Previously, I mentioned that it is important to participate (No Tourists!). Obviously, I mentioned this first because it is extremely important. This next piece of advice I consider almost as equally important.
You’re going to make mistakes. Make them. Own them. Hold onto them.
Hopefully, you’re not a robot. We have a while before the robots plan their invasion of Earth, and they will make their own mistakes that will allow a scrappy band of ragtag misfits to overthrow their leadership. But that’s not for quite a while. My point is that robots make very few mistakes, and you're not one of them.
No, you are going to make mistakes. The drive to get everything right all the time is only going to lead to more mistakes. It’s important to make them, and learn from them. I know you’ve heard the last part of this advice almost repeatedly, almost to the point that you’re tired of hearing it. But this is true. And I can remember I was so focused on getting things “right” that I didn’t take the time to enjoy my failures. My beautiful, sublime failures.
You are going to fall in love with the wrong person way too early. You’re going to stay up late watching a Netflix binge of Malcolm In the Middle and be late for that “really important” Chem Lab in the morning. You’re going to be in all the wrong classes, drop them, and start taking Theatre Classes. You’re going to be in all the right classes, drop them and start taking Theatre Classes. You’re going to decide college isn’t right for you, and you’re going to go in another direction. The list goes on.
There’s never a mistake so big you can’t correct it. (Except possibly going skinny dipping at Crystal Lake. The dude in the hockey mask coming after you is pretty much relentless.) Just take a deep breath… and enjoy it. Then fix it, as best you can.
Accept that you are going to make mistakes. Just make it count for something.