What I would like to change in my past

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Everybody has his regrets that arise from poor decisions, mistakes and wasted opportunities (Roese, 2005). However, everything I have done in the past, good or bad, makes me who I am today. Past experiences shape my perception of the present and future events. If I were able to change my past, I would act selflessly and enable other people to succeed in their life goals. Additionally, I would work harder in my studies in order to attain better grades.

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   First, I feel that I have not lived my past in the best possible manner. In this regard, living life well means enabling other people to achieve great things in life by overcoming their present predicaments. I do not think I have done enough to help anyone out of his unfortunate circumstances. If I had another opportunity during my childhood, I would sympathize with people who suffer hardships such as poverty, disease, handicap, and ignorance.

   I had many opportunities to participate in community work in order to participate in activities that motivate disadvantaged groups to make the most out of their lives. However, I do not remember taking such opportunities seriously, in fact, I did not regard them as opportunities of meaningful engagements with the community. Rather, I viewed them as wastage of my leisure time. I spent this time doing my own things, hanging around with friends, classmates and visiting family members.

            If I could, I would change this by dedicating all my free time engaging in community work and sharing experiences with people who are marginalized sections of society. I would my academic knowledge to help them establish income-generating activities in order for them to support themselves as well as their families financially.

            Rather than regret the things that I did not do in the past, I would help other people become helpers so that they do not find themselves in circumstances such as mine when they attain my age.  I would tell them about the importance of ignoring the negative sides of their lives and to focus on encouraging other people to succeed in whatever they do.

            I blame my approach to life to the type of education that I received. However, this does not make me stop regretting my past wasted opportunities. The education system emphasized on individual efforts to pass exams by all means possible. This approach did not teach a young learner about the importance of real, meaningful engagement with society. This disconnection between the goals of education and life skills resulted in a one-sided approach to success. It was impossible to focus on the ‘outside world’ wholly and to succeed in studies at the same time (Miller & Nickerson, 2007). One had to put a blind eye on one aspect of life.

            If I went back into the past, I would try and advocate for a change of the education system, so that learners gain life skills in addition to attaining impressive grades. I would request my teachers to engage us in community work both within the school and outside school. Additionally, I would take a personal initiative to mobilize my classmates to engage in assistance projects for poor people who are our parents’ age instead of going partying every Saturday evening.

I would also make conscious efforts to assist my father, mother, brothers, and sisters with domestic work. I do not remember sympathizing with them in the best possible manner, especially when I was in high school. During high school summer holidays, I would readily give excuses of an approaching major exam to avoid farm work and to be left alone at home, supposedly studying. If I had a chance, I would change this as well by assisting my parents during holidays rather than studying all the time.


Miller, D. &Nickerson, A. (2007) Changing the Past, Present, and Future: Potential Applications of Positive Psychology in School-Based Psychotherapy with Children and Youth, Journal of Applied School Psychology, 24(1), 147-162.

Roese, N. (2005) What We Regret Most… and Why, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31(9), 1273-1285.

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