We're always one step behind --- this is what I learned in college. We're a bunch of kids thrown into an environment of free will; we have short attention spans and little patience within our hearts. We spend our nights partying, smoking and going down on drinking --- but when we realize it, college isn't about these things. It's not about doing these things the first time, but it is finding yourself in the process.
I stand by my first statement: we are always one step behind. The things we do and learn in school are a paradox of different disciplines tied into one as our professors hand us our final grades. Mind you, grades don't define what we can and cannot do, but they do measure something, and that something is our ability to keep up with the things around us. Again, one term of partying won't guarantee a good grade nor a good job, but in between those, we start to value the process of learning. Learning doesn't only mean that we listen in class, it calls for us to be sensitive to the people in our environment. We learn best from the people around us, and those little failures you've had the past semester would be gone by the start of a new semester - that's how we're one step behind all the time. By the time we realized we've screwed up, we would've already moved on.
Well, I hope this also holds true perfectionists like me. We are those who manage our time well, who pushes limits to make things happen by all means. Perfectionists may seem to be the ideal set of students, but let me tell you that being a perfectionist in school is a very challenging role to hold on to. It requires being gracious in defeat, and the ability to move on easily after a disastrous feat. Much of my life in college was spent on student organizations and extra-curricular activities. Some of you may think I have been living the big life, but no, the truth is, it's hard to keep up with everything happening at once. There's little time to deal with the petty failures you encounter, or those glitches you pray won't happen. It's hard to be contented with what you have, because you keep looking for more things to achieve. There's no room to sulk or be depressed about anything, because everything moves at a faster pace in your life - there's an application for a management trainee program, you've just been accepted for law school or you've been selected as a recipient of a full scholarship for a Masters degree. The possibilities are endless! But I'm not complaining, I'm sharing you this because I want you to know that perfectionists are not perfect all the time, we may have had a glorious time in college, but do know that we, too, stumble and have our Achilles' heels --- there's always room for improvement. There's a lot of tweaking, patience, and trying, to do. The world doesn't stop when you fall down once, 'coz I tell you, perfectionists have fallen down a million times but they choose to get up and move forward.
So there you go, the next time we fail in school, remember that everyone is always one-step behind - and it is actually a good thing.