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      "Youth is wasted on the young."   And "if I only knew then what I
know now!"  In my teen years I couldn't be bothered with trying to
understand those cryptic phrases; didn't I already know everything I
needed to know?  I never dreamed that the decisions I made in my
relatively youthful years would have such an impact on my future. I
always felt that I would never look back upon my life and say "I wish I
had taken more time in considering my choices."  But I have found myself
doing just that.  If I were able to rewrite history, I would pick a
different career when I reenlisted in the Army, I would seek out
opportunities to enhance my future job options,  and finally, I would
have done better while in high school.
      To begin with, it's understandable that I wouldn't know what I was
getting into when I first enlisted into the Army.  But when the time
came for me to reenlist, I knew to research my options better than what
I really did.  Instead of choosing a new career in the Medic Corps like
I knew I should, I elected to keep the same job.  Given a second
chance,  I would choose to be an
X-ray Specialist.  After I graduated my class, I would take the Florida
State certification exam so I could become licensed to work in Florida;
by the time I completed my second enlistment, I would have developed
very marketable job experience.
      Secondly, I would have gone to college more while I was in the
service.  As I've just begun the long walk toward my goal of a Bachelors
Degree in Criminal Justice, I can't help but kick myself for not
starting sooner.  The military pays for seventy-five percent of a
college course; after paying my tuition last term, I realized just what
a great deal that really was.  I also would have taken all the medical
correspondence courses that the Army offers.  While the courses aren't
of  much practical use, the points earned for the completion of each
course helps greatly when trying to get promoted to Sargent.  Instead of
just coasting, waiting for opportunity to come knocking, I would go out
and tackle that elusive rascal by the ankles.
     Finally, if I could do it again, I would do better in high school.
As a teenager, I was tired of school; I felt I already knew everything I
needed to know to carry with my life.  Who cared about English,
geometry, or foreign languages?  Given the chance, I know that I would
perform to the best of my ability.  High school is simply a proving
ground, those that can attain the goals set for them, move onto college
AND BRIGHTER FUTURES.  tHOSE THAt can't make it, move onto six dollars
an hour at Winn-Dixie.  After working for a year in the air-conditioning
business, I now appreciate the importance of getting the best education
      Life goes in one direction only, but I don't have to live in the
past.  I can't undo any of my history; however, I can keep from making
the same mistakes over again. The things said and done are gone and
past.  I can't get on the "Way-Back Machine" and change what's
happened.  I have learned that if I don't leave the past behind, I can
never move on with my life.  Learn from the past, but CARPE DIEM!


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