Mistakes as a learning tool

I remember that at the beginning of the first semester our communication teacher asked us about being a student. Particularly who do we think is a good student, what traits should they have. I answered that student should not be afraid of making mistakes, because in the end, sometimes only by getting it wrong four times, they can get it right on the fifth time. She nodded and asked me if I am afraid of making mistakes. I said no. 

I lied. 

I hate making mistakes. At least showing my mistakes. I do not want to show any weakness. I brought this trait from my home country. The education system in the Czech republic is based on right or wrong. There is no middle ground. I always learned the facts, algorhytms and definitions and then got most of them right.

In life, however, many times there is no right or wrong. It is more like ‘good, adequate, better, not so good, could be better, optimal or perfect’ and everything in between.

And suddenly here in Denmark, we are nearly forced to make mistakes. Nobody tells us how things should look like. We must figure everything on our own. I still hate making mistakes, but I am getting used to them. I enjoy the procces of making. I value high every colleague of mine with whom I can disscuss our design solutions. If they are at least adequate, if they could be improved. People ask me about advice every day and I ask them. I look carefully around me and make notes in my head who knows what and when the time comes and I need an advice I know who to look for. 

And this whole process is there for us, so we learn things now, and not make them when they will actually cost real money. Now in our project, the only money we can make and our clients can spend are monopoly money. And for this money we are working hard every day. But we are getting one priceless thing with that as well. Wisdom.

And if it is true that you are more clever for every mistake you make, we will be so clever at the end of our studies.




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