In terms of regrets, this one is the most trivial, yet hurts the most.
When you’re in school, you don’t really understand the implications of your actions. You don’t understand that when you walk past a teacher’s office yelling whilst they are conducting a meeting with someone that you have just completely disturbed and disrupted a very important conversation. You don’t understand that your teacher is putting their blood and sweat and tears into giving you exactly what you need in order to be successful. They care. They want you to do well. And yet …
I didn’t realise how much my lack of effort would affect me later in life. In saying that, I have done alright for myself. I still have a job, I have a place to live, but I wonder, if I tried harder and got better grades, whether I would be better off in life.
The thing is, I realise now, that I literally had everything at my fingertips. I had people to help, I had email addresses and phone numbers that I could use for support outside of school hours, and still I ignored everything that was given to me.
I found the work difficult. That’s why I disconnected. It was too hard, so I stopped trying. I remember the very moment I made the decision. I was in a math class. Mr Newman was going through “basic” algebra. I could hear that there were word coming out of his mouth, but he may as well have been speaking Swahili to me. Every dot and squiggle on the white board was a hieroglyph.
“Any questions?” he asked when he had finally finished his lengthy explanation.
Many. I have all the questions, I had thought.
I just stared at the board like someone had told me that my dog had died. No matter how hard I tried to comprehend the x’s and y’s, I couldn’t understand how if y=2x+3, then somehow you get a straight, diagonal line on a plane.
As far as I was concerned, if you befriended a pilot, and got a sharpie and a ruler, you could easily get a straight diagonal line on a plane without x’s and y’s even remotely coming into the equation.
Only half of my year level got into university courses. Most of the girls pursued nursing, and the boys spread themselves over engineering, sciences, and arts.
Harry, my best friend, he went into culinary school. He made new friends there, and I haven’t really heard from him since.
Me? I bounced around from job to job – trying to find my niche, not really knowing what direction to go in. It was like being a little kid again, getting lost in a mass of people. You could go to the place that says ‘Information’, surely they would be able to help; but you thought you saw a red jacket just like the one your mum was wearing over there, which isn’t by ‘Information’ at all; but you have ten dollars in your pocket which could easily buy you a couple of tries on the rotating clown heads; but didn’t Dad say that it would be better to stay in the same spot until your mum realises that you’re gone and comes to find you?
In my case, though, it was: oh, there’s a job going at the local building company; but maybe I’d be a better plumber; then again, this electrical job pays alright and I already know what I’m doing … do I really want to go through training again?
Hindsight. It’s like believing in magic. You never actually believe that it exists, until you see something that makes you realise that what you thought is not actually how it is.
It’s easy to sit in a classroom, and think that not completing that assignment or that exercise is not going to make a difference – and maybe not completing one won’t, but when it’s assignment after assignment and exercise after exercise, I realise now that the only person you are failing is yourself.
The bottom line is, as my English teacher used to say, it’s your life. People can push you and pester you to do your work and get it in on time; they can try to help you to make things easier in completing that work. But actually doing that work? Well … that’s up to you.
A/N: I’d like to point out, this is a work of fiction…
If you would like to read my non-fiction views on jobs and occupations click here.