Adults of Reddit were asked: “What do you regret most from your teenage years?” These are some of the best answers.
1/29 Being too hard on my parents, no one’s perfect and they gave so much for me but my little shit self never thanked them.
2/29 When I was sixteen a really beautiful seventeen-year-old from the grade above me who was way out of my league brought me into her room, closed the door, told me to sit on the bed, and began getting really deeply into conversation with me. Then she talked about sex for a while, touched me occasionally, and laughed at my dumb jokes. I left her house early.
It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I realized what I had done. I’m 26 now and I think about it pretty much every few days because it took another four years for anything sexual to happen to me. Saw her recently and she’s still beautiful.
3/29 Not learning to socialize better and build good study/physical health habits. They’re all extremely tricky habits to form as an adult.
4/29 I regret not caring about my education and future and caring more about doing drugs.
5/29 Being not as interested in school as I could or should have been. I did okay but I could have done better if I wasn’t as lazy or if I cared more.
6/29 Being afraid of girls.
I wasn’t super socially awkward or anything, I just had a pretty normal fear of rejection. When I finally realized that girls aren’t some strange exotic species, that they were mostly just like me wanting to hang out, make out, and likely fuck well I started to get a lot of action. And when I think back to some of the girls I “knew” were into me, but I was too afraid to act… damn.
7/29 Not partying and doing stupid shit enough. Instead sitting at home being a loser.
8/29 I had a mullet until 10th grade.
9/29 I spent so much time “waiting for something to happen”. Like sitting on some steps outside of a house waiting for something to happen. Hanging out with people I did not really like waiting for something to happen.
I feel like so much time was wasted waiting for something to happen, instead of doing something or “making things happen”.
10/29 Not asking out the girl who gave me tons of hints.
11/29 Man, my regret is just being so mean. It was not all the time though, it was just targeted to some people and only when I was feeling overwhelmed with social things. Instead of telling them that I wanted some alone time or something like that that is adult-sounding, I just yelled hurtful insults at them to make them go away. I know I made one girl cry. I felt bad immediately which just fuelled my confused social emotions and made it harder for me to reconcile things with her later. I feel like I left a wake of destruction in my past.
12/29 I was so… very… good.
I was studious, I didn’t party, I didn’t drink, I didn’t date, etc. I was my parents’ dream child, and if I could go back I would have been at least a little bit bad. I missed out.
13/29 Not being a carefree teenager and constantly waiting for adulthood to arrive. Enjoy your teen years people, they’re gone before you know it, and you have the rest of your life to be a boring adult stuck in the corporate morass.
14/29 Starting to smoke.
15/29 I regret caring as much as I did. Always caring about how others viewed me, my friends, teachers, family, etc. I spent so much time worrying about how people perceived things that I said or did, whether they might take offence if I say I didn’t want to do something etc., that I forgot to ever really consider how I felt in all of it.
16/29 I sure wish I had started college at 18 instead of 26.
17/29 I regret quitting soccer because I knew my dad didn’t give a shit about it. I loved that sport so much.
18/29 I didn’t make very many friends in high school. I had, like, my one best friend, and a few other girls I was on friendly enough terms with to eat lunch but never saw after school, but that was it. Years later, I went to my reunion and realized they were all lovely people who I’d be friends with today if we still lived near each other (I now live out of the country), and the issue at the time was with me, not with them.
Shy isn’t the right word for what I was then- I talk quite a lot- but withdrawn definitely is applicable. It never occurred to me for example to actually invite someone to go do something- never told anyone at school who I wanted to know better “hey, want to hang out at the mall and go catch a movie?” for example. Now of course I know that was silly, and it’s not a huge shocker that I never got invites if I never extended them myself, but that just wan’t my thought process at the time.
I grew since then, and am nowhere as withdrawn as I was, and I have enough friends to make me happy. But I am jealous when I see my brother and sister with all their friends from high school who they’re still in touch with, because one important detail about friendship you don’t realize as a teenager is how wonderful older friends are who remember you and your life from different periods. My brother and sister have this in spades, and I just… don’t.
19/29 Not being physically active enough.
20/29 Chasing girls that didn’t want me instead of the girls that were very into me.
21/29 Being so self-conscious! It stopped me from doing a lot. I’m so much more confident now and it feels great.
22/29 Not getting help for my depression sooner. My grades really suffered that year.
23/29 Keeping the high school girlfriend through freshman year of college. The long distance thing was hard and unsatisfying. She would come up and be kind of a wet blanket and not be into partying, or couldn’t relate to the new friends I was making in college. Or id be taking the bus home every other weekend to hang out with her, which meant more time around parents as she obviously still lived with hers, and I’d have to stay with mine.
I did care for her a lot and we would have some fun, but I think I missed out on a good chunk of freshman life having to devote time to “maintaining our relationship” from across the state. So looking back, I think I should have ended it before I went to college.
24/29 Not knowing that the answers to most of my so-called problems or the ability to learn new skills could be found in books.
Like the books my dad gave me and I refused to read. Doh.
25/29 Didn’t rebel enough.
26/29 Not understanding my own power and worth. I was beautiful, strong, smart, athletic, driven and absolutely convinced that I was nothing. Self-conscious to the point of paralysis and certain that no one could possibly be interested in me or what I had to say. I look back now and can’t believe I ever felt that way.
27/29 Not pushing harder to be myself and letting my fear of other’s expectations define me.
28/29 Not saving money… work your ass off and SAVE money while you live with your parents… trust me, don’t waste it. It’s not fun living pay to pay with bills out the fucking ass.
Say you put away $50-100$ every 2 weeks to a month for 3 years. That’s anywhere from $1,800 to 7,200$ you have in your account building interest. You now have money put away for things such as if your car breaks down, lawyer fees, putting a down payment on a new car, in between jobs and have to pay important bills/rent, etc. It’s just a good idea.
29/29 Not studying at all. I’m not thick but I was vary lazy. With better results I now realize I could have gotten further faster. I ended up in several dead end jobs before deciding I needed to actually try to make more of my life and going back to college.
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