We Learn From Our Mistakes

I wanted to end my Graduate Assistantship with zero records of big mistakes, unfortunately this was not the case…

Part of my tasks as a Graduate Assistant is to video tape all of our events and post them on our YouTube channel. It is recommended to download the videos from the camera to your computer and post them on YouTube as fast as possible. However, being on the final weeks of the semester and of my time here at Penn State as a graduate student I had too many things on my plate and I did export the videos to my computer but I didn’t edit the videos right to post them on YouTube.

Long story short, I lost all the files from my computer (including the videos) and I had already deleted them from the video camera. After visiting all the data recovery stores of downtown State College, I was informed there was no guarantee I was going to recover the videos.

I was very nervous and stressed to tell my supervisor the bad news. I am usually a perfectionist and strongly dislike when I mess up, however there was nothing else I could do this time to fix the problem but to come up front and be honest about what happened.

Fortunately, my supervisor was kind and very understanding. She was not pleased to hear the news, but told me to take it as a learning lesson.

Two weeks later, we went for lunch with the whole CGS team including Sophia McClennen, the Director of the Center. I was still pretty embarrassed for my past mistake, but it was very comforting to listen from all the mistakes each of the team members did during their careers at the CGS.

Even though I did not end my term as a Graduate Assistant with a clean mistake record as I wanted, I did end it with a life lesson. Sometimes you mess up, and it is not ideal, and when these things happen the most important thing is to be candid about it and learn from your mistakes.

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