This student was asked to respond to the question: “What would you dare to attempt if you could not fail?” This was her response:

There are rarely second chances given in life. If most of us had a chance to go back and start our lives all over again, then most of us probably would. Everyone makes mistakes, but for some reason in society, failure is not acceptable. Second place just isn’t good enough; we are taught this as children.

I’ve always believed that as long as I tried my best, then that was good enough. I try not to have any regrets, because to me, regret is a useless emotion. There is nothing you can do about changing the past.

However, If I could have the opportunity to attempt something without failure, I would choose to go back and be a kid again.

The reason I would go back and be a kid again is because childhood shapes our adult life. Most of us act the way we do today because of the way we were brought up and/or as a result of our experiences as children. As children, we do things because we just simply don’t know any better. Therefore, I would take the common sense and knowledge that I have acquired from the last 20 years and relive my childhood without failure.

The first thing I would do as a child would be to stop following the crowd. When someone in grade school was ridiculed by bullies, most of us joined in out of fear of being bullied ourselves. Knowing that I could not fail, I would not necessarily defend the child being attacked, but I would turn to the bullies and question them as to why they feel the need to pick on others. By confronting the tormentors, I would put a stop to their teasing, since they would be surprised that someone is standing up to them by herself.

As a child, I would also want to enjoy my lack of responsibility. We don’t realize how easy it is to be a kid. Of course when we are kids, we think life is so hard, when in actuality, we’ve only started living eight or nine years ago. When I was a kid, I didn’t worry about anything except whether or not I would make friends when I moved to a new school and if the boy I had a crush on liked me or not. I took my childhood years for granted; so now I would stay outside and play a little longer and try not to get too upset if someone didn’t invite me over to their house to play.

Those of us with siblings know that as kids it is a requirement to fight with your brothers and sisters. In my attempt to be a kid again, I would be nicer to my three sisters. It’s funny now how well I get along with each of them, but years ago I couldn’t stand living with them. I think our relationship today would be a lot better if we were closer when we were growing up. As kids, we were always competing with each other over grades and arguing over the phone and the TV. Nowadays, we go to the movies together and run up our long distance phone bills talking to each other. As young girls, we never knew we would grow up to be so close.

Contrary to what kids think, being a child is not the hardest thing in the world. Although at the time it may seem like it is, being an adult is much worse. Like I’ve already stated, I don’t like to have regrets, however, I know I have some. I really don’t think about my regrets in life thus far, because there is nothing I can do to change my past. Even though I’m almost 21, and on my way to becoming an adult, sometimes I wish I was a kid again. After all, as kids, most of us don’t even understand what it means to fail.

Bora is a journalism student at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, she writes for her school’s student magazine, Journey, and is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Public Relations Student Society of America.

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