credits; my first semester here on the Spectator, and that’s a big learning curve (and a whole other story altogether); and working over 20 hours a week. But for whatever reason, this semester I’ve gotten two tests back with unsatisfactory grades.

Now they weren’t “bad” grades. I studied, and I firmly believe if someone did their best then they got a good grade. I will celebrate that “D” with them if they worked hard to get it.

These grades were lower than my expectations. One in particular I thought I had done pretty well on and was very disappointed by my results. but then I remembered this quote.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”

These classes are worth doing. They are getting me ever closer to my goal of being an editor. They are teaching me information and life lessons.

So what if I got a couple of grades I’m not thrilled with? I’m learning sometimes things have to be done part way. There will always be limitations getting in the way of doing something well, but, there is victory in doing it anyway.

Hagmann can be reached at [email protected]

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