I have very few regrets in life. At best, I think regrets tend to be a waste of time. At worst, they have the power to suck the very life out of them if you let them. They can make you angry, depressed, confused, aimless, and a whole host of other emotions. So, as a rule, I have very few regrets. I try to learn as much as I can from each ‘less than stellar’ life event and move on.
There is one thing I will probably always regret.
Not going abroad in undergrad. I know, I know, seems like a small thing to many of you, especially given that I’m about to embark on a crazy RTW trip lasting basically as long as I want and going anywhere I wish. But the thing is I really wanted to go. I mean really, really, really wanted to go abroad. My reason for not? Some well-meaning academic advisor told me not to. Normally, she would have probably been doing the kid majoring in biology (one of the most intensive majors at my school) and minoring in fine arts (a subject that, unfortunately, doesn’t overlap with biology in the least) a favor by advising them against taking on the added stress of overloading several semesters just so they could piss about in another country for one semester.
However, I was not just some college kid. Lord, that sounds pretentious. What I mean is that I overloaded my course load every semester in undergrad and 3 out of 4 semesters of grad school because I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to learn as much as I could about the subjects I was interested in. Given my pension for overloading every semester, and the fact that I am almost obsessive when it comes to doing the things I have to before doing the things I want to do (to this day, I still eat the healthiest thing on my plate first), I could easily have gone abroad if I’d had a stronger conviction.
Moral of the story? Never let anyone, even someone well-meaning like your benign school guidance counselor, keep you from doing something that you really want to do.