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    Old 05-12-2011, 03:36 PM   #1
    Austin83's Avatar
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    Moving Past Your College Regrets

    Hey everyone, first time poster here, I hope everyone here is doing well! Hopefully I can get some advice here on an issue I'm having.

    The main reason for my post is mainly regarding the biggest mental obstacle that I have, college regrets. I have been able to move past the college mentality for the most part, but sometimes I start thinking about college again and I just get in a sad depressed "I should've done this, why didn't I do this" type mode. It doesn't happen often, it usually happens when I see a bunch of college students or am at an event that is catered toward college students, and by being there it puts me in that college mode again.

    I work in a human resources type of position. Today I had the opportunity to pick up some OT and work our College Internship Graduation event that they have twice a year. I had a great time but it also made me kind of sad just for several reasons:

    1) It reminds me of when life was simple, when all I had to do was get up, go to work/school, go to a party after work/school, and start it all over again. It reminds me when I actually had a good social life and when I didn't have to worry about bills, rent, medical issues, stuff like that.
    2) It reminded me of a time a few years ago when I had no medical issues and was completely healthy (my medical issues are actually pretty minor but they are still there).
    3) It brought back all of my college regrets that I have dealt with off and on since I graduated college.

    It doesn't help that I also did this internship program just a few years ago so it was me getting to participate in all of this. I know that I have a "grass is greener on the other side" type attitude and that doesn't help, but the root of my issues really stem from my regret of not taking advantage of my college years.

    Now I don't want to complain too much (overall I don't have a lot of regrets), my college years weren't horrible, I had friends I hung out with, I went to events, and I graduated with no debt (which today is a minor miracle), but I still feel like I missed out on so much in college. I didn't develop those lifelong friendships that many develop in college, I could've been more involved, I wish I would've joined a fraternity, I wish I would've live on or near campus, and worse of all, I was never in a decently serious relationship. Since I attended college in my hometown, I just stayed at home all 4 years to save money and I really believe that prevented me from living the "traditional" college experience that I now regret.

    Whenever I see groups of college students, all of those regrets resurface and I wish I could somehow go back and redo college. I think it depresses me to know that even if I went back to college, I would be one of the "older nontraditional students) and that I only had one chance to be an 18 year college freshman and I feel like I blew it. It also doesn't help knowing that when I am around college students (like today) I am probably one of the oldest if not the oldest person around. Today was a great example, outside of the other people volunteering to work for the event, I was probably older than 95% of the people there, and it's a feeling I am still getting used to.

    My biggest question for you all that maybe have gone through this is, how did you finally move beyond this stage for good? I believe that from a mental standpoint, these regrets keep me from moving on with the next stage of my life and keep part of me forever rooted in the past. I know I can only control the present, but I feel like as long as I have these regrets and stay somewhat rooted in the past, that it will prevent me from truly enjoying the present and then when I'm in my 30s I will regret my mid and late 20s and it will be an endless self destructive cycle.

    If any of you all have any suggestions definitely respond, I appreciate any feedback!

    Last edited by Administrator; 05-13-2011 at 05:37 AM.

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    Old 05-13-2011, 06:49 PM   #2
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    Re: Moving Past Your College Regrets

    Hi Austin,

    Many people have life-long friends, and plenty of us don't, but it really has nothing to do with college or whether one stays home or joins a sorority. It takes two to become close friends. Evidently no one befriended you, either.

    I think you have romanticized a 'shoulda-woulda-coulda' scenario, that was really just choice. I know people that met off campus and got married after college. There are all sorts of possibilities. It seems like what you may dwell on to avoid getting involved. I think you might be kind of shy or insecure, or both. Maybe you have some negative thinking to overcome.

    You don't have to wait for others to initiate. Do something out of character for you. Smile, say hi, chat at restaurants, etc. Be friendly. Eventually someone will be friendly back.

    I say let go of that and get on with making friends, now, based on your current interests. If you are shy, make a decision to step out and try something new. Take a dance class. If you have two left feet, laugh it off and just have fun. Try horse back riding. Get a puppy (a people magnet), and take puppy training classes and later go to the dog park. If you don't want a pet, take an abstract art class or read your books at a library or at a park or someplace where you can get coffee or tea. Face the flow of people and look up often and smile, and say hi. If someone is alone and chats with you, ask if she/he would like to talk more. maybe it will be no the first time but later when they see you there a couple more times they will repsond.

    Take a body language class to see how your body language reads to others. Be yourself, but make sourself aware of others, and give them some attention in a small way. People like to be noticed and like it if we don't think we (meaning they) have to be perfect.

    I think it was completely fine to concentrate on education and to do your job, but you did that and now you would really be short-changing yourself if you choose to not get involved in life beyond school and work. It's really your choice.

    Last edited by yayagirl; 05-13-2011 at 07:01 PM.

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    Old 09-01-2011, 02:33 PM   #3
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    Re: Moving Past Your College Regrets

    This is why I had a "just do it" mentality in college. I have no regrets from anything I did, just things that I may not have done. I graduated in 2006 and definitely miss the simple, fun college life. It sucks to grow up sometimes. Who says you can't live it up anymore?

    Old 09-12-2011, 01:14 AM   #4
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    Re: Moving Past Your College Regrets

    No regrets. I have had a ton of regrets in college but then I realized, that even if I did the things I was "supposed" to do, I'd still be wistful about the what-ifs... we made our decisions, and to dwell on them would only make things worse. Till now of course I'd still think back and wonder "what if?" But then I'd look at my daughter and tell myself if I did things differently, she wouldn't be here with me.

    If we dated another woman instead of the ones we did, if we partied instead of studying, or vice versa, life would be different yes, but there still will be problems. We would still have bills to pay, our legs will still hurt, our back will still give out, we'd still have fights with our partners, etc... so embrace the life you have now, and think of the past with nostalgia in mind, rather than regret.

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