10 Classic Student Regrets (And How We'd Solve Them With Time Travel)

Time travel is fraught with problems. Kill Hitler and return to the present and you'll likely find he's been replaced with a 50 foot tall mecha-Hitler who now rules most of the world. With no other option you're then forced to go back in time and save Hitler, which doesn't exactly make you feel like a great person.

The key is to keep it small. Don't try and save millions of lives of people in the Civil War, that's bound to go wrong. Plus what have the confederates done for you lately? It's best to start small and test the limits of time travel first, and then go bigger. Go back in time and fix your own regrets before you try to change the history text books in order to make your exams easier.

In Project Almanac, after discovering his father had been working on time travel, David and his friends create a time machine. Instead of trying to do anything big, they go back in time to catch up on Lollapalooza. What can go wrong when you essentially use time travel to avoid online ticketing systems?


Regardless, here are the top regrets students have about uni once they leave, and how they could be solved with time travel.

10) Moving in with filthy housemates

Choosing friends to move in with for the second year is hard. In the first year everyone's on their toes, will try to wash their cups at least once a week and perform most of their bathroom tasks within the confines of the bathroom. By the time they've moved into the second year house that ends.

I genuinely lived with a man who once shaved his balls in the kitchen. Wasn't even drunk. He slathered himself up with shaving foam with one hand and prepped a duck a l'orange with the other. It was actually quite impressive to watch, once you'd gotten over the disgust.

How we'd fix it with time travel

Murder the grandparents of the housemate who leaves chicken uncovered in the fridge, or at least prevent them from firing out his parents by romancing them both before they have a chance to meet. Romancing 80 year olds - that's what time travel was invented for, right?

The unintended consequence

For some reason when you return to the present it is now fashionable to wear trousers that display your testicles at all times. You refuse to do this, and your housemates look at you in disgust.

You are now the messiest housemates, and people look at you in disgust.

9) Not declaring love for a person, before being firmly "friend-zoned"

A surprising amount of human inventions have secretly been about one thing: getting banged. The moment photography was invented, so too was sending a picture of your wang to a special somebody. The evening Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb he also invented the phrase "all women are the same with the lights off".

In Project Almanac shortly after David discovers time travel he uses it to go back in time and declare his feelings for Jessie before he can be friend zoned, leading to a future where they're a couple.

Using the advantage of time travel to get girls is probably only a slightly classier option than going back in time to show your wang to Thomas Edison.

Everyone at uni has that one friend they wish they'd declared their love for before it was too late.

How we'd fix it with time travel

Head back in time to just before the exact moment we became friends with our unrequited love and yell "YOU'RE NOT MY FRIEND, YOU'RE NOT MY FRIEND" until they leave in anger or to seek help. With friendship off the table it's only a matter of time before romance kicks in. That's how the friend zone works.

The unintended consequence

The consequences of getting the girl are probably not worth paying.

In all likelihood you probably aren't with your unrequited love for a reason. If you go back in time and change this you'll more than likely kickstart the apocalypse.

8) Not thinking ahead

Thinking ahead sucks. It involves forethought, planning skills and probably some sort of calendar, none of which anyone owns at uni.

Which is why so many people end up leaving every single essay till 11pm the night before it's due to be handed in. It's much easier to picture future you as some different person that's going to do your essay for you and clear up your room and deal with that discoloured mole you've been worrying about.

Screw future me. What's that jerk done for me lately? He can do my essay.

The problem is you become future you much faster than present you can understand. Suddenly you are future you and it's now 3am, your essay is due at 9 and you're looking at photos of yourself online and repeatedly calling past you a lazy bastard.

How we'd fix it with time travel

Get our revenge on our past selves. Find a version of ourselves from 2 days before an essay deadline (attempting to catch all the Pokemon in Pokemon Red) 2 days into the future.

The unintended consequence

With not enough time to ponder and procrastinate, past-you doesn't manage to invent time travel. You disappear in a puff of logic, cursing Stephen Hawkins with your translucent mouth.

7) Getting so drunk you end up having sex with someone you wouldn't otherwise have sex with

According to research a third of students have had sex with someone they wouldn't have if they'd been sober, and almost 20% of people regret it. Rather than addressing the underlying alcohol and self-respect problems involved here, we'd probably fix this with time travel.

How we'd fix it with time travel

Returning to the night before and getting even more drunk so you can't remember the event whatsoever.

The unintended consequence

Returning to the future and discovering you are so obliterated you are now in a marriage with someone you wouldn't otherwise have sex with.

6) Never once getting so drunk you end up having sex with someone you wouldn't otherwise have sex with

One night stands only really happen in films. It would be nice if it happened, just once, during uni.

How we'd fix it with time travel

Getting drunk and time traveling probably isn't the best idea.

The unintended consequence

Regretting it and attempting to undo it with time travel, only to regret that and get yourself stuck in a time loop.

5) Moving into halls entirely populated by fire alarms and arsonists

Choosing a hall is impossibly difficult. None of the brochures mention the fire alarms are going to go off at 3am to coincide with every time you're too hungover or drunk to realise a) there is no fire and b) you're only wearing Y-fronts and you haven't even remembered to stuff them.

How we'd fix it with time travel

Vengeance. Go back in time, break into your own halls of residence armed with some burnt toast and set the fire alarm off constantly to see how they like it.

The unintended consequence

5 alarms in you realise there may not be any other arsonists or pranksters setting of the alarm - it's just you. You're now committed to setting off the fire alarm every single night for the entire of term 3 (waking your past self up during exams) for fear of causing a paradox that collapses time itself and causes Marty Mcfly to melt in a puff of 1980s CGI.

4) Not learning enough

A top regret of graduates is not learning enough at uni when there was so much on offer. Language courses are available and often free whilst you're at uni, and yet no-one ever gives their graduation speech in Dutch. Even the Dutch don't, because they, like most of Europe, have taken the time to learn English.

How we'd fix it with time travel

Travel back far enough and eliminate all other languages, starting with Valyrian so that we don't have to watch Game of Thrones with subtitles.

The unintended consequence

Everyone now speaks an unintelligible language (maybe French? Is that French or just a thick Australian accent?) that you can't understand.

3) Taking the wrong degree

Up to a third of graduates regret their degree choice. It's a terrible thing, getting half way through a degree and realising you're doing physics. I've been there. It can't be undone.

How we'd fix it with time travel

Return to the past and conduct a heavy leafleting campaign on ourselves, bombarding them with prospectuses until they at least consider doing English Literature.

The unintended consequence

Without the physics knowledge you were unable to invent time travel. You quote Shakespeare as the universe collapses, but couldn't think of anything relevant because Shakespeare was unaware of even the most basic quantum physics.

2) Saying stupid things

If you aren't saying one thing that you regret every single day you're at uni you're probably attending a buddhist monastery with a strict code of silence, or in order to prevent foot in mouth moments you've literally inserted a foot into your mouth.

You, pictured.

Most people at uni seem to make a goal of saying one pretentious thing per seminar.

How we'd fix it with time travel

Every conversation we have at uni we'd have at least three attempts at. We'd have our own groundhog day by choice, though we'd be less charismatic than Bill Murray.

The unintended consequence

We'd still be saying stupid things, only now they're things we're unaware are stupid. Somehow this seems worse.

1) Moving in with your partner in uni accommodation

Moving in with your friends is a bad idea. They hog the bathroom and you're going to have arguments. They do annoying things like hog the bathroom, remove the batteries from carbon monoxide detectors as a prank and generally live way too much in your proximity. Living with a partner at uni is worse. You've likely not known them for long enough, and are about to discover (probably during exam times) that they're the slobbiest person you've ever met and have a major personality disorder.

In terms of house guests you'd be better off moving with a goat.

How we'd fix it with time travel

Move in with this guy:

He'd treat us right.

The unintended consequence

Nothing could go wrong here.

This article was sponsored by Project Almanac