Illustration by Brent Wick

Numbered and in order of importance:

10. I regret taking so many theater courses and so few history classes. If I had it to do it over again: more history, less theater. I do know how to fence, though, thanks to all those theater classes. It's a skill that will definitely come in handy once our society collapses. Juggling too.

9. I regret passing the only sexually transmitted disease I've ever had—non-gonococcal urethritis—to Tommy, my first serious boyfriend, and that Tommy passed it to his long-term boyfriend, which put Tommy in an awful position. The docs had given me the all clear, I completed my course of meds, I told Tommy I had NGU the day we met and we waited a week before we messed around the first time. But the meds weren't strong enough or I mixed them up with my Flintstones Vitamins or something and... well... all hell broke loose. Regretfully.

8. I regret that Tommy had a long-term boyfriend. I wanted to fill that position—along with everything else of Tommy's that I was filling.

7. I regret not living in the dorms. They seemed like fun—but I was afraid of being paired with a homophobe, so I got a waiver and lived in off-campus housing. It was a one-room apartment in a house owned by... homophobes.

6. I regret that I didn't find out about the Australians and New Zealanders and their "travels" and the English and their "gap years" until I was almost through with college. Basically Brits and pseudo Brits save their pennies during high school and then take a year or two abroad before going to college. There's a whole ex-pat infrastructure/subculture—jobs passed from Kiwi to Kiwi, apartments passed from Aussie to Aussie—and it was pretty easy, even as an American college student, to tap into it. If I'd taken a year off before going to college, instead of taking a year off after my junior year, I would've known to take more history courses and fewer fencing/juggling classes.

5. I regret that it took turning 35 and getting on the college lecture speaking circuit to realize how freaking hot college is—seriously. You will never be surrounded by as many good-looking young people as you are right now. Don't fuck everything that moves—see Regret #9—but drink it in. Real life—the real world—is a much doughier, frumpier, lumpier place.

4. In some ways I regret having to pay for college myself—the loans were a bad idea—but I don't regret having to work while I was at school. Waiting tables in a college town and hanging out with your coworkers—hey there, Courier Café!—is way more fun than laying around a frat house with a bunch of spoiled douchebags who (1) never had to work for anything in their lives and (2) grow up to rule the world regardless.

3 I regret losing touch with my Mormon acting prof who was diagnosed with AIDS, abandoned by his wife and kids, and died alone.

2. I used to regret "jokingly" tormenting this closeted kid—hey there, Ken!—by telling him, over and over again, loudly and in front of other students, that he was gay and needed to get over it and over himself and come out already. I was a huge dick to him because (1) it was obvious he was gay and (2) I really wanted to get in his pants and couldn't/wouldn't while he was closeted. Years and years later Ken ran up to me in Grant Park in Chicago and thanked me over and over again for being such a dick to him—he was gay and my assholery helped him to come out. Now I regret not being a bigger dick to Ken because maybe I could've gotten in his pants if I'd ramped it up.

1. I regret working so hard to get a diploma and then promptly misplacing it.

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