Dear 100 Hour Alumni,
What was your biggest regret while writing for the Board? How do you think your answers would be different now?
I started my Board career hoping to make all of these new friends and become part of the community. I was doing pretty well at it my first couple months writing. I wrote some collaborative answers (Tally, remember Tally Lily?), organized a few Board social outings, and got to know the other writers. And then I got a boyfriend and abruptly stopped hanging out with anyone from the Board. Like, the last Board activity I remember going to was the Jello Jubilee, and it happened literally the day after I had my first kiss with the dude who is now my husband. Now, I totally don't regret dating and marrying my husband, but I do kind of regret the way a lot of my friendships, especially Board friendships, fell by the wayside as a result. Sorry guys...
I'm probably exaggerating this in retrospect, but I think that I thought way too highly of my own opinion as a writer. I wish I could have written with a bit more humility. I gave a lot of advice on topics that I didn't understand, a lot of advice that today seems particularly unhelpful as I find myself facing those same issues. Especially relationship advice. Especially relationship advice that I gave without ever having been in a relationship. The real world has humbled me immensely.
Two regrets. The first echoes yayfulness's answer above: I wish I had been more cautious about doling out my opinion on topics I have no experience with. I was pretty naive in a lot of my answers, which is something I only realize in retrospect.
My second, unrelated, regret is that I wish I had gotten to know the other writers better. I'm bad at bonding with people and I feel super awkward at social events, so I often avoided Board parties and such. Now I realize how many really cool experiences I probably missed out on.
I wish I had done more Word of the Board answers. Mostly though? I wish I had chosen a different 'nym.
I think there's a part of me that wishes I'd overshared a bit less.
And then this morning I ran across this quote on Tumblr from Carrie Fisher: "I think I do overshare. It’s my way of trying to understand myself. "
I wish I could have been as cool as El-ahrairah.
I wish I would have gone to more Board events. I was so busy with school while I was in Provo that I think I missed out just a little bit on the Board bond that we have going.
Also, in my old answers, I frequently left out articles and simple verbs that your mind just fills in and skips over. It makes me cringe a little every time I feel nostalgic and reread all my answers.
I would have come out. I wrote about my mental illness and my faith crisis back in 2008-2010, but I didn't come out. I identified as queer/bisexual back then, but I wish I would have just done it. I wrote about LGBTQ issues but didn't admit they pertained to me. I therefore contributed to the idea that being gay is more shameful than just about anything else you can be. When I think of Board-related regrets, I think of that.
As for answers that myself and other writers would have changed as of 2014, check out Board Question #77024.
- The Black Sheep
I wish I had been more involved with readers. Some of the writers became my very close friends, and I think my time at BYU would have only been improved if I had found more ways to meet people with similarly nerdy, silly interests. Of course the appeal of the Board is the Mystery™, but more friendships would have been more satisfying.
-Mico, full of love for all y'all
I started writing as an out-of-stater and so got to know very few of the Board writers in real life. I wish I'd taken advantage of the burgeoning social media scene to at least connect more virtually. Since I stopped writing I actually have connected with several writers from my day, mostly because Facebook suggested we be friends. There are a few writers I know in real life and have seen in the last year (Dragon Lady, Katya, Hobbes, and Yellow...I think that's it...sorry if I left someone out I met) and they're all delightful people. I need more game nights with them.
As for how my answers would be different: Concision.
It led to gimpgomnermo moving in with us eventually so that was a bummer I guess.
- Commander Keen
I wish I never would have dated that other writer.
I wish I never would have dated so many other writers.
I just noticed that in one of my answers from the reunion last year, I used the word "reappropriated" when I clearly meant "appropriated."
I wish I would have dated more of the other writers.
The short answer is yes. Throughout my tenure as a writer I was really struggling with my beliefs and my sexuality. I think that there is a lot of overall ignorance and even self-loathing in a lot of my opinion answers (many of which involved sexuality/homosexuality as topics). I was pretty depressed at the time and I think that took its toll on my writing (not to mention other parts of my life *cough* dating *cough* school *cough*)
I have since left the LDS Church, and for me that decision had positive effects. I don't hold other people's memberships against them because I understand that for many people the LDS Church has helped them find the happiness that eluded me for a long time. It just wasn't a happy place for me. I am a very different person than I was when writing for the Board, and my answers would definitely be different as a result.
At the same time, I don't regret being a writer, or even the answers I gave. I think that the Board was very helpful to me with regards to working through some of my own problems, as well as building some support systems with a couple fellow writers and some readers as well.
While I was a Board writer, I was still figuring out my writing voice, my interests, and my beliefs. This led to my answers often being written in a very silly tone or a very technical tone and nothing in between. My biggest regret is the silliness! I feel like it hindered my ability to share my thoughts and advice on some of the questions I answered.
Dear British Hiccup,
I almost feel like I've been waiting for this question to be asked. I loved writing for the Board, but really wish that I would have let myself get into it more. I was excited to become part of the Board community when I first joined, but found that my then-unaddressed social anxiety issues were getting in the way, causing me to feel like my Board identity was "the weirdly reclusive writer." I also hate how flaky I became about the actual writing part - my slacking started out when I had some legitimate issues with my computer (limiting the time I could spend writing at home), but I let that problem derail my previously conscientious writing habits. Like just about everything else in my college experience, part of me wishes I could redo my Board days with the confidence I have now.