In the last year, I have been given a few opportunities that I almost turned down due to fear of failure. I think that as a college student it can be really difficult to accept that not all decisions you make have to negatively define you for the rest of your career or life. What may be more easily understood is making mistakes in certain situations now is far less detrimental than it may be in a career two years from now.

My sophomore year I was seeking some leadership opportunities and was offered a position that required some small event planning. I figured if I was recommended someone must think I’m capable, and I like to think that through enough hard work all things are possible. So the first event I planned I was unable to run as I was out of town for an athletic event. I found out that evening that I had forgotten drinks, cups, and utensils…I think we could say those are essentials!

Fast forward to six months later, I was fortunate enough to be offered a position as the vice-president: programming for my sorority. The main definition of programming used here is “chapter event planning and calendar management” — yes, that’s a potential for a lot of forgotten essentials. I was terrified, nevertheless excited about having an opportunity to redeem myself. Again, someone thought I was capable and I had more drive and ambition to prove just that, so I accepted the opportunity and planned to put 110% in just to prove to myself that once again, through hard work all things are possible.

I had a blast planning a chapter retreat, founders day, and several other events in the last few months. The activities planned ranged from rock climbing to a formal dinner. These events came with many sleepless nights and constant nerves but the result was more rewarding than I could’ve ever imagined. I have taken countless life lessons from these experiences and I am so glad I did something that scared me because above all else, I proved to myself that it was possible.

There are a few morals you could take from this story. The first one is own your mistakes, not only is it humbling but I promise you won’t forget the same thing twice. The second is to think about all of the possible situations and make a to-do list. Think about yourself experiencing every situation and in that moment what you would need to be successful. The third is to take risks, but pace yourself so you are prepared. If you’re not prepared, you might forget your silverware!