OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Wednesday, March 11

#6976

QUESTION:
Anyone have any good advice on letting go of the past and past mistakes? For some specific context, I'm a 4B engineering student about to graduate and I turn 28 soon after. I feel like I should be happy I'm about to complete my undergrad but in all honesty I just feel like a massive failure for having taken this long to complete it. All my high school friends graduated from their programs in 2010 and I feel like I've wasted 5 years of my life and it's preventing me from looking forward to my future. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

10 comments

  1. OP kudos, first off you are about to complete a degree in a very challenging program. Second, your life isn't going to follow the same pattern as the people you know. While age does not automatically mean maturity and wisdom, you'll probably approach the following years with more direction and focus than a lot of your mates would have in the past. Finally, you might not need to let go of the past but learn from it. Everything that you've gone through has made you who you are and influenced the decisions you've made. Let the mistakes that you so want to let go of influence you positively. Congratulations on almost graduating!

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  2. Agree with #1.
    OP you're awesome. You had the choice to give up in the midst of it but you decided to stick through it and come out stronger. It has made you grow so much more as a person and being an engineer is one of the hardest professions, but very rewarding. This is what life had in store for you so don't ponder too much over the past but look forward to graduating and starting life with a clean slate! Wish you a lot of good luck!!

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  3. Everyone has their own path to take OP. I am in a similar situation. I'll be graduating even older than you with most of my friends from high school quite well-off in their lives, hell, there are people a decade younger than me in the program I initially entered graduating way before I will. Shit happens. It happens to everyone and you had the resolve to follow through with your goals. Try to think about what is next in your future rather than lamenting over the past. Now that you're about to graduate take life by the balls and start living the way you want to live. Don't compare to others because contexts will always be different. Just get out there and dominate your field.

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  4. You're never too young or too old to go to school! I have a few friends whose parents are beginning to take uni/college classes. Everyone's path is different, OP. Education is education -- it doesn't matter how old you are. You're right where you're supposed to be. :)

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  5. congrats on graduating! everyone walks their own path and it is never too late to be where you want to be. hope things work out for you in the future

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  6. I'll be 28 this summer, and will be graduating at the end of this year. I don't feel like a failure at all, but a huge success.

    One tip I can give you is this: what's the point of focusing on the past 5 years as a failure? They're gone and done, and there's nothing you can do about it, so focus on your future and just do amazing.

    Also: many people are changing careers 3-4 times in their life now, so you're in good company.

    Good luck with the rest of your life! :)

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  7. In the end, all that matters is that you graduated and got yourself an engineering degree from UW, like all the others before you. It shouldn't matter how long it took you to get it, everyone works at their own pace. And this is the thing I struggle with in UW. Also as an engineering student, I find myself under constant stress because I already failed 2 terms in my program and looking at withdrawal from engineering if it happens again. So I can't understand how you were able to extend your program for 5 years, when they are looking to kick me out if I have it extended for more than 2 years. I would rather take 10 years completing a program I like, which also happens to be extremely difficult, than get kicked out for failing more than twice in my attempt to complete the program. You've really made it through! Congratulations!

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    Replies
    1. OP here. I didn't start the program right after high school like most. I also failed two terms but after one of them I took a year off. Therefore, started at 20 + 5 year program + 2 years for failed terms + 1 year for a taking a year off = 28.

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    2. Oh I see. Well I was embarrassed when I had failed those 2 years and when I went through the whole ordeal of finding new friends amongst new classmates. However, I never truly considered my failed terms and years as a waste because I was doing something productive in all that free time. Also, I had really great co-op terms in the past and having extra co-op terms because of those failures also helped me better myself. So I don't necessarily see my failures as a waste and I hope this helps you view your failures in a new light as well.

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  8. OP here. Thanks guys for all the kind words and advice. It is very much appreciated.

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