The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

KQED Perspective: Kailyn Holty, Perfect imperfection

As+Youth+Takeover+week+continues%2C+Kailyn+Holty+discovers+a+world+of+possibility+when+the+pressure+to+be+perfect+is+abandoned.
Cedrik von Briel
As Youth Takeover week continues, Kailyn Holty discovers a world of possibility when the pressure to be perfect is abandoned.

“There’s no such thing as perfect.” My first grade art teacher would constantly berate us with this statement, hoping to instill the idea that art is about embracing the imperfections.

In theory, I understood this idea. That is until that night, blanketed with sheets of complicated double-digit subtraction homework, I discovered what true imperfection is. The inability to achieve success when presented with easy work. Tears had begun to stream down my cheeks and the slight constriction of my throat prepared for a scream of frustration. This was simple, repetitive, easy, yet a jumble of numbers and rules that couldn’t conjoin into a properly functioning idea in my head. I was a failure. In a sense, I was trying to be perfect at something I just learned.

While I may not have understood it then, and even now fail to recognize when I follow this routine, I associated perfection with average. The issue is perfection doesn’t exist. Even when the onslaught of anxiety and stress from striving for a practically unattainable concept results in pure panic. Why? Because I’m worried whether or not my work will convey the perfection I know I can achieve.

This idea is so apparent that even first graders, like who I once was, stress over this concept. But in the end, my art teacher was right. Perfection doesn’t exist, for if it did, we would never know true failure. Without failing, Thomas Edison couldn’t have created the light bulb after one thousand unsuccessful attempts. Without failing, I wouldn’t find the same joy in math as I do today. Failing to complete my double-digit subtraction homework that night years ago made the success of understanding it all the better. Once I begin to realize that pride comes from the process of succeeding despite failure, is when the anxiety from perfection begins to lessen.

Failure is necessary for success, not perfection.

With a Perspective, I’m Kailyn Holty.

Link to listen to the perspective on KQED’s website: https://www.kqed.org/perspectives/201601142033/kailyn-holty-perfect-imperfection

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About the Contributors
Kailyn Holty
Kailyn Holty, Editor in Chief
Kailyn Holty is a junior and third-year journalist. She enjoys writing about campus life, current events, and cultural pieces. She hopes to raise awareness of student issues through her writing. In her free time, she likes playing tennis, hiking, completing jigsaw puzzles, and reading.
Cedrik von Briel
Cedrik von Briel, Managing Editor
Cedrik von Briel is a senior, fourth-year journalist and the Managing Editor for The Paw Print. He enjoys writing about news, nature, and local interest stuff and hopes to inform readers about current issues and events through his writing, and maybe spark their interest on the topic. In his free time, He enjoys taking photos, reading the news, being outside, biking to school, and birds.

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