• Mallory Garber

Their Time Capsules are Filled with Regret| NotForgotten

But I love the lessons they hold. How to learn more about life through what other people regretted not doing.

I think we can all agree that when it comes to life, nobody actually knows what they are doing. Even those who look as though they have it the most together are usually those who are the most lost. We go about life guessing, hoping for the best.

Personally, I think it’s pretty common to not know how to prioritize the more important things in life. I think we grow up thinking some sort of life sansei will come along and guide us on the right path, only to find out that there is no real path to follow. We ultimately have to look to one another for guidance. That being said, often times humans follow the same pattern of regrets in life…so why haven’t we learned?

In the process of researching common regrets people have in their lives, almost the same 5 appeared in every article:

  1. Allowing work to trump family and friendships

  2. Not keeping in touch with meaningful people in life

  3. Worrying about what others think about them

  4. Taking life too seriously

  5. Being unforgiving

Whether you are 16 or 60, you cannot tell me you read that list without being guilty of at least one of those. Technology has given us the ability to receive feedback on every aspect of life. While we we are all individually different we all share common fallibilities, and are all just human. I think that is very evident by the centuries of advice that is passed along to us.

We can already see how technology has impacted the trends of happiness in contemporary generations. Being part of the millennial/Generation Z generation myself, I have noticed my people are much more care free. I believe one of the reasons is due to those common regrets we often hear. Could it be that these generations are trying to listen by taking action?

The more I observe, the more I recognize people prioritizing the simple things in life rather than sticking to a 9–5 routine society has built for them. Whether that is efficient or not, I do not know…but I am sure it will make for a whole new list of regrets for future generations to learn from.

As college student, I have my whole life ahead of me and while that is exciting, it is also terrifying. Thinking of life beyond college is such a vast unknown. I still have so many more challenges to face. Husband? Kids? Loss? Aging? When I think of it that way it feels as though I have barely lived. If there is one thing I can count on though, it is that I am not alone and countless others have walked the path ahead of me, tripping and learning themselves. As we confront huge chapters in our lives, it is not hard to simply turn to one another and ask how to read them.

Something I read that really stood out to me was a mother moving her son into college. As she put her efforts into converting his frat house into more of a home, she had an epiphany of sorts. She explained that,