The Ultimate Regret

By Khaledah Seraj

I looked at the computer screen, staring at my degree audit. I had one more year left until I completed my bachelor’s degree. I scanned my transcript, examining the classes I took with each letter grade next to the corresponding class. My hands trembled and I felt nothing but regret and anger. Regret, because I knew there was no going back now, and anger at myself for not trying all those years. Oh! How I wish I could have tried just a little bit harder. A million questions ran through my mind. What would happen when I wanted to apply for graduate school? What about the job or internship that I wanted to apply for? Will what I have be enough?

Why didn’t I do more?
Why didn’t I do more?
Why didn’t I do more?

I became depressed and overly obsessed with my grades. Nothing else in my life mattered. I was married to an amazing person, had an amazing family and a great home. But it wasn’t enough. All I could think about was the fact that I had slacked off, didn’t use my full potential, and definitely did not take advantage of the resources available to me. I didn’t really care until I got closer to graduation and saw everyone else around me talking about what he or she would be doing afterward and about everything that they had already accomplished. I wasn’t the typical ecstatic college student ready to be handed their diploma and move on to the next chapter in life. I was graduating a year late, which added to the anxiety already taking over me. On top of that, all I could think about graduation day as, was just the day that I stand with everyone and get compared. It was the day everyone’s names would be called in public, along with their accomplishments. Some people graduate with honors, some don’t graduate at all.

I looked at my resume for the billionth time. It was empty.
“What was I doing all those years?”

If only I could go back.
If only I could go back.
If only I could go back.

My anxiety dominated me and controlled every second of my day. It was a nightmare. I would sit in class and instead of paying attention to the teacher I would repeatedly look up my grades, my classes, and my resume. I couldn’t change it now but I would just stare at it. It got very obsessive. It was starting to affect my current classes and grades.

Then one day it hit me. The one thing that really helped me realize my reality, and ultimately heal me was right in front of me the whole time and I was just too blind to see it.

I realized at the moment, sitting in class, worrying about my grades, my resume, and graduation, that we have a bigger “graduation ceremony”.  A day will come when we will stand beside all of mankind. Our whole bodies will be drowning in sweat!

Just picture this scene in your head. You’re sitting in your graduation ceremony. There are how many people?

Five hundred? A thousand? Five thousand? Ten thousand? More?

Now think about graduating in front of all of mankind, from Adam down to the last person to live on this earth!

That is when there truly won’t be any going back. No matter how much regret we have in this world, we will never understand or feel the actual impact of that world, because at the end of the day everything is temporary. Even when we regret something, it eventually passes, just like our whole life. But the ultimate regret is regretting eternity! There is no end to it. Think about a moment in your life when you had a feeling of regret that was so tremendous it tore you apart completely. Now take that moment and relive it every day for infinity. Our minds can’t even comprehend that! But that is exactly how it will be.

Our real “resumes” will be handed to us. Some people will receive them in their left hand, some in their right hand, and others behind their back! That is when we will ask ourselves,

“What was I doing all those years?”
“What did I do to prepare?”

And that will be the ultimate day of regret!

In that moment, I realized that is our greatest preparation! Our sole purpose in this world. What if right now at this moment you graduated with honors, had the highest GPA, had the best resume out of all the students. Every company, every hospital, every university in the world wanted you! What could be better?

Then comes the day that all of mankind was promised they would face. You look around and see the millions of generations of people. You become extremely nervous and wonder if what you have is enough. You look at your resume of deeds and you have nothing! Your book of deeds is lacking! You weren’t on track for graduating this world with high marks and moving on to the afterlife! You didn’t prepare for the tests you faced in this world and you failed them! Your GPA is critically low. What then?

You cannot apply for reentry into this world.

And that is the ultimate regret.

Disclaimer: This is not written to show that you shouldn’t do well in pursuing your education, but a reminder that all the regrets that worry us in this world should only lead us to become closer to realizing the true purpose of our life.


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