I can make a budget. Heck I led a nonprofit for seven years. Finance won’t be a problem. A couple weeks into my finance class and I was struggling. This has nothing to do with budgeting. I need to do what? A little math. I remember now, all those nights that I didn’t study for Algebra class in high school.

In a few weeks my grade was less than an A. In fact I was barely passing. Something my pride couldn’t take.  I want to achieve perfection. What is going on? The epiphany came when my professor emailed and asked me why my assignments were late, again? My assignment was late? Again?

In a panic I searched through my syllabus. Hmm. Nothing. I was getting things turned in by the dates I wrote down. Late? I checked the online course information the professor posted. Ahh. I wrote down the wrong dates and never looked back. My grade was dropping because of my late assignments not due to a lack of understanding the material though it was challenging to me.

I contacted my academic advisor to discuss whether I should re-take the class. The consequences of doing so would mean my current schedule would have to be completely re-arranged. We determined it was best to push through. To suck down my pride and admit I had made a mistake.

I did that. I am one week from finishing the class. Here are some valuable lessons that I have learned:

1. My future success is not based off of my current mistakes. If anything it will be more likely because of them. No one will ever have to remind me to check vital facts again. I learned that lesson. Successful people make mistakes, and learn from them.
2. Don’t quit. I was embarrassed and wanted to drop the class and run. I will just start over. A new professor and a new start will work. I have learned more from persevering than I ever would have from starting all over. I am building character that I will need to be a successful business person.
3. Don’t quit. I have had an extreme amount of life and career stress during this class. I have had one set back after the other. Problems with computers, competing priorities, life crisis, career crisis, challenges with kids, home and car repairs. I decided I was doing this. I am going to get through this class. This attitude has motivated me to try harder, read more, and put more effort into my education. I am learning more this way than I would have if I hadn’t made a mistake.
4. Don’t quit. As Christians we are called to persevere. It’s a characteristic of our relationship with God. If I had quit then I wouldn’t have given others the opportunity to see a key characteristic of my faith, given God the opportunity to work in my life, and would have missed the blessing of watching the Holy Spirit strengthen and teach me.
5. A healthy pride. In one week I will complete my finance class after overcoming many obstacles and do so earning at least a B in the class. I understand that I did this because God helped me and because I humbled myself, admitted my mistake, and continued despite the obstacles. I am proud of my B. More proud than I would have been getting an easy A. I did it! We did it! I know we can do it again!

I know more challenging classes are coming. I know that there will be obstacles and now I am not afraid of them. I understand that the real learning starts when we face our mistakes and learn from them. I understand that part of my education includes what we learn when we face challenges and overcome them. I look forward to what’s next. Economics?

Marcy Pedersen

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