I’ll come right out and say it. I’ve long regretted my college education to some degree. I majored in “Christian Ministries,” a major that most people have surely never heard of. It was basically a degree designed to prepare people for a life of ministry in one form or another. It was a program largely geared towards self/spiritual-development, and it did that very well. I regret little of what I learned in that time. What I regret is what I didn’t learn.
Perhaps my education was wasted on my youth. When it was time to decide on a major, I just hadn’t figured out what I was interested in yet. I thought I was being wise when I decided to address the questions of my faith before trying to choose a vocation, but in hindsight I can see that I could just as well have addressed and developed my faith in my free time while majoring in something more vocational or…tangible.
Looking through the list of degrees on my alma mater’s website today, it didn’t take me long to find one that I wish I’d done instead of Christian Ministries. The Media Studies major looks really great to me now, but when I was 18 it never would have occurred to me to follow that path.
Even with all of this regret, though, I can still find some good in my failure to properly educate myself. Had I chosen any other major than Christian Ministries, I seriously doubt that I would have had the available elective credits that allowed me to study abroad in my final year, and it was that year abroad that really opened the doors to where I am and the life I lead today. I’m incredibly happy with my life here in Japan, always finding new and exciting opportunities that just wouldn’t be there for me back in the US.
Also, it’s my feeling of being so far behind everyone else that has been really driving me over the past few years to catch up. I’ve learned and grown a lot in recent years, but I’m still far behind and still quite motivated to continue working to make up for lost time. Failing to receive a satisfactory college education has motivated me to become a life-long learner. I really hope I can go back to school one day, but in the mean time I can do my best to appreciate and make use of the countless educational resources available these days.
I’m not one of those people who says he doesn’t regret anything because he’s happy where is. I do regret many things–some very deeply–but when it comes to the past mistakes and misfortune, all we can really do is try to learn and let go.