‘A person who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.’ – Albert Einstein
I think we are all scared of making mistakes. In school, you think making a mistake will lose you marks, perhaps even be the difference between passing and failing an exam. And after leaving school, a lot of adults take that fear with them, into the workplace, and their lives in general. It can stifle you and leave you always playing it safe.
But as Einstein said, if you’re not prepared to make a mistake, or to fail at something, then it means you’re not trying to learn new things, to have new experiences.
It’s not just long-dead genius professors who tell us not to be afraid of making mistakes. At his famous commencement address a few years ago at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, the acclaimed author Neil Gaiman spoke about the need to make mistakes, because if you are making mistakes, it means ‘you’re out there, doing something’. He went further, telling the UoA students: ‘And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.’
It’s important for students to push themselves to succeed and find new challenges and, looking around our school each day, I can confidently say that the vast majority do.
If you’re in years 7, 8 and 9, and looking to experience new things and challenge yourself, don’t forget to get your forms in for Enrichment Week, which starts on Monday, July 16th. There is everything from film-making to cookery, outdoor pursuits at Ardwhallan to going all Indiana Jones and learning about archaeology. Possibly Laser Mayhem, Exit Strategy and the Duke of Edinburgh scheme is more your thing.
We have a brochure outlining the different activities; all you need to do is have a look through and shortlist your favourite ones. Fill in the form – don’t forget to ask your parent or carer to sign it – and then drop it into the reception foyer by March 23rd. There really is something for everyone during Enrichment Week, and it’s always hugely popular with our students. It’s your chance to be ‘out there, doing something’.
Who knows, you might just find something that will develop into a real passion. Good luck!