Have Regrets?

September 10, 2013

mensa bulletin regrets issueI think most of us do…

Although, I think many of us probably have more wishes that things beyond our control had been different, or have more wonder about alternate possibilities, than we do straight up regrets.

I was reading the September issue of Mensa’s magazine. In here, there’s a section where members wrote in with their biggest regrets.

Some of the are sad and unfortunately unchangeable now – the ones having to do with having certain conversations with people who died.

Some of them are very simple. One person says she regrets not taking a chemistry class in college. One said she regrets not learning to play guitar. One person regretted not going into the Peace Corps. One regretted not going to veterinarian school.

Here’s my question to those regrets which can easily be changed at this point – why aren’t those people doing those things?

I understand that some things in life can be tough because of money or time issues. Perhaps the Peace Corps person has a family now and doesn’t feel she can leave them for an extended amount of time. But the guitar? A chemistry class?

These are things that I would think in most circumstances could be easily accomplished. Sure, it’ll cost some money to buy a guitar. (You don’t need a really nice one just to learn how to play.) And college classes always cost money.

But for many people, these are within the scope of budgets – things that are possible to pay for with a little setting aside each month or each week.

My question to you is what’s your biggest regret? And if it’s still possible to rectify, what are you doing about it now?

4 thoughts on “Have Regrets?”

  1. Okay biggest regret…not doing more theater in high school and college. How am I fixing it now, I’m doing community theater and loving it! Working on my acting skills and right now most importantly my auditioning skills 🙂

  2. Interesting post. My biggest regret is that a year after getting my degree I went to Brown University’s grad program in Econ. Brown University is like supermodel with an oozing zit on her nose, with the zit being their pathetic 19th Century economics department in an otherwise forward thinking university. I hadn’t bothered to check out the individual department, instead just thinking about what I’d heard about Brown.

    i left after a year with a bunch of $ wasted and nothing to show for it except for my enthusiasm for economics being soured for years.

    My dream had always been to teach college, and i got there, but I didn’t get the Berklee job until age 35 via a round-about path and more-than-a-bit of dumb luck. Had I chosen grad school more carefully–or left Brown & looked for a better program 3 weeks into the first semester when the writing was on the wall–I’d probably had earned a Ph.D. in my late 20s and be 8ish years ahead of where I am careerwise.

    There’s really nothing I can do about it, since I ended up in a very good place. It just took a lot longer and I’ll never get back the time I wasted studying computers or temping. i theoretically could go to school to get a Ph.D, (as opposed to my current M.Ed.) but since I’m already doing what I want to do there’s really no point–they’d probably pay me a bit more, but not enough to justify the time burned.

    1. Yeah, those are the toughest regrets – the ones where you feel like you wasted time, and there’s just no way to get that time back.

      (And it’s possible that the examples I mentioned in the post didn’t just want to learn to play guitar or take a chemistry class – but perhaps they actually wanted to be a rock star or a chemist, or generally do something those things would’ve let to. If that’s the case, I understand why they’re not just picking up an instrument or taking a class. It’s very hard and time-consuming to make an entire life change.)

      It’s too bad that your path wasn’t more straightforward the way you originally envisioned, but it’s very nice that you ended up doing the thing you wanted to do! 🙂

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