I get asked this question a lot. I don’t know if it’s because the show was a flop so people assume I regret it or if they are curious how it changed my life. Maybe it’s because people associate reality shows with people making a fool of themselves on national tv so they wonder what I did to ruin my reputation.
Last week, I had a mother tell me that her daughter wanted to audition for an MTV reality show and she told her “absolutely not”. Her grandmother would see it and that would not be acceptable in their household. Luckily, I have the type of family that sat down with my friends and watched it with me. Yes, including my grandparents. It can be embarrassing at times, but my family loves me and nothing is going to change that.
So here’s the thing about my answer that you need to keep in mind… my show was not popular; therefore, I cannot speak to having to deal with a lot of brutal options (although I did get them, just not in huge amounts). I don’t know what it feels like to walk down the street and have everyone judging you for bad decisions you made on tv.
With that being said, the show itself was a hard thing for me. I felt very alone in that house and it made me wonder if I made the wrong decision. Once I started to wonder, my mind got stuck in a downward spiral. I would wake up and feel all of negativity and tense energy in the house. Brew and Alessandra fought often. TJ and Jill were in a toxic relationship. Marc and Taylar were also in a difficult relationship. Most people in the house were not in a good place. I felt myself counting down the days until I could get out of there.
I had also made some poor decisions on the show, which did not air, but at the time I didn’t know it wasn’t going to be shown so I was mortified by what I had done. I felt I had no one to talk to about the way I was feeling and I was super hard on myself, which also impacted my time there.
After we were done filming, there were a lot of issues between the cast and the network. The cast felt lied to and betrayed, which brought another layer of issues.
So how can I say that I do not regret the experience?
Before the show, I was working at the Department of Children and Families and had a stereotypical, stable life (nothing wrong with that). I would probably still be working there if the show didn’t come along. And although that would mean I kept a secure job and would probably have a move stable life, I would have missed out on many great opportunities and growth that came with taking a risk.
I cannot tell you how much I’ve grown as a person because of this difficult time in my life. I would have never moved to Los Angeles, challenged myself, and graduated with my master’s degree. I have learned so much from those experiences that I cannot say I regret the show that lead me to this place.
I also became close to a couple of my “roommates” and one person from production. I am grateful for the relationships I formed outside of the house and I would never want to take them away.
I did not get the experience I wanted from the show, but that does not mean that I can’t enjoy the outcome.
I also learned to never let the energy around me change who I am. I don’t recognize the girl on the screen after episode one. If there is one regret, it is that. I let a great opportunity go to shit because I was too disappointed in not having the experience that I wanted. What I should have done is make the most of it regardless of what everyone else was doing. I should have let my roommates crumble around me, while I went out and enjoyed myself That sounds harsh, but I wish I didn’t let the drama take me down because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I did not take advantage of.
After the show, I can wholeheartedly say that I made a conscious effort to not hold back, not let the people or environment around me change me, and make sure to never look back wishing I had done more.
I have grown as a person because of the show, I have changed my life path because of the show, and I have met great people because of the show. There is no way I can regret that. I can only say thank you and move forward.