The past can't be changed, so stop regretting it

Serena Van der Woodsen Keeps Her Past Behind Her And So should You

The Upper East Side wasn't always rainbows and butterflies.

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Like any true "Gossip Girl" fan, I watched Serena Vanderwoodsen take the streets of New York City religiously. Everything she seemed to do was flawless, along with the fact that she basically owned the Upper East Side. As the show went on, Serena's dark past was revealed. Not only was it a new side to our queen, but it gave her an edge, a bad side. The problem with wanting to know Serena's past, however, was the fact that it changed my opinions of her. The girl I thought was independent and innocent was a mess of a teenager. I began to question who Serena was as a person, as the writers of the show intended. The only problem was that if I judged a fictional character on her past, that meant I did the same to others, maybe even myself.

This brings up the point that the past should stay behind us. Who we were and who we are, are not necessarily mirror images of each other. People change over time. They realize what type of person they want to be and adjust. To judge someone on their past is an unfair measurement. This isn't to say that caution shouldn't be taken based on their previous choices, but so long as they have dealt with the consequences of their actions and made changes accordingly, there's a chance they reinvented themselves. People like S want a second chance. They work toward a future they'll be proud of, and still, get dragged down by the past they'll forever regret.

Being human means making mistakes, even if that means knowing you're making a mistake as you do it. It's not the best way to go about living, but it's the only way we can learn. Serena decided that who she was and the things she did shouldn't affect her future anymore. We can all live like that. The biggest issue is when we let our pasts dictate our futures because ultimately, we can't travel back in time. What's done is done and there's no way to change it. The only option is to change who you are and to change your next decision. Serena did everything in her power to keep the past behind her. Sometimes the consequences of her actions caught up with her, but she dealt with them. The fact is that no matter how horrible and chaotic S was in the past, she couldn't change it, and she'd have to live with that.

Becoming who you are isn't always a clear path. Many times it doesn't even have a good view. The importance of forgiving yourself for the things you've done is to make room for potential you have once you ditch your baggage. We only have so much time in our lives to be out living it, so instead of facing the past and all the horrors you can no longer change, focus on the future and the way you want to live. Serena decided enough was enough. Her past may have hurt her reputation but it didn't stop her from growing and moving forward.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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