Its graduation time. Facebook and Instagram is plastered with happy faces in caps and gowns; proud parents are gushing about their incredible children. Everyone is celebrating their success, the friends they’ve made, the memories they’ll savour forever…
I was doing so well in my first year of university. I was studying Media and dreamt about a career in PR. I wrote fascinating essays about topics I really cared about; I was so passionate about the course and as I was very good at. In the first few months I was excelling in each of my modules and was getting great feedback from my tutors. As the months went on I realised I couldn’t balance my health, work and studies so I sacrificed my studies and during my second semester I made the decision to leave.
I tried education again a year later after but I just couldn’t get back into it, I didn’t enjoy the new university I was studying at and I was still struggling with my mental health. I convinced myself that I didn’t care for university and further education wasn’t for me. I told my friends and family the same and that I didn’t want to get a degree because I didn’t care. I lied.
Unfortunately despite my wishes it would be implausible for me to get a degree now. I’ve used up my tuition fee loan entitlement and can’t afford to pay my fees out of my own pocket. I realise the consequences of my mistakes now and though I couldn’t control my mental health or schedule my breakdowns I could’ve put off studying for a year or two until I’d got my shit together. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
The oh so tumblr phrase “Never regret anything because at one time it was exactly what you wanted” really frustrates me. I’ve made millions of mistakes and have plenty of regrets. I’ve done stupid things that I (thought I) wanted at the time because I was angry, sad or being selfish; under any other circumstances I’d have never made those choices.
We shouldn’t let our past control our future but regrets are a good thing, they remind us of our conscience and our morals. We’ve all had temporary lapses in judgement and its okay, you learn from your mistakes. The real error is blaming the past for your future and neglecting to make any effort to improve.
As Sophia Amoruso says “There are secret opportunities hidden inside every failure” and without my past faults I’d have never created some of my favourite memories, like travelling around Europe, meeting most of my best friends and living in some amazing cities. As long as your regrets guide you in the right direction and don’t define your future everything will be okay.