Experience: Friend or Foe?Experience is the usual conscious perception or apprehension of reality or of an external, bodily, or psychic event. It is commonly acquired direct participation in events, or it can be knowledge or skill derived from such. Experience is also the conscious events that make up an individual life, the past of a community, nation, or humankind in general.
One must experience something in order for her to know how she will react in that situation. If someone is nervous about some event to come, one can only speculate how she will react and how it will unfold. Sometimes, too much energy is expended on worrying about the future. Time would be spent better by not worrying about it. An example of this is a student who has studied and knows the material for a test, but who is nervous about it. It would be better for her to just take the test and then accept her grade as the best she could do.
One must not always assume that it is better to not worry, though. Weighing the consequences of different paths of action can be useful. This can allow one to decide which outcome is desired. Sometimes, applying more brainpower or time to a decision can make the difference between being stuck with a previous hastily made choice or having more or better options because the alternative chosen was superior. There are many examples. A student may have hastily chosen a topic for a paper before they have though through all the choices. She may have picked easy classes for the next year's schedule so she got all As, while they would not be challenging enough for her to learn anything.
One can have years of experience and they will be no better off than someone who is trying something for the first time, if she does not utilize the knowledge she procured from previous experience. Experience might even be counter-productive if it is not correctly analyzed. Experience is only valuable if one learns from it. One must take an active role in applying past experience to current decisions; just "coasting along" will be a let down in the end.
Experience can help one make future choices, but only if she chooses to utilize the knowledge from past events.