A few Fridays ago, I was invited to represent my company at the closing event of WPI's Camp Reach. Camp Reach is a program for girls who are entering the 7th grade to learn about how fun engineering, math and science can be. Obviously, I'm biased to think this program is fantastic because I'm a WPI alumna. But, after watching the presentations and listening to the girls talk, I would say the same thing even if I weren't biased. I believe wholeheartedly that it's helpful to have programs like this for girls at the stage of their lives where they might be dissuaded (mostly by peer pressure) that their interests aren't "cool." Engineering needs more girls!
However, the real reason I'm writing this post, is the overwhelming nostalgia infused with a twinge of regret I encountered walking around campus. I loved my time at WPI; I made friends and learned to be the adaptable software engineer I am today. Even still, there were things I wish had been differently and even more so after seeing the Camp Reach girls. I wish that I'd had the self efficacy I have today. The can-do attitude that I've cultured in myself since graduating is a far stretch from the girl who entered college doubting everything about herself and her abilities. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the Sarah of 2013 might want to slap some sense into the Sarah of 2004.
So, I spent a good amount of time today aimlessly wandering through my old haunts and thinking about the past. It wasn't until I was in the car on the way home (I'm so predictable!) that I reminded myself that I'm happy with how my life turned out and the woman I've become. All that crap I wish I could have done differently in the past helped shape me into who I am today. Wasting the mental energy on picturing how it could have been different isn't worth the brain power.
My brain power is far better spent solving the problems in front of me today.
Or playing Minecraft, you know, which ever.