By the time I send The Metro’s second to last issue of the semester out to the printer, there will be 37 days left until graduation.
It’s hard to believe that the past four years have gone by so fast and my college experience will soon come to an end.
Looking back, I wonder if I accomplished all the goals I set for myself when I first entered college. Did I make the most of it? Should I have chosen a different major? Would I have done something different? Could I have had a better experience?
Shoulda, woulda, coulda…
If there is one thing I have learned, it is that you can’t drone about the past and what you “shoulda, woulda, coulda” done instead. Regardless of the mistakes and failures I faced (and trust me there were plenty), those experiences were just as important, if not more important, than the successes I have also had.
Not only do the failures and mishaps make you stronger as an individual, they prepare you for the future. I have found that it’s inevitable for people to have regrets or to think, “I wish I did that instead,” but it is important for people to understand those experiences make them who they are today.
I recently held a program where five men from the Market Street Mission’s “Rehab and Recovery” program shared their life stories and how they got to where they are today.
Starting from when they were even too young to drive, these men battled addictions that eventually led them to a meaningless life filled with drugs and alcohol. They bravely shared their testimonies and how they felt lost and hopeless when all they looked forward to was feeding their addiction for the day.
One of the men shared that his addiction led him to a life a crime that in return sent him to prison from age 29 to 41. “Not a single day of my 30s was spent as a free man,” he said.
Even though he spent over a decade in the confines of prison, those experiences made him who he is today. For him, and the other four men, their life of crime and drug addiction was a part of the journey that led them to their now successful lives.
Should he have made better decisions? Maybe. Would those better decisions have changed his life? Probably. Could he be the strong, independent person he is today without them? No.
Everyone has regrets or wishes they made better decisions, but regret, I think, is a useless emotion. I always say that “I wish I knew what I know now when I was younger,” but that also is a useless wish.
Life and time will move forward, whether you want it to or not, and people simply need to embrace the past and learn from their mistakes. Had the Market Street Mission men given up during their all-time low, they would have never experienced a life of love and happiness.
So, should I have done more with my college experience? Would it have been better? Could it have made a difference? These are questions I’m done asking. I realized that it truly does not matter, nor should it. My regrets, failures and successes alike have made me who I am today.
As I walk through my life journey, I believe it is important to keep looking ahead because the moment I look behind me is the moment I’ll trip and lose sight of what’s to come.