Viewpoint: Laugh, learn from your mistakes

Jillian Anderson | Reporter
Jillian Anderson | Reporter

By Jillian Anderson

If you’ve ever met me, you probably think I have everything under control. Or at the very least, that I don’t stress out about things. I am quite deceptive. As Bruce Banner is always angry, I’m always stressed. It’s the only way I can get things done, but as I’ve experienced college and all the wonderful and crazy lessons that come with it, I’m starting to see that the stress I carry isn’t necessary. It’s cumbersome.

So how should you de-stress? Some people say a nice long bath, others a movie or a night on the town. For me, I look back upon my day and think of the one thing I did that embarrassed me the most. Usually, it’s something small like calling someone by the wrong name.

Other times it’s huge, like the time I forgot about a five-page research paper or got locked in a room. I think back, take a deep breath and laugh.

This doesn’t work all the time. It hardly works, but when it does, it’s the best stress relief I’ve found. It works because it makes me realize that I make mistakes and that I got over them.

Also, I get to laugh at myself which is always fun. I mean, why not? Geez I’m hilarious. I’m sitcom material.

College is a daunting task. It seems like the choices you make here will define you for the rest of your life. I would say they do if you let them. It’s all a matter of perspective.

I came to Baylor a nursing major. At first I thought that was it. I messed up and tripped at the starting line, but I went to some career counseling and decided on something else – go on, guess. Things didn’t pan out at first, but I didn’t let the choice define me.

When it comes to mistakes and setbacks, we all have the choice to let them stick in our head or to keep moving forward. It’s not easy to say that you won’t stay mad or upset at yourself for not completing an assignment or screwing up. It’s perfectly natural to do so. I just find if I stay in that state of mind, then everything gets worse.

So why not laugh about it?

Taking yourself too seriously could lead to a whole bunch of unnecessary stress. Just imagine laughing at something you did. I trip at least once a day. I’ve just learned to play it off.

I could obsess over how uncool I am – I’m so cool that I don’t have to even worry about this – or what everyone else thinks about me. Truth is no one was probably paying attention and everyone trips. In the end, I have a good laugh and sometimes I share it with others.

So I try every day to make a choice to be less stressed and laugh. Like I said before, it doesn’t work all the time, but it’s a start.

Besides, I hear the most successful people always learn from their mistakes.

If that’s true, I’m on the fast track to being the world’s most unlucky millionaire. Or broke.

Jillian Anderson is a senior journalism major from Houston. She is a reporter for the Lariat.