What if I had auditioned for that dance team? What if I had talked to that girl sitting next to me in the lecture hall? What if I had asked them out? What if I had joined that club? What if I had taken that class? “What if” questions constantly plague our minds, maybe even on a daily basis. Overthinking and sometimes even regretting decisions we have or have not made is so incredibly easy — especially at times when we are extra vulnerable and are faced with adversity.
Seven months ago as an incoming freshman, I kept asking myself if choosing UC Berkeley was the right decision for me. What if I had chosen to go to another school — one that was closer to home or one that most of my close friends were going to? Being so fixated on the “what ifs,” I wasn’t able to fully appreciate and enjoy some moments of my first semester at UC Berkeley.
After accepting and appreciating what I currently have in the present instead of trying to revisit old decisions in the past, the “what ifs” that constantly ran through first semester me’s mind seemed to have never even existed. Now that I’ve spent almost an entire school year here at UC Berkeley, I can’t even begin to imagine myself at another school. Because I’ve started to live in the present, I’ve met so many incredible people, I’ve learned so many new things and I’ve had so much fun.
I’ve definitely had my fair share of “what ifs,” but looking back on these times now, the “what ifs” don’t matter. Spending our time overanalyzing every little decision we didn’t make does not alter the past. What we can do, however, is live our lives to the fullest in the present so that these “what ifs” don’t continue to haunt us. I know it’s much easier said than done, trust me, but we should try — as hard as it may seem — each and every day to enjoy our present rather than become fixated on the past. As cliché as it may seem, life truly is too short for us to spend it regretting certain choices or not taking advantage of the opportunities presented to us and trying to revisit them in the past.