A free pass to change your past

Today you get a free pass to go back and change anything in your past. What did you change and why?

Add your response


Submitted by Sandy Brown Jensen

There are 26 written responses to this assignment.

My past and presant

Written by Marty on November 19, 2014 2:52 pm
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I have had a hard time of it over ge past few years. It had afected my mental and physical health. It had ruined my life. It as affected my famiky relationship and work situation. I got nvolved with prescription medication even though my problems were not that bad. I did have some issues with social skill, aboidant coping, clutter and procrastination. I did have good things in my lfe like a good job, a loving family, money, a house. I dont feel the same as I used too feel. I am more nervace, worried, unhappy. My health is not good. I would like to fix ths mistake so it does not ruin my whole life.


Martin White

Changing My Past

Written by Thomas Baird on October 27, 2014 12:13 am
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At this point in my life I can honestly say that there are very few things I would change in my life. I love the life I live everyday. I have made mistakes in my life, but they have made me the person I am today, so I am grateful for them. If I had to choose something to choose, I think it would be to be/have been more daring, and take more chances. Because in the end, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Future Weight Watcher

Written by David Mercer (Blindside) on October 27, 2014 12:00 am
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If there was anything I could change about my past it would most definitely be my diet. I often times tell people that I wish I could go back and do it all over again. I didn’t realize that while I was eating and not working it off other kids were.

Most of my friends, almost all of them, are significantly smaller than me. What I don’t understand is now they eat just is much as I do. I exercise just as much as they do but I can’t get rid of my weight. So if I could go back and change my diet I definitely would.

I would change my views to fruits and vegetables because until this day I don’t eat enough of either of them. I would lay off of the fried foods and basically work out more.

Everything else about me is pretty much what I want it to be. I love myself and everything about me. All of those things make me who I am today and I wouldn’t change those for the world. That’s how people recognize me, it’s why they love me.

Wouldn’t know what to change in the past

Written by Ronald on October 26, 2014 6:06 pm
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I wouldn’t know what to change in the past, if I had the chance to do it.
The past, most of all the bad things that happened, made me who I am now.

If I’d change the bad things that happened in the past, I wouldn’t have met the woman with whom I got two wonderful beautiful children. If I’d change the past, I wouldn’t have met the wonderful woman I’m married to now.

I’m quite happy now. If all the bad things in the past were to be “repaired”, I wouldn’t be the person I’m now.
I’m not sure I’d be a better person then, I’m not sure I’d be more happy person.

So, in the end, just let things gone by, be gone by.

Live a Healthier Lifestyle

Written by Nicky Memita on October 26, 2014 6:03 pm
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As a child, I ate horribly. Even as a baby, I saw my parents fed me horribly! This led me to carry on unhealthy eating throughout my teenage years. If I had known back then all the things I knew about nutrition now, I imagine I probably would’ve been a lot healthier, and not trying to lose weight like others. I’m so glad that I’ve recently associated myself with healthy eating, weight loss, weight lifting, and Zumba.

Freshman Year Picture Day

Written by Hope on October 26, 2014 2:36 pm
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Like all Fresmen, upon entering high school I was determined to reinvent myself and make the next four years amazing. I obsessed over my first day outfit, because it was also picture day. And I got a hair cut. I convinced my mom to let me lighten my hair too, and I was positive that it would be my shining moment.

So right before pictures, I chopped off the majority of my beautiful long hair in favor of a shorter, spunkier hair do. I wanted the fringe-cut look. Instead of early 2000’s pop star, I looked like I had my hair cut by rusty scissors in a back alley. It was horrible. The hair dye was way way too light and I looked like I had dunked my head in a bucket of bleach. Not a good look.

My family thought the picture was so hysterical that they ordered a super large copy of it and hung it above our mantel for several months. I would walk by it and cringe, plagued by that day all over again.

If there is one thing in my life I would change, it would be that picture. Don’t go for the Ashlee Simpson shag cut, freshman Hope. Just don’t.

This one’s for the future (and for the present)

Written by Christina Hendricks (@clhendricksbc) on October 26, 2014 1:38 am
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See, I know that ten years from now I’ll say: Damn, I should have spent more time with my son and less time on work. I know I’ll say that; I can hear it already. I’m practically saying it now. He’s seven, and the next ten years are going to be crucial to our future relationship. And yet, I work 9-11 hours per day, 5 days a week, and another 5-8 hours per day on most weekends. At least, during the 26 weeks of the year that I’m teaching at my university job. (Anyone, anyone who thinks that university professors all have it easy because they only teach a few hours a day should just take a look at my schedule. And not only mine.)

So I know that in the future, I’ll wish I had changed the past that is now the present.

So why don’t I just take this advice now and keep myself from having to say this ten years from now (or even today)?

What I’d like to change in my past is whatever the hell it is that keeps me from taking this advice. Whatever it is that drives me to work longer than is probably necessary, to prep for classes and mark essays. Whatever makes me stay up to all hours of the night doing teaching, research, and service work. Whatever won’t let me say “no” to that next really interesting project that honestly, will push me over the edge.

But the thing is, I don’t know what that thing is.

But if I had the chance to change it, I’d probably do so, even though it means that my career wouldn’t be where it is now, most likely. But what am I gonna really think is important when I’m old(er) and grey(er)? Pretty obvious answer: my family. Duh.

I would never have started ds106

Written by Jim Groom on October 25, 2014 11:20 pm
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The rent’s too damn high for this class!

For Something I’ve Done

Written by Cris Crissman (@Cris2B) on October 25, 2014 11:18 pm
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There’s a country song titled, “I’d Rather Be Sorry for Something I’ve Done than for Something than I Never Did.”

And looking back, I think it’s true.

I have many more regrets about things I opted not to do — because of fear of failure, procrastination (read fear); because of looking silly or uncool.

The biggest thing I think that I might have changed and basically improved my life would have been to sleep more. I know, I know. If I’d slept more I would have missed out on a lot of time that I spent on other pursuits. But I worry that my constant sleep deprivation is and will affect my memory so I’ve lost stories I’d like to remember, moments I’d like to treasure.

Maybe that’s why I value my digital storytelling so much now — I’m preserving stories that my bad habits can’t steal away.

Not Really a Redo

Written by Meredith Fierro on October 25, 2014 11:05 pm
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This may sound cliche but I don’t really have anything that I would redo in my life. I think everything went the way it was supposed to go so I can’t really think of something that I would redo. But if I have to redo something I probably would have gone to the high school that I graduated from all 4 years of high school rather than my last 2 years. I had such a great time at my school and I think if I was given 2 more years there I would have enjoyed it even more. But that is in the past and my experiences are what has molded me into who I am today. Its interesting to think about where I would have ended up if I went to my high school for 2 more years. Who knows?

As I Reflect Back…

Written by Mike Black on October 25, 2014 10:56 pm
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I would change my heard-headed ways as a teen. I also regret postponing college for as long as I did. Once I graduated high school, I just wanted to make money and hang with friends. But hey, you live and you learn. I eventually got my act together and am more focused than ever. Family means a lot to me and I just want to make my parents proud by completing this degree at UMW. From my past experiences/bad decisions, I try to educate the younger generation every chance I get, hoping that they stay on the right path.

Change Your Past

Written by Sara McDermott on October 25, 2014 9:51 pm
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If I could change anything in my past, it would probably be a collection of the amount of times I didn’t do something because I was too afraid to. I was a HUGE homebody growing up, and up until about junior year of high school, I would make up excuses for sleepovers, overnights at camp, vacations with my friends, just because I was too afraid to be away from my mom and my house for the night. This fear is also the reason I didn’t take college applications seriously– because I didn’t want to ever be away from home. I was so lucky my grades were good enough to get into Mary Washington, however I’ve still neglected to do a lot of fun things because of silly fears. Hopefully a few years from now I won’t have to think twice when asked if I want to do something I would enjoy, and I’ll just do it.

What I would do

Written by Rachel on October 25, 2014 9:47 pm
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If there is anything I would change in my past I would do all the things that I was to afraid to do. I would go on those bad dates, ride those scary roller coasters, take those trips, and say all the things I held in. I would change my hesitant personality and become fearless.

Press on forward, No Regrets…

Written by Melinda Albrycht, @malbrycht7 on October 25, 2014 8:03 pm
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If there is anything that I have learned in my 44 years of life is that everything happens for a reason. The Bible says “For Everything there is a time and a season.” To me this means that each event that you experience in your life has happened for a purpose. Even if I had a pass to change my past, I wouldn’t. I got pregnant with my oldest son in college while in a relationship that was not meant to be. I had to drop out and get a full time job with benefits. Everyone in my family tried to talk me into an abortion. I could not take his little life. I made a choice that I have no regrets over. He was a life not a choice. I got a full time job in which I met a wonderful friend that introduced me to her brother and set us up on a blind date. 23 years later, we are still together and have added 2 more children to our family. After raising my children, I was able to return to school to get my degree. I am completely focused on what I want to do and have set goals in my life. It has shown me that it is important never to regret choices that we make. Instead, stand proud of your choices and never look back. Life is too short to double check yourself. Trust in your God, and have enough faith to get out of the boat. Believe in yourself and your choices. Don’t look back… Have No regrets….

Changing the Past

Written by Nicholas Randall on October 25, 2014 7:07 pm
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This is an interesting question. I don’t think I would change a thing about my past. While my past is not flawless, I rather like that it has made me who I am today.

Most people would kill to have something like this, but I think I’d have to pass. I like how I am now, and changing anything in the past would affect the person that I am now.

Golden retriever.

Written by Kailey on October 25, 2014 7:01 pm
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Not wanting to get TOO deep/depressing/philosophical, I would change one simple thing:

I would spend more time with my beloved golden retriever on the day he died.

I know I couldn’t prevent his death (when it’s a living thing’s time to go, we can’t stop forces more powerful than ourselves), but I would savor every second with him: hold him, hug him, nuzzle his soft fur, look into his eyes, and memorize his scent and endless love. That dog made 9.5 years of my life beautiful, and I would make sure his last day was nothing but joy.

Too Late

Written by Katelyn Kemble on October 25, 2014 5:19 pm
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If I had to go back and change something about my past, it would be the decision to tell my parents sooner about my wanting to change my major. I waited a long time to make a final decision about what I wanted to do with my life and by doing so, I wasted both my parents’ time and mine. I just wish I could get those two years back.

Looking Back

Written by Iharris on October 25, 2014 4:55 pm
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I’m pretty young, so I don’t really have a life filled with many huge decisions where I wish I’ve made a different choice. For now, I wish I could change how I acted in high school. I went through a period where I was rude and disrespectful to those who cared about me. I wish I could slap some sense into my younger self to not be such a jerk. Other people had problems of their own, I shouldn’t try to add to them.

Free Redo

Written by Ryan Lacey on October 25, 2014 2:23 pm
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If I could get a chance to change one thing in my past I don’t think I would change anything to absurdly significant but I would definitely have gone to the Passion Pit/ Matt and Kim concert last year. I definitely missed out by not going to that but hey you live you learn hopefully the school gets someone cool for this semester!

What would I change…

Written by Kevin Le on October 25, 2014 1:11 pm
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If there was one thing I would change in the past, it would be how my mentality was coming into college. I had not expect how difficult it would be my freshman year, and I came in with a semi-lazy, high school mentality with me getting away with minimal to no studying at all to get the job done. However, this was not the case and I ended up doing pretty mediocre my first year at UMW. Though, on my sophomore year, I had a massive reality check and began to get rid of my bad habits from high school and did way better than I did the year before. Still though, my freshman year was a pretty bad experience, academic wise, and it is something I want to go back and change because that was a terrible time for me.

Finish Your PhD!

Written by @sandramardene on October 25, 2014 12:37 pm
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I was enrolled in the PhD program at UC Riverside in 1982 or so in English. I freaked out–didn’t think I could do it–and transferred to UC Fullerton where I finished a MA in Creative Writing of Poetry.

As I near retirement, I realize that was a mistake that affected my entire career trajectory. It was a bad decision born of fear, and it didn’t really work out that well, unless your idea of a career includes seventeen years as an adjunct working 19 classes a year in three colleges a two hour commute apart.

Unless your idea of a career includes not getting a full time job until you’re 60.

I realize a lot of PhDs end up as adjuncts, too, these days, but in the time and decade when I was entering the so-called professoriat (aka pink collar offshore worker), having that PhD would have been a huge advantage.

Free pass to change the past? Yes, please!


Written by Jai on October 25, 2014 9:54 am
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I had my baby.

Living Redo

Written by byzantiumbooks on October 25, 2014 9:44 am
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The year was 1970. Woodstock had happened the year before; I couldn’t go because I was a young high school student in Miami and didn’t have transportation or permission. However, a buddy and I made plans to purchase a 1957 Cadillac hearse, convert it into a camper, and drive to the Toronto Peace Festival (Strawberry Fields Festival). We would be high school graduates and free!

But, the hearse was broken down, sitting in a field for several years. It was rumored that the motor would start, and that the woman who owned it would take $50. Both were wrong. No-go on the engine, and she wanted $75. So, our plans went up in smoke.

If I were to do this over again, I would have found some other way to live the dream of being on the road to a hippie festival. There is no telling how life would be different now, or if there even would be one. Instead of the hippie life, I joined the Navy for many years of mobile communal living of a different sort.

Life Mulligan

Written by Kris Hooks on October 25, 2014 8:29 am
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If I could go back and change something in my past, without terribly altering the future, I would go tell my past self to take college more seriously that first time around. Here I am, three decades later getting another degree and taking it VERY seriously and doing well. In fact, doing much better academically than I did the first time around when I let myself get distracted by every shiny object in my path.

College is wasted on the young and I wish I could go back and bop myself on the head and do a wake-up call.

I Took the Stairs Less Travelled

Written by @iamTalkyTina on October 25, 2014 8:08 am
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Well, many people might say that if I didn’t take those stairs then my life would be better. I might not have become typecast and characterized as some kind of “scary doll” (don’t use the mean word) that was too short for mainstream Hollywood roles and get all worked up over it and have people think that I am dangerous to be around plus not nice and have to have an exile and and endure many years of discriminationatory feelings just because of it.

But I am thankful for it and all of the True Friends that I have made over the years who know that I am not really like that plus my ninja skills and missions that have come out of it and all of the travel that I have seen in the world Plus did I mention all of the true friends that I have because of it? Even the ones that are now dead.

So, to recap, I took the stairs less traveled, and so some might ask if I had a Free Pass would I take the same stairs again and the answer is yes because it is important to always be a True Friend even if it wrecks your life.

There is no standardized dreamlife!

Written by stefaniej on October 25, 2014 8:06 am
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I thought for a long time I have to find my dream man and to establish my dream family. This may be ok, but I was full of images and ideas fed by standards you can learn in school or watch on TV or ….

I have lost so much of my time by not giving up these ideas, realizing one day all did not work out for me.

There are no dream men or families anyway and it is pretty troubling to be good enough for any dream job.

I would decide earlier to pursuit my dream job, because trying to be the right woman for a man gave me a lot of pain and cost me a lot of valuable live time. With this change in my past at least I would have been able to have a decent job these days and maybe it would be easier to find friends and boyfriends and … People rarely want to have friends or girlfriends in a difficult situation.

That it is! May my time on this planet be long enough to still achieve both :)