Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade May 2001

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"We don't pay the price for success, we pay the price for failure."� This quote is a great example of the way I felt many times throughout my junior year of high school. Learning from mistakes is how people get through life. Sometimes people learn the difficult way, not realizing that these hardships could be avoided. Not only did I make mistakes in school, and at home, but with my friends as well. I have learned so much because of the mistakes I've made, but it was worth it. I'm a better person now because of the mistakes I've made.

The mistake that is going to affect me in the next few months, is the mistake I made with school. I had a boyfriend that I had been seeing for about six months. Since we fought so much, I found myself on the phone all night and all day. I began to fall asleep in class quite frequently and my grades began to get worse.

I also began skipping school on a regular basis as well. My over all grades in my classes were not good either, because of the lack of knowledge that I was receiving. This mistake might cause me to forfeit some college opportunities that could otherwise have been great successes. I also failed to take the ACT or the SAT because of my apathetic attitude toward everything. That will also have an tremendous influence on whether a college will take me or not because I still have yet to receive my scores back from the ACT that I took recently. I have learned that some things can't be done over again, especially school. This year I decided things would be done very differently. School was to be taken more seriously, and I had decided to not skip school with the exception of senior skip day. I don't want to ever turn back to that life style, it isn't pleasant. In fact, I like the way things are now, even though I'm still not up to my full potential I am so much better than I was then. I am such a better student this year than I was last year. Even though I regret it, I'm glad that I made this mistake, because it made me realize what I can accomplish with the right attitude. My family was also forced to endure the mistakes that I was making at home as well. I became very depressed, and I found myself taking much of my anger and sadness out on my family. Because I was always talking to Adam, my boyfriend at the time, I was also creating some astronomical phone bills. This caused my parents to struggle with things such as sending my sister to camp, paying my sister's tuition, and it put a damper on any vacations that we had hoped to take for spring break. I caused my whole family to suffer financially because I couldn't get along with a boy. Lying was something that I also started to do on a regular basis. It became so bad at times that I didn't know the truth from the lies. I also became rather abusive with my language toward my mother. When I look back on all these things that have hurt my family, I can't believe I was so heartless and so insensitive. Since then I have improved very much. I'm for the most part honest with my parents and I keep the phone bills to a minimum. I'm no longer depressed and I am very content with the relationship that I have with my family. With everything that I have done to my family, I realize how wrong I was. I regret every last mistake I made in this area of my life. But even though I look back and shudder at the thought of the things I've done, I am a better sister and daughter because I learned from these mistakes.

Another thing affected by my mistakes were my friends. Jo Strawser and I had been best friends since we were toddlers. We were inseparable until Adam came into my life and ruined the best thing in my life. Jo was not only my best friend, but someone I admired as well. She kept me from doing harmful things and she always lent a sympathetic hear and a shoulder to cry on when I needed it. I was always with Adam or talking to Adam and therefore was never with her. Soon she gave up on our friendship and began to make other friends. After I realized what I had given up, it was too late, the damage was done. We had both changed to the point that we no longer knew each other and we had grown so far apart. I was no longer a part of her life, she no longer needed me because she had support from someone else. Things between Jo and I will never be the same, but someday I hope that we can