Stuff 30 Folks In This Online Group Would Do Differently If They Had Their Current Knowledge When They Were 15 Years Old
Being a teenager naturally comes with quite a few challenges. For instance, one of the most prominent 20th-century psychologists Erik Erikson considered the teenage years to be a major stage of a person's development where one has to learn to be independent, search for a sense of self and personal identity while actively exploring their values and beliefs. In other words, a lot of things are happening all at once.
Inevitably, in the midst of these wild explorations, we're simply bound to make at least a few stupid decisions that we're gonna regret (or kind of regret) later in life. You know, once we're all grown up and much smarter than we were back then, right? I'm sure that every single one of us could come up with at least one thing we've done or didn't do back when we were teens that we'd sure be glad to change.
Recently, 31k Reddit users delved into the topic of going back in time and doing things differently after a member named u/TheIconicNZ shared a question that read "Your consciousness is sent back to when you were at age 15, and you maintain all of your current knowledge and experience. What do you do?" Bored Panda has compiled a list of some of the best answers found in this viral thread with over 77k upvotes, so here you go!
More info: Reddit
1. Good dental hygiene - floss, brush twice a day always
2. Make exercise a part of the day, it is harder to get this into routine as you get older. Plus the fitter you are when you’re younger, the more it will tide you through when older
3. Continue pursuing things that I find interesting, even if I’m not (and will never get) good at them. It is wonderful to have things to enjoy for the sake of it
4. Be nicer to my parents, especially my mum. It is a lot of responsibility, and they did their best
5. Take feedback and criticism in stride, and not let every negative thing make me question everything
I never pick up a cigarette.
I take my little brother to the hospital because he has a tumor that no one knows about.
I tell my Dad that he shouldn’t sell his company because we end up homeless.
I buy bitcoin.
I live with my family and appreciate them.
I go to an IHOP many years later and find the waitress, I ask her on a date, hopefully I can keep both my families this time.
Don’t date my first girlfriend. Try to maintain friendships while moving. Take college more seriously. Buy Bitcoin. Hug my grandparents more often.
Everyone saying what they’d do better while I’d be having a total mental breakdown. Can you imagine going back to living with your parents? Waking up at 6am to get a bus to be in class at 8am? Taking exams again? Having to study all over again? I have nightmares about this. Please no, no, I’d rather stay an adult please.
Honestly just the knowledge that lots of the sh*t 15-year old me was agonizing over and worrying about ultimately didn’t bring about the end of the world would help. I’d know which things to stress about and which ones I could let go of.
Take better care of my teeth.
Looking back, I wish it had been explained that cavities were growing holes in my teeth, and not something invasive, like a bacteria.
I was in my freshman year of high-school, I'd go back and relive those years being completely and totally myself like I should have done way back when.
Buy up domain names and sell them after internet gets more mainstream
I am hugging my grandfather for a solid 5 minutes.
Well, knowing me, I don't make the stupid choices I made for the past 31 years. But also knowing me, I would make totally different stupid choices. Because I'm human. Just because I could now avoid the traps I had fallen into back then, this does not mean I would not fall into different traps. But hopefully the sum total would be a better life.
I know there are career changes I would make. There are financial decisions I would do a better job with. For instance, on the day I graduated college Apple stock sold for 15 cents a share. If I had bought $5000 worth of Apple stock that day, I could sell that today for 4.6 million dollars. So there's that.
I’d live in existential dread that somehow, somewhere I’d mess something up in the chain of events that led to me meeting my wife and the subsequent birth of my children. Life without my children would destroy me. Utterly.
Warn my grandma that she has cancer that will kill her in 9 years because they caught it too late.
I wouldn't be too afraid to report my father to the authorities. I wouldn't live life in fear of his hands. I would fight back like I never did.
People here are getting rich or saving lives but I'm 100% using this as an opportunity to deploy all the clever responses I came up with hours later in response to various people.
I still have a lot of them memorised thanks to my brain's love of reviewing stupid things I've said and done over the decades late at night so I feel pretty prepared.
Be single and lonely for a while. Holy sh*t do I not want anything to do with most high schoolers.
Tell my parents I was depressed and go through therapy/get medicated.
Ask that girl out. She's a wonderful person and she absolutely has a crush on you.
Talk to more people and stop pushing them away. You won't disappoint them and they won't hurt you.
Fix your relationship with your mom. She will have cancer later so make the time count.
Learn Viet. Your grandparents will get sicker and you'll want to be able to talk to them before they leave.
Stop worrying about embarrassing yourself. For every person that may think you're cringy for your interests, there'll be another who'll think they're cool.
Stop playing CSGO all the time and explore those hobbies that you always wanted to get into. I know you're depressed but you'll regret wasting all that time on a game you hate.
Things will get better.
All the fun of these hypotheticals vanished the moment my daughter was born.
I know that realistically I'd never be able to recreate the exact circumstances to have the same child, but I'd have to put everything I have into trying... doing otherwise is unimaginable. It would be years and years of stress and planning and dread knowing that I'm essentially doomed to fail at the only thing that matters, the one thing I'm trying desperately to achieve. Along with the constant feeling that I'm being an idiot to pour myself into something that will never work, and the guilt of even contemplating giving up.
And there's basically no good ending, eventually I either have a child who's clearly not her and try desperately not to burden them with my grief, or I have a child who might be her and I spend the rest of my life struggling to deal with thoughts of "Is it really her?" without my preoccupation messing her up, or I give up and live feeling like I abandoned my daughter and erased her from existence. And god, my poor wife in all of this.
Basically, "What if you got to re-do your life?" used to be a fun thought experiment. Then I met the love of my life and adopted a couple cats and it got more emotionally complicated. Then I had a perfect baby girl and imagining this scenario became like imagining hell.
Lose fat, start lifting weights and running, play less video games, sleep more.
I’d want to tweak a few things. Hit the pricks who messed with me. Kiss the girl when I should’ve. Spent more time with my old man. Little things
I wouldn't go to University, possibly travel more and spend a bit more time deciding the direction I want to go with my life.
Go straight to my room, blast Powerman 5000 from my humongous CD player, and bury my head in my pillow while I cry. High school was a living hell for me and living with my stepmom was a living hell but after I came to terms with my situation, I’d find my dad (who died last year), hug him tight then go and do the same with my grandparents.
Then after that I might cut down a bully or three. I’ve gotten surprisingly good at insults and standing up for myself in my old age.
Oh! And have a DQ blizzard. I wasn’t lactose intolerant at 15 and holy sh*t do I miss blizzards.
Get some bitcoin, put a lot of effort into regularly working out, learn professional cooking skills so I can whip up fancy food for myself
Focus on high school a bit better, try and keep in touch with my best friend at that time a bit better after she moved across town, talk with my dad more about family and stuff, apologize for being a little sh*t in middle school more. Figure out my major a lot faster.
First I'd break up with my girlfriend at the time.
1. It wasn't a good relationship, both of us did some fu**ed up s**t that only inexperienced people would
2. I would be 25 in mind and she'd be 15
Oh man, I have an whole plan for such things.
Background, I've been disabled since I was 4. T1 diabetes and being on the spectrum sucked combined with back then (90s) learning disabilities not being as "accepted" at my schools so they tried to forcibly correct me and it went horribly wrong.
So, thing the first: High school. I wouldn't let it stress me out and push me to the breaking point like it did. I almost died in HS because things got so bad with my T1 diabetes and it spiraled so far out of control that it almost took me out. No. We're not fu*king doing that s**t. The walk for the diploma isn't worth it. If I fail, I fail, we make this up in community college. FU*K high school.
Thing the second: Fight harder to get your disability benefits. My mom had representative payee status over me and it kinda fu*ked everything up, so I had to go to work for a retail job that didn't give a singular fu*k that I was diabetic. I ran my sorry ass into the ground so hard that I'm still cleaning up the mess almost 10 years after I got fired. If anything, THIS is what utterly fu*ked me and THIS is the thing I would change the most.
(I finally got my benefits...way too late into that job. And by the end of it I was making so little at that job that I was 90% living on disability anyway. I should have quit and salvaged what I could. But I am dumb.)
Thing the third: Fu*k the job once disability is done, go the fu*k to college. Community college would have been easily affordable and where I live there are plenty of grants and waivers. I should have taken advantage of them. Again, I am an idiot.
Fourth, and definitely not least: SEE A FU*KING DENTIST. That's another thing older me had to clean up and it wasn't pretty. I'm in a good place now (bless my SO for helping cover the dental bills because disability sure fu*king didn't) but man, I could have saved myself a TON of hurt down the line if I wasn't so scared of the dentist.
I post this in hopes that maybe someone is currently in my situation, reads this, and knows to get the fu*k out or advocate for oneself before things get so bad that older you is going to have a right mess on their hands to clean up. It's not fun.
Save more money. Take better care of my teeth. Not eat as much junk. Not date people who were just a waste of time. Not worry as much. Appreciate the irreplaceable things more. Not say some mean/wrong things I said. Choose a different career path.
Move out as soon I become 16. My parents were very toxic and harmful for my mental health.
Try to convince my dad to short airline stocks in about a year. Gamble a lot on sports.
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