Here on Holy Cross campus, I have inarguably the greatest job: I get to bake cookies and get paid to do so.

I literally walk into a fully stocked kitchen, open my Pinterest, and escape for the next two hours. Anyone can come grab a cookie and sit and chat or simply grab one and be on their way. Regardless, I love baking. Not just because it’s producing some unhealthy goodness, but also because baking has taught me quite a few lessons that I can take with me into the world outside the kitchen:

1. Be Patient.

To get the perfect cookie, often times it’s very necessary to refrigerate the dough. You want to ensure it’s not too warm and going to overspread when put in the oven. For my first few years of baking, I never would wait to bake them. I’d take the slightly warmed dough and always end up with thin, crunchy cookies. Over time I learn that the extra time is very worth the wait. In life, you don’t always want to wait around for the best result; you just want to get the fastest. But 9/10 times, the prolonged result will be better.

2. Listen to the recipes.

I have never taken a baking class. I’ve never read a book on baking. So when I decided to wing a recipe, no surprise that it didn’t turn out well. Professional bakers know what they’re doing and when they put a recipe out into the world, it’s very well calculated. Every technique is there for a reason to create the best end result. In life, we like to think we are professionals at everything just because we’ve done it once or twice. If you took a psychology class, you probably thought you were able to make diagnoses. There is a reason they are professionals, that title didn’t cost nothing. So before you do something because you think you already know how to fix or manage or bake it, turn to someone who does. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake that could seriously affect you.

3. Make mistakes, but learn from them.

The first two points boil down to this last one. When you first start baking, you’re bound to make mistakes. Maybe you used baking powder instead of baking soda. Or you could’ve though that confectioner’s sugar is the same as white sugar. Either way, it affected your finished product in some way. The great part about baking is you can always start from scratch and do it again. Same goes for life! You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to locked yourself out of your room and have to call someone to let you back in. Or learn quickly that beer before liquor makes you sicker. In both situations, the world gets it: we mess up. Just learn from it and move on, it’ll be better the second time around.