Some years ago I made a right mess of a foundation design for a building in Kent. I knew there was a lot of water in the ground but missed the fact that there was a small underground stream (river). So really the foundation solution was wrong. In the end it worked out but there was delay, extra cost and a lot of late nights. There was also explaining the problem and the solution to the client. Tough all round but important learning for the young engineer.
When I was a teenager I was really angry all the time and used to shout at my mum a lot and tell her I hated her. And my sister and I didn’t get on either until I was about 18, so I’d like to fix all the times I was horrible to them.
During my first year or so of working, I think I could have asked for assistance better, I was too eager to do things on my own, and some timescales slipped. Now I’m far happier knowing when to ask for help for things outside my own knowledge!
I think I would have told my younger self to start saving up for things a bit earlier – as when I lived in Brighton, I was always broke every month (the social life there was too good to ignore!), so my getting a house, travelling, and so on happened a bit later than I’d have liked them to!
No real regrets when it came to family and friends – so my answer to this question isn’t interesting! – my parents and grandparents put huge, huge, values on treating others right no matter if you like or dislike them, so I think that was ingrained, like in-built from an early age.
At school, I got into some really bad fights, but I’m glad knowing that I never started any of them – I could have walked away from some of them though!