Message From the Dean - March 2014

No Regrets: My Bucket List is Now

I have lived a varied and interesting life that has been filled with friends, fellowship, food, festivities, and faithful dedication to my profession.  When I was growing up in South Carolina, I had this embedded sense at a young age that I needed to be brutally independent.  I knew that South Carolina could not contain my aspirations.  I wanted more than racial segregation and limited opportunities.  I set my sights then on attainment. In my teenage words it was more like, " I need to get out of this place."  As I meandered into adulthood, I solidified my aspirations as educational, economic, and positional attainments.  I wanted my terminal degree, I wanted an income that sustained my needs and desires, and I wanted to use my education to position myself in the best place that could help others.  When I turned 50, I realized I had achieved my goals, so now what? 

I then decided that my bucket list should start now.  I did not want to wait until I was retired to do the things that I always wanted to do.  I did not want to wait to the time when I had little energy and less finances.  I made my list of places I wanted to travel to and opportunities I wanted to experience. I was always a bit risk adverse toward high adventure activities such as skydiving, bungee jumping, parasailing, and other such activities.  I do, however, want to take a hot air balloon ride and travel to the Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore, Niagara Falls, and the Grand Canyon.  These are just a few of the items on my list, and I have made considerable progress.  Recently, I was sent an article that captures the top five regrets of those who are in senior living facilities.  I share this with you now so that you too can engage in your bucket list activities.

One thing on regret before we get to the list: it is important to remember that whatever stage we are at in life, there is no need for regret.  The process of regret only allows the past to dictate how we feel now.


  1. I wish I had lived true to myself and not what others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
  3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier.


Regardless of where you are in your life stages, if you see one of these regrets as yours, then do something now to interrupt it.  As you prepare for spring break, do something on your bucket list. I wish you all good health and continuous happiness.

Dr. Dwight C. Watson, Dean

College of Education

University of Northern Iowa