With the sociopolitical climate being what it's been lately, I'm pretty sure a ton of you dear US readers have grumbled (some more seriously than others) about potentially moving to Canada.
Have you ever wanted to talk to someone who actually did it and get their take on it? Now's your chance ... or at least as much talking as an awesomely informative Reddit thread can be.
Reddit user Therubikmaster asked:
Interestingly, almost everyone was happy with the decision - even the people who came back to the states. There are the expected answers - like the cold is really, really hard to deal with. But there are also things here that many of us wouldn't even consider ... for example the total lack of access to a decent avocado and how relatively bland the food can be. So here we go; the good, the bad, and the bland about moving to Canada as told by Americans who made the journey.
Civility And Healthcare
Just moved to Ontario a few months ago.
Two really positive things, so far:
- I am amazed by how civil everyone is on the roads. People actually merge calmly and sensibly. Yeah...there are a few aholes, of course, but generally speaking--the stereotypical niceness is real.
- My husband broke a bone on a Saturday. We were at the hospital for less than a full hour before he was ready to go home. Total cost (no healthcard for us) was about $50. NOT $50 copay and 250 bill for radiology later. Actually just $50. Even without access to the health care that Canadians get, it was still faster and cheaper than any hospital visit we've had in the states.
A Cold Blessing
My friend moved, reluctantly, to Canada because his visa renewal didn't get approved about a year ago. Now says it was damn blessing in disguise that it happened. They had some health issues and they are all taken care of pretty much for free. The only complaint he has is the cold climate but he says the pros outweigh the cons by a large margin.
Cost Of Living
Been here since 2002. Am generally very happy to be here. People are kinder, less religious nutbars, more respectful in general. My son was born with rare disorder and we did not pay one penny for his nicu stay. After any baby is born a nurse comes to your house to check on how things are going and will come back if you need a bit of help (maybe this was because our child was more fragile). Friends in the states were blown away by this. families get a child benefit subsidy based on income (even moderate incomes get this extra $)
Excluding healthcare, cost of living is higher. Gas, food, booze, housing. Big discounts in shops (like bargain racks with 50-75% off stuff) are few and far between. Wages don't always keep up compared to U.S. I live in border area so I can always do some cross border shopping.
We have a housing crisis where I live but at least here I feel there is political will to do something about it unlike most cities in the US where they seem paralyzed by competing interest groups.
It has always bothered me that in the states people who struggle in any way are looked upon as moral failures instead of a reflection of a failed society and in need of support.
We Sit Here And Laugh
Wonderful. Have run into a few health problems since moving up here that would have left me bankrupt in the US. And, for the record, no, there is not a months and months wait to see a doctor here. There is no real longer wait than what you'd get in the US. Wanna know how easy it was to get my healthcare card? I walked into the non-government run registry place, waited maybe 5-10 minutes, showed proof of residence and my visa, they said, ok, here's your temporary card, a permanent one will be mailed out to you soon. And a few hours later I went out and used that temporary card with absolutely zero issues. Talk about no stress. Wonderful experience.
Would definitely recommend.
And we get to sit here and laugh at everything happening down there.
More Freedom In CanadaGiphy
I moved in 2008. I'm now a citizen.
Warning: Generalizations ahead.
My reason for moving is I felt better in alignment with the Canadian culture than the US. I feel there should be safety nets, we should pay into a medical system everyone can benefit from, we should have programs to help those in need. I work, I make money, I pay taxes. I want some of those tax dollars to help the people who can't work or can't make a living wage (for whatever reason). Morally, this feels like the right thing to do. .
Honestly, moving was the best thing I've ever done. There is a cultural respect and freedom in Canada I never really felt in the US. In the US I always felt like I was moving 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. Some of this was due to the ever growing cost in healthcare (seems like I was forever in debt for past medical or avoiding getting medical attention because I felt I couldn't afford it).
I've been through both healthcare systems in the US and Canada. Canada has some problems (some provinces more than others) but I will take Canada any day of the week over the US. Here is a good example: I had to get an MRI in the US and I got one in Canada. Both were for non-emergency reasons. In the US my insurance provided for pre-approved MRIs. The doctor submitted the request, we had to wait for the insurance to OK it, we did the MRI, insurance was billed, they billed me back the full amount, and I spent quite some time on the phone with insurance sorting it out. At the end of the day I think it cost a few hundred. In Canada, I probably waited an extra month or two over the process to be approved in the US, I got the MRI. Done. That was it. Simple. Easy.
If I needed the MRI for an emergency reason, I would have one that day.
My aunt lives in Canada. She waited about 4 months for a new hip. She has no waiting when they thought she had cancer - which she did and they successfully treated. Total cost, zero.
A month after I moved someone rear ended me rather severely. I remember arguing with the EMTs on scene about getting in their ambulance and going to the ER. I didn't know how the system worked and I was more concerned with crippling debt over a possible spinal injury. There is something very, very, wrong with this mindset.
Before someone says "yeah, but you pay more in your taxes for it". No. No, I don't. I did the math. My taxes, medical insurance, and copays in the US were more than just my taxes in Canada. My overall overhead is lower here. The cost of living is a bit higher, but so is my wage.
The ability to have vacations was huge. It wasn't until I moved did I have two weeks off IN A ROW. In the states there was always this pressure to not take vacations because if the employer could do without you for 2 or 3 weeks, then they don't need you. Also, no fighting for time off. If you need a day for a family emergency, need to go to a dentist, vote, or take care of some other personal thing you can arrange it. I've never had an employer in Canada give me sh*t about it.
Something I didn't expect after I moved, but getting away from the guns was huge. Guns are a way of life in the US. Hell, I even had them when I lived there. Guns just aren't a thing up here. I know people who have guns and go shooting, but it isn't cultural necessity. That fear of needing a gun is gone. I guess since I grew up under it, didn't realize it until after I was away from it. Americans carry around a ton of fear. It's a huge weight off your shoulders to not be afraid all the time.
There is a more relaxed feeling up here. People are more interested in the pursuit of happiness than this weird crab bucket mentality in the states. Up here it's "I got mine, and you should have yours as well" where the states feels more like "I got mine, fuck you." That's a wide sweeping generalization, I know. But if I have to generalize an average population, that's sort of how I read it. Yes, there are wonderful, fantastic, warm people in the states, but you do have Trump as a president, with 40% support, and that says a lot.
Canada has it's fair share of weirdo idiots as well. We are not immune to this. I know a couple of Canadian Trump supporters. The nice thing is these people brag about not voting - which I don't argue with.
Overall, I work, I pay taxes, I'm starting my own business soon. I own a house. I'm a functional member of the society I live in. I want to contribute to the society I agree more with.
Moving was the best choice I've ever made. When in Canada, I feel like I'm home and not just crashing on someone couch.
I Don't Miss Anything
I moved to Canada in 2011 from California and received my citizenship two years ago. I don't regret it at all. Of course the healthcare situation is nice, I've never had a problem getting the care I need. Most of all, people are lot calmer, less religiously zealous, and there are fewer people who have gone off the rails due to their political beliefs. I honestly don't miss anything in the US, all the family I cared about in the US are now dead, I had no real job prospects until I came up here, and I married the love of my life here.
I Will Never Go Back
10/10. I will NEVER go back to live in the US. Looking at relinquishing my US citizenship but that's like $2500+.
I moved here in 2010 at age 18. Met a really great guy. Later on we had two kids and one has a medical condition requiring 24hr monitoring (t1d). Because of the medical care alone, I will never move back. I remember paying $40 copay, $2500+ deductibles and that was on my parents plan (which they paid an insane amount for).
I also received maternity leave for a full year (both pregnancies) with a bi-weekly pay of $1000ish. I think the amount has increased, I'm not 100% though.
I can walk in to most clinics and get an appointment, the longest I've had to wait in the ER was like 3 hours? It was for severe flu, so not a big emergency. But I remember waiting 7 hours to get seen in Houston so NBD.
Cannabis is booming. My spouse is a Sr. PM at a large LP and makes bank.
Also, my favorite part - I had a coworker complaining about immigrants (I guess she assumed because I'm white, I would take her side?) and how they didn't pay taxes, didn't work, and just wanted to live here for free. I told her I was technically an immigrant and the look on her face was priceless.
Anyways, Canada is awesome. Move if ya want. It's cold as balls And I have yet to see a bag of milk.
Not Utopia, But Still Trying To Get Back
I left when I was 18, lived there for 10 years. I've been back in the States for about eight years.
It was a great decision that gave me the best years of my life (so far). I intend to move back. However, it isn't at all what my extremely idealistic and liberal younger self expected. There's this idea that Canada is like a liberal utopian version of the U.S., hence the stereotype about moving to Canada when a Republican gets elected.
Canada is not a utopia. There's poverty, racism, crime, and despair; just like everywhere else. Furthermore, thinking of Canada as "a ______ version of the U.S." also fails completely, because it's very much uniquely Canada. My love for it is stronger now, because it's stood the test of realizing that utopia doesn't exist, and because I discovered such profound and solemn beauty in nature, the people, the culture, and my own sense of isolation there.
If we're being honest, I think of myself as half Canadian. I apparently speak with a noticeable GTA accent, even after all this time. It's difficult to really describe my relationship with the place, but thinking about it never fails to make me smile.
Life Before Was Inadequate
Good decision. Mine was less America vs. Canada and more about living in Flyover Country vs. a cosmopolitan, bilingual, and Urban city (Montréal). The experiences I've had here make me realize that living life the way I used to seems inadequate. Wouldn't trade it for anything.
Interior British Columbia Weather
I moved from Florida to the central interior of British Columbia 17 years ago. Considering that I only get more liberal as time passes and I love the health care... 9/10, would do again.
The only reason that it isn't 10/10 is because winters are balls cold and summers can be smoky due to wildfires.
No Good Avocados
I moved to Toronto but returned to US. Here's the stuff that pops into my mind when I think about the experience:
-People are almost always polite (but not genuinely nicer than folks in the US- that's a myth.)
-Healthcare was mostly free but poorer quality vs having good insurance in the US... Lots of hoops to jump through. And prescriptions are VERY expensive without Rx insurance (which no one tells you.)
-Weather was absolute garbage (not much can be done about that.)
-Food is very bland, on average; this aspect is hard for Americans/ other expats who like spicy or even just really complex, flavorful food. Even when eating ethnic cuisine it is tempered to appeal to the Canadian pallet. Unfortunate, but true.
-Good avocados are rare. Most Canadians don't seem to like them.
-Liquor is heavily regulated and expensive.
-Dairy is expensive but regulated in a good way because they don't do a bunch of terrible things to the cows (by law.) The milk is really fantastic. No need to buy organic!
-Catholic schools are funded by the government, which seemed amazing to me.
-Traffic was a nightmare and housing was insanely expensive. What you see on HGTV... Those prices are real. And so is the panic over finding a decent house in places like Toronto or Vancouver.
-There seemed to be far more smokers, which was disappointing. Canada is 15-20 years behind the US on a few things- this is one of them.
-To most Americans, the taxes on everyday items (even groceries) would seem astronomical.
-It is very safe... That was an outstanding benefit of living there.
-Great municipal recycling and composting programs; on average people seemed more concerned about being "green"
-Wonderful 1 year long maternity leave!
-Canadians are proud of their country... And for good reason. It's a pretty nice place for the most part.
Lots of pros and cons. HOWEVER... If you live in a nice, safe US city with good weather and you've got excellent health insurance... You may find that moving to Canada is a significant step back. If you don't currently have these perks and you can live without decent avocados (only kind of joking)- Canada might be for you!
A Breath Of Fresh AirGiphy
Oh neat. Something that applies to me. I moved from Memphis, Tennessee to Toronto three years ago, and the change has been like taking a breath of fresh air. In general everything just feels more comfortable and higher quality. And going to the doctor when I sick, instead of trying to ride it out, is just amazing.
I only wish it were warmer. And that people wouldn't ask me where I'm from so much because of my accent. lol
This is the second best decision I've ever made, the first being marrying my Canadian girlfriend.
Commercial Downgrade, Cultural Upgrade
I moved to Montreal to go to university in 2016, and I'm now transitioning into a work permit.
I love it here. The United States feels so...intense compared to here. There's so much pressure there, while here, people my age are far more relaxed and focused on enjoying themselves and doing the best they can yet being able to forgive themselves for their failures.
Also, I'm gay, so the social infrastructure is way more beneficial to me personally.
I'm probably not moving back to the US anytime soon, but I do miss having access to the same quality and quantity of goods/services. Here, places close at relatively odd times and the closest thing to 24/7 Walmar's or Meijers are small pharmacies or convenience stores. Everything commercial feels like a bit of a downgrade.
Also, my experience with the medical care is okay...I didn't need to wait as long for specialized doctors in the US, though I lived in a very small city. Here, I had some pelvic pain and the doctor referred me to get an ultrasound which would take 3 months or I could pay 300 dollars for a private clinic to conduct one. I didn't wanna pay 300 dollars, so I waited but after 2 months the source of the pain was revealed as a cyst that burst and I had to be hospitalized overnight because there was so much bleeding. I didn't pay a dime, but the hospital was a different experience to those in the US. Like, I had to wait in a big waiting room in excruciating pain for 3 hours while they tried to organize an ultrasound, I didn't get a bed or anything until they found out how much blood I was losing, then they gave me a recliner to sit in that was still in a big waiting area with lots of other lounge chairs around. Didn't get my own room until I had to spend the night. I'm not complaining, but in the US, it would've been a pretty different experience.
And...the taxes are insanely high.
Earned, Not Bought
American to Montreal here. Diversification is amazing: all races are more accepted here, the melting pot here is a true one (though you always get a bit here and there). The health system is lower in quality BUT at least it's complimentary.
My daughter is not of school age but from what I see so far, as long as she works hard: she'll be whatever she wants without the heavy burden of school loans I've acquired as an American. Education here is earned, not bought like the US.
Coming from NYC, stress level is a lot lower from day to day and one thing I noticed moving here is they don't sell fear on TV as much as the states. I feel it's a method to drive economy in the US.
One thing I truly hate about Montreal is there roads. Most 3rd world countries have better roads.
I Wanna Hold Your Hand
My partner rates it 11,000/10. They said it's because they finally feel like they're in a place where they can hold my hand.
Worth The Immigration Hassle
I'd say it was worth the hassle of immigration. I moved here 9 years for school, stayed for work and met my fiancée. I work in home care and serve people of different cultures, age groups, and tax brackets but they all get the same services. In the US, your healthcare is largely dictated by your health insurance and income. 10/10 would do again.
A Few Complaints
I moved temporarily to take advantage of cheap undergrad tuition at McGill University (as a dual citizen) and don't regret it. Headed back stateside after 3 years in Montreal, but I have very few complaints.
Here they are: In terms of healthcare, it took a while to find a family doctor but once I found one it was alright. No urgent care clinics kinda sucks, but it's okay I guess. Other inconveniences include the fact that online shopping is more expensive and has less selection. Also, liquor costs more here. That's not the end of the world though, especially living in a large city like Montreal. Also, the winter sucks, but that is probably a function of my upbringing where winters weren't awfully cold. One of the bigger problems is the taxation situation for US citizens abroad. Sucks to have to file in both countries.
The good things? The exchange rate is marvelous and has been for a few years now, so transferring saved-up American money into Canadian money has been great. Montreal itself is one of my favorite cities because there's always something to do and it feels quasi-European. Plus, rent here is insanely cheap, which isn't the case in Toronto or Vancouver. Canadians, in general, are indeed friendly (albeit less so in Quebec). McGill was a great university with lots of opportunities. The summers here are wonderful and the city really comes alive.
I'd rate my 3 years in Canada an 8/10.
7/10. Awful healthcare, extreme and appallingly open racism against the first nations, lots of passive aggression. However, did make some good friends and the land is beautiful.
A Gateway DrugGiphy
I did my research before and as a result wasn't too surprised at how superior it was with regard to politics, general human decency, accessible healthcare (yes, it's as easy as walking in with your card, getting what you need, and leaving..just hope your private plan covers anything outside of the urgent care/ER that your default plan sure as hell won't.) Couple things stand out though:
There seems to be a general condescending tone about the neighbo(u)rs to the south. While a fair amount of this is warranted, it's to the point where I don't mention this upbringing in casual conversation anymore until I trust the person. To me, it's hypocritical to make sweeping generalizations about a people that you hate for being racist, bigoted, etc. Attack the issues, not the population.
It's not exactly some kind of cradle of intellectualism, either. Like anywhere else, there are smart people, dumb people, everything in between. It just seems better on average [than the US] as there's a different starting point in society, some kind of privilege, if you will. By not being born and having to deal daily with the mess and socioeconomic challenge that is living the US, it's of course easier to form opinions about how poorly everything is being operated. Issues still exist here too, from poorly maintained infrastructure, monopolistic phone companies, not-so-subtle genocidal activities toward natives. Same fallible people, different issues.
Changing gears: One of the many reasons I wanted to move was that I thought I was going to be among my people with respect to embracing harsh winter weather. All the propaganda sold how cold and scary and snowy it was. I grew up in the southern US where snow was occasional but not terribly common. This seemed like a heavenly transition...but lordy jaysus everyone here is a little wuss. Just pick a random Canada twitter account or Facebook page about the most trivial of weather and everyone complains like they've never seen it before. It's embarrassing. Hell, while the southern infrastructure couldn't handle snow as well, they were at least far less cowardly about it. I get the inconvenience thing but this seemed to be a deeper-rooted hatred which is toxic for the cozy winter weather lover.
A couple of things I do miss: as a scientist--the lack of free data exchange..those with ready access to US government data don't know how good they have it. Another perk is tech and media in general (understandably less robust than the place with access to Hollywood and numerous tech research facilities).
All in all, however, I don't regret much; for whatever problems exist here are greater in number back south; I like to think of it as a EU Lite® where it still has some of the same issues the US does, just not as great in intensity or number--It's a good gateway drug for those considering full evil socialist European living.
Finally, one I can answer! Immigrated summer of 2017, moving from New York City to Toronto.
The good: Almost everything! People are nicer; I'm significantly less anxious given the social safety here, lots of great food and fun things to do and I love the culture up here.
The bad: No good Tex-mex (not "Mexican") food. Really bad drivers. Utility costs
Overall: 10/10 would immigrate again. I started a family here and have no intention of ever returning to America.
No More "Me First"
Moved to Quebec and never plan to return to America. I love it here. It's safe, even major cities like Montreal. It's super multicultural here, and people embrace it (for the most part, racism exists everywhere). I don't worry about my future children's safety when they will go to school. I have been sick many times, including bilateral pneumonia and have never paid a dime for treatment.
I work at a job that is dangerous for my unborn child so I am on leave for the entire 9 months of my pregnancy with 90% of my salary. After the baby is born I will take 18 months of maternity leave. Honestly, the social benefits are just so incredible.
Why in the world would I want to move back to a society that values a "me first" and "I've got mine, so screw you" mentality. Of course there are people who don't feel that way, the government and those who put them in power certainly do.
Moved Without A Job
I moved to Vancouver in 2015 and ended up returning to the States. Couldn't find a job and nothing was working out. The taxes were killing me and the cost of living is higher. Was not the best decision.
Great - Except The Lack Of Hot Cheetos
I moved to Canada from California to be with my boyfriend a month after we met, It has been over 5 years and we will be getting married on July 13 next month. I didn't expect much when I moved to Canada, I thought I would be living in a pile of snow. Boy was I wrong!! I love Canada even more than the US.
The best part of Canada is its stunning scenery. Banff and Jasper are the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. Banff has glaciers, very large mountains, a thick coniferous foliage covering the landscape, emerald and sapphire lakes, lots and lots of wildlife (bears, eagles, cougar, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, wolves, foxes...even more so in the Yukon, bears are like squirrels). Yosemite isn't nearly as pretty in comparison, it is blown out of the water. The only thing California has over banff are the redwoods.
Healthcare is a big one. I am still surprised it costs nothing when I got to the hospital, even feel very guilty for some reason. I severed all the tendons in my pinky finger when I was chopping vegetables and I got hand surgery and 20+ physiotherapy sessions free. Most I paid was 20 dollars for the cast. The waiting times are the same as in California. Literally noticed no difference at all. I was raised in a highly conservative seventh day adventist family and was convinced when I lived in the US that the healthcare was perfect and "lazy" minimum wage workers didn't deserve to be healthy. Living in Canada has left me much more open minded and compassionate. There are a lot less stupid billboard advertisements about jesus stuff and less churches.
I find the tuition to my university is much much cheaper in comparison to California, although the campus isn't nearly as pretty.
Mcdonald's also tastes much better, no gray patty.
Weird stuff about Canada: slightly racist sentiment against indigenous people. LOTS AND LOTS of Ukrainians (my fiance is one), everyone seems to love Kraft dinner (WHY!!!), they have an obsession with slurpees (no Icees!), only two seasons here: construction and winter, NOT ALL STORES CARRY HOT CHEETOS!!!
The sense of safety - from crime, from medical and student debt, from the weird political whims of the US government - is what really stands out for me. I lived in Canada for 13 years and became a citizen. It was so good to me.
The US Is A Better Option
I moved to Canada (Toronto and Vancouver) for a while and eventually came back to the US.
In Toronto and Vancouver, I think there's more of a sense of community than what I've experienced living major US cities like NYC, Chicago, SF. The people are a bit less self centered and more aware of their surroundings, and that manifests in the little things like doing a better job of cleaning up after themselves, being more courteous on the roads and on public transit, and just being a bit more friendly and helpful to strangers.
Stuff was definitely more expensive in Canada. Even considering I've lived in expensive US cities such as NYC and SF, non-housing things in Toronto and Vancouver were more expensive, like groceries, clothes, plane tickets.
Canada lacks a creative energy compared to what I've experienced in the US. Everything from the music, food, visual art, architecture, and fashion felt dull. A very sterile, generic feel overall.
People seem healthier and well rested in Canada. I'm sure that has to do a lot with having a proper healthcare system in place and more adequate paid time off (still bad in regards to PTO, but better than the US). I've always had a lot of PTO in my jobs in the US and it's been years since I've had any health concerns that a Costco-branded allergy pill or ibuprofen couldn't handle, so that didn't really affect me. But yea, the people as whole just seem healthier and happier.
Internet speeds in Canada are absolutely terrible. Both residential/commercial internet and data connections on phones. It's not great in the US either, but Canada's is a downright joke.
Salaries and overall job opportunities in my fields (tech/biotech/research) are very limited compared to the US. The top innovators by and large aren't in Canada so if you want to work with the best, you're likely not going to be in Canada. I felt similarly about most European countries (UK/Germany excluded) when I've looked at jobs there too.
I'm glad I did give Canada a shot and I don't regret it one bit. It's a really wonderful country that I could happily live in, and I think the majority of Americans would probably be happier in Canada than they are in the US just due to healthcare, PTO, and better education. But for me personally, the US is the better option.
I'm a dual-citizen who's spent about half my life living on either side of the border. In my opinion, Canada is significantly better for many reasons including healthcare, culture (dumb, uneducated rednecks are few and far between) and natural beauty.
The only reason I reside in the states right now is because Canada (specifically Vancouver, where I grew up) is incredibly expensive. Their housing market is out of control and everyday items are more expensive. That being said, if/when Vancouver's housing market crashes I will likely try to move back.
We aren't perfect. There's plenty of things in our pasts that we look back and cringe at.
That being said, sometimes those cringe moments go far past cringe. Sometimes they get to the point of no return awfulness because that's where our human nature took us in this moment.
He's Not Dead<p>When I was 17 my brother walked into a room where I was lying down on my back and stamped on my chest. </p><p>I saw red and stood up and punched him square in the face, unfortunately this was in a doorway in front of a staircase, which he fell down backwards and when he hit the wall at the bottom folded up in such a way I thought I'd killed him. </p><p>He didn't move for what seemed like forever and I was certain he was dead, the world just spinning out around me. </p><p>He wasn't dead, obviously, but knocked out briefly and he never laid a finger on me again, after being the kind of nasty bully who had spent much of my childhood just randomly beating on me for his own enjoyment.</p><p>Those were the longest seconds of my life.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/MrSpindles/" target="_blank">MrSpindles</a></p>
Complete And Total Taking Over<p>I don't know about "haunts" but it makes me cringe. In public school we had this thing in our school called 'Jumpstart for Kids' where you'd go around, often door to door, collecting money for this charity once a year. </p><p>Anyway I was 12 and I liked a boy in highschool and he convinced me to take the envelope and go door to door and collect money... to give to him so he could buy a drum set. </p><p>I walked around collecting from all these sweet people who told me I was so nice for collecting money for underprivileged kids. Fortunately I got caught and my parents made me donate it instead. So embarrassing.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/heather-rch/" target="_blank">heather-rch</a></p>
Scene Of The Crime<p>Provincial Park, pay shower, 12 years old, line-up to get in. Towards the end of my turn in the shower, get the urge to poop. Cannot hold it. Using a sock to smoosh the last of it down the drain, water turns off. Out of quarters. Put a towel over my head, run out of there past the line-up.</p><p> Get back to the camp site, immediately change clothes, shoes, hairstyle, put on a ball cap. Work up the courage to go by the area later on, it is all cordoned off. Hear people angrily discussing how someone took a dump in the shower.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/eskerhobolo/" target="_blank">eskerhobolo</a></p>
When Bullying A Bully Isn't Worth It<p>We had a camper in this large campground at a lake when I was growing up. Tons of families with kids riding bicycles and golf carts up and down the gravel roads through the property. </p><p>There was this one kid that was a few years older than me (I was 10, he was probably 12 or so) who's dad was the security guard and they lived on site and he was the biggest punk in the park. He'd try and wrestle you in the pool, throw rocks at you as you were fishing, ride off on your bike if you left it laying around, bully and hit smaller kids, even girls. </p><p>I was driving the golf cart down a pretty steep, gravel hill one day when I came up on him on his bike, going the same way as me. He never turned around to acknowledge I was there so I got up just to the side of him and turned HARD right into him. We were both going probably 10-15 miles an hour down this hill. </p><p>He took a nasty spill and rolled off the side of the road and wasn't moving. I kept on going, acting like nothing happened. We were completely isolated so no one saw me. I remember him getting taken away in an ambulance and hearing that he'd been hurt pretty bad.</p><p> I immediately felt remorse for what I'd done but never said a word to anyone. He or anyone else never had any idea I did it either. I look back now and think about how much of a financial strain I put on that family, seeing as how they were already living in a camper. That was a really REALLY evil thing I did and it still crosses my mind quite often.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/harp9r/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">harp9r</a></p>
Not Hurting<p>So you know the carnival horses you can sit on outside of grocery stores (back in the 90's). Well I wanted to ride one and this sweet old woman tried to help me get on, slipped, and really really hurt herself falling into the ride. I just remember hearing her scream and I got scared and ran away.<br></p><p>I'm 31 years old and think about that day at least once a week.</p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/packhawk2689/" target="_blank">packhawk2689</a></p>
Gotta Get Up, Gotta Get Out<p>Easy. When I was 5, I burned my house down.</p><p>We were living in a small home, me, my sister, mom, dad. I was supposed to be in the bed, but I wanted a toy or <em>something</em> that was under my bed, and I didn't want to wake my parents by turning on my light... soooo I grabbed my dad's cigarette lighter and light the flame under my bed. Needless to say it went up like a match. </p><p>My dad tried to stomp the fire out after I started screaming fire, burning his leg horribly. My room and the source of the fire was blocking EVERY other bedroom from escape, so everyone had to jump out of a window. Funnily enough, I don't remember the world-class a** whipping I must have received for that. I just cringe at the thought that I almost killed all of us being a dumb kid.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Paradigm_Pizza/" target="_blank">Paradigm_Pizza</a></p>
Escape<p>I was married to an insanely abusive man. After two years I escaped and he killed himself shortly after. Not sure if it was him avoiding charges, or avoiding his deployment but his family decided it was 100% my fault. They told the police I gave him the gun and encouraged him. </p><p>That was investigated and unfounded. What they didn't know was he'd scanned and emailed me his suicide note the wee hours of the morning of. The police didn't find the note. Of course I handed it over when they asked. His family would not believe I wasn't involved or at fault and harassed me for a long time. </p><p>If I got a job and they found out about it they'd call and leave so many complaints I'd get let go. Found out what I drove and had their other kids and their friends follow me. </p><p>I ended up having to leave that town and disappearing to avoid them. But before I did, I printed a copy of his suicide note, found his moms car at her job, and left it on the window shield. That note detailed the abuse his father put him through, his rage at his mother for never leaving him and making himself and his siblings live with the SOB. </p><p>That he never wanted me to blame myself, that this was his way of getting the hell away from them and the damage he caused. I felt pretty bad for awhile. But at the same time.... they literally wouldn't leave me alone and stalked me for 5 years.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/TinyTinasRabidOtter/" target="_blank">TinyTinasRabidOtter</a></p>
If You Give A Pup A Shower<p>Bored in the house one day alone when I was about 10, so decided to give my dog a shower, I genuinely loved my dog, he was my best friend growing up, but for some unknown reason I decided to turn the shower onto hot water only (extremely hot) and started showering him. There was a delay I guess in him reacting because his fur was so thick, which meant I kept it on him for a few seconds.</p><p>suddenly He started yelping like dogs do when in pain, his instincts were to not be aggressive or try to escape but just looked at me scared and confused.</p><p>I panicked smashed on the cold and cooled him down as quick as I could.</p><p>Fortunately he was not 'burnt' or had any ongoing issues, he never even lost trust in me.</p><p>I felt physically sick and ashamed in myself for days after, and obviously it still bothers me 20 years later.</p><p>The good thing to come from it is that I was so disturbed by my action that I have never knowingly inflicted pain on anyone or anything since.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/ChrisLeeHD/" target="_blank">ChrisLeeHD</a></p>
Caught In The Act<p>I was at school and for no reason at all, I eavesdropped a very private and delicate conversation between one of my teachers and her husband. </p><p>Then she opened the door and saw me eavesdropping. It was beyond humiliating and I deserved the scolding afterwards. I was young and stupid obviously, but when I remember the look on her face, I still cringe hard, even if it's been almost 20 years.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/naydeilinsei/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">naydeilinsei</a></p>
Shunned<p>Second grade, I had a classmate (fake name Sasha) who was kinda awkward. Crooked teeth, quiet, not too bright. Didn't really have any friends within the class, though she did have some people she would hang out with at recess. </p><p>In any case, a boy in the grade above us, a friend of my brother's actually, for some reason decided to spread a rumor among all of us that Sasha had lice and to stay away from her. </p><p>I bought it without a second thought, and so did most of us; as far as I know, she wasn't particularly teased, but she was just shunned. No one talked to her. </p><p>She was around till the end of the year and didn't come back for third grade. No clue what happened to her, but I really hope we didn't mess her up too much.</p><p>Next summer, I got the worst case of head lice my pediatrician had ever seen. Karma, my dudes.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Isabel79540/" target="_blank">Isabel79540</a></p>
I don't miss high school or the people in it. People who seem to have peaked in high school also weird me out. How? Why? I can definitely tell you that life got much more interesting the older I got (my 20s were way more fun than any of my time in high school). If you were to ask me if I have any regrets, I suppose I would say that I wish I had been more assertive and stood up for myself more. Depression has a way of complicating goals like that, though. Let me tell you: It feels nice to be so much healthier than I was then.
After Redditor Sub2735 asked the online community, "What's your biggest regret from high school?" people shared their stories.
"I'm sure the mentality..."<p>Being too shy, I'm sure the mentality that everyone hated me wasn't very good for making friends.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpad84o?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">aeflare</a></p>
"I'm not sure how it could have gone differently..."<p>Dropping out. I am not sure how it could have gone differently, but I do wish it had. It was expensive to upgrade all that education to get into post-secondary, and I also missed out on a lot of social things.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpafhng?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DaughterEarth</a></p>
"I was already pretty cynical..."<p>I was told I had received a full-ride scholarship, so I stopped putting in any effort on other scholarships. When the time came, it wound up being awarded to someone who applied late, got it due to their family's income level, and then dropped out of college after one month. My first two years of college were a financial nightmare as I had to pay my own way on everything (except rent, as I lived at home and commuted across state lines for work and college). If I had $50 at the end of the month, that was a damn good month. I couldn't get student loans and my parents refused to help, so I had worked out a deal with the financial office at college to pay something like $550 a month, which was about 90% of my income.</p><p>I regret not confronting whoever made that decision about the scholarship. I somewhat regret not putting in the effort to get other scholarships at the same time, but I can't blame myself for it either.</p><p>I was already pretty cynical at that point, but that was when I realized just how quickly your back becomes a knife block for someone else's optics.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpalo5m?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">A_Garbage_Account</a></p>
"I used to daydream..."<p>I used to daydream about going back one day and burning it to the ground, but it's just been demolished by land developers. So I guess that dream's dead.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpafcpx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">EducationTangle06</a></p>
I suppose the phrase, "Always follow your dreams"...<p>...doesn't apply in this case.</p>
"Acting like a clown..."<p>Acting like a clown, annoying everyone to the point where no one really stayed in contact with me after, and taking my precious little charter school for granted.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpae5ak?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SalFunction12</a></p>
I have a friend who has expressed similar concerns about his time in high school.<p>He ended up spending his college years going to therapy and maturing. His clownish antics were a coping mechanism for a lot of crap going on in his life at the time. He's happier and healthier now and that's what matters.</p>
"To be fair..."<p><span>Dating my best friend. To be fair that's how I found out a lot of people weren't really my friends but getting ghosted afterward really hurt.</span></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpasudw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">kannacantplay</a></p>
"She got tired..."<p>I took my crush to Daft Punk Alive 2007 instead of my best friend. She wasn't responding all day, and I was with my friend. We were about to leave when she called. She'd been with her boyfriend all day and had forgotten about the concert. I took her. My buddy was disappointed but cool about it.</p><p>She got tired of being on the floor halfway through so we sat in the bleachers. We started walking out before the encore because she wanted to get home sooner.</p><p>Always wanted to take my buddy to a Daft Punk show after that, and was going to, no matter where or how much it cost. But I'll never get the chance.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpbd6so?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">spanishgrapelaw</a></p>
"Looking back now..."<p>I regret not telling my crushes how I felt about them. Looking back now, I know that those puppy love relationships probably wouldn't have developed into anything long term and I no doubt would've had my heart broken when they inevitably ended but, I can't help but wonder: What if?</p><p>Having cultivated a host of insecurities by the time I got to high school, I was really good at hiding my inner thoughts and feelings - I also probably didn't see myself very clearly. So, I just assumed that there was zero chance of my crushes reciprocating my feelings and never said anything to them about it. I also probably sub-consciously ignored any signs that they were interested in me (again, didn't see myself clearly, was very insecure).</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpazwl2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Vegoceraptor</a></p>
"The world is wider..."<p>Not engaging with opportunities available to me and just looking at it like a holding pen just before adulthood.</p><p>It may seem hokey, but join clubs, try out lots of sports, pursue interests, pay attention in class and engage with your peers.</p><p>The world is wider for adolescents than I allowed myself to believe it was at the time.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpaxnsf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Big_Requirement_3540</a></p>
"I already knew I was quitting..."<p>Senior year I had the option of a guaranteed internship and doing half days at school. Turned it down because my parents wanted me to be in band (and I enjoyed it so didn't put up a fight).</p><p>I already knew I was quitting when I went to college. The internship would have been great experience to propel my studies/career.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpatszd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ClubbsMcLubbs</a></p>
High school isn't easy.<p>Nor is it particularly fun for a lot of people. Remember how awful being a teenager was? Remember what it was like to feel like you were at the whim of your hormones all the time? It's an emotional rollercoaster. It's no wonder so many people would rather close the book on high school once it's over (or have some regrets related to their time there).</p><p>Have your own stories? Feel free to share them in the comments below.</p>
When we are on the outside looking in, it can feel so obvious that a relationship is doomed.
When we offer advice to friends, family, or people oversharing at a party, the correct next move often seems wildly obvious: get out of that relationship.
Enough Was Enough<p>"He was mentally ill, possibly with Paranoid Personality Disorder, definitely delusional, maybe schizophrenic. I was accused of all types of things, affairs, being part of plots to 'get' him, even urinating on his toothbrush."</p><p>"I stayed for 3 years after I knew I no longer loved him because I knew he would spiral without someone to look after him. He had destroyed every relationship with his friends and family because they were all also out to 'get' him."</p><p>"I finally told him I would only stay if he got help, which he refused. So I left."</p><p>"I was right about him spiralling. He went from sharehouse to sharehouse as all the other tenants were 'out to get him'. He eventually ended up homeless for a while is now facing 18 different charges so will probably end up in jail."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpal6ip?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">damekl</a></p>
An Unfortunately Common Response to Fading Love<p>"She threatened to kill herself and even though I wanted out of the relationship, i didnt want her to be hurt or die. I remember us arguing about something very trivial but she was getting very upset. She walked out mid conversation and came back with cuts all over her legs and thighs."</p><p>"I tried getting help from parents, school counselors, doctors. None helped. So i just tried to manage as much as I can. Eventually she joined the military & moved away and that was the moment I was finally free."</p><p>"Years wasted though."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpab7fm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">corazon_im_hurt</a></p>
A Bare Bones Story<p>"Short version: domestic violence."</p><p>"Long version: I was afraid to leave because I believed he would find me and kill me."</p><p>"Conclusion: He pushed me too far and I ran."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpaizjk?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AliceMorgon</a></p>
Tipping Over the Edge<p>"He was a violent drug addict and I was scared of what he may do if I left. I never truly loved him but our relationship became very codependent very quickly."</p><p>"He cheated on me, took advantage of the fact that I had a car and money, but I still stayed because he was always threatening to kill himself or to kill my cats."</p><p>"Then one night he literally backed me into a corner and tried to punch me in the head so that finally made me open my eyes and realize I had to get out."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpb5z6l?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Theging96666</a></p>
Optics<p>"She's terminally ill, and dying of Cancer, even though she is abusive now, and was before, I can't really leave, the social pressure to be a *good man* plus the cost of divorce and everything else is just too much, at this point it's just easier to wait it out."</p><p>"Plus I really like her family, and if I left her when she was sick...it would pretty much kill that relationship."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpbm18j?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Boise_State_2020</a></p>
Always a Reason to Stay<p>"We were living together at 16, she cheated on me and I told her I wanted her to leave, she begged me not to send her back to her moms house because they have like 8 people in a 2 bedroom house and because she would've had nowhere else to go."</p><p>"I was 16 I didn't know how to handle a girl literally begging me so I let her stay against my better judgement and it created a hurtful cycle of falling in and out of love."</p><p>"Feeling like things could get better and then having my world come crashing down every time I look at her because I think of reading the message of the guy saying he loved watching her get on top of him."</p><p>"A couple of years go by and we're not in love, just tolerating each other at this point and then we got pregnant, stayed together through the pregnancy but the stress was too much for both of us and caused fighting, sleeping apart, more cheating."</p><p>"When the baby was born she had finally turned 18 and we moved away our relationship got much better with each other, we're best friends now and are just trying our best to raise our daughter to be healthy and happy and know she's loved."</p><p>"Neither of us had good childhoods."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa47ed?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Lapidot-Wav</a></p>
For the In-Laws<p>"I lived with a man I never loved. His mum was also living with us and I loved her more than my own biological mum."</p><p>"She was the nicest, kindest and the most caring soul I have ever met in my life. I left that man when he told me that he knew I was only with him because of his mum. That was 20 years ago but I still miss her every single day."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpbz7av?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Mayfl21</a></p>
A Sudden Shift<p>"I was with my wife for 14 years. For at least half of that, I wasn't happy with the relationship. But I had decided I was ok with it because everything about our life together was acceptable, for lack of a better word."</p><p>"We owned a house, made good money, got along well, shared hobbies, etc. We were basically roommates/best friends who just didn't love each other the way you would normally expect from a married couple."</p><p>"When the pandemic hit, and we were forced to stay home more and spend time with each other EVERY DAY, we started to get a better sense of how well we actually tolerated each other. It didn't go well."</p><p>"She ended up getting really into online gaming and met some other guys and basically cheated on me. In retrospect, it was obvious it would reach that point."</p><p>"But I was content to stay there as long as I could because it was a comfortable life with very little stress and obligation."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpaadi2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">knucklehead923</a></p>
Slow Fade<p>"I was no longer as 'in love' with her. But I still loved her. After years together it could become tricky to figure out exactly what It's just a lull and what is it really going away."</p><p>"I was still living with my best friend. But ended it because once we really realized that I wasn't feeling the same way anymore. I was just hurting her for me to stay since she was still in love."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa6h2s?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">collin3000</a></p>
Wise, But a Little Sad<p>"We have good chemistry and built a life together. After a lot of years, love comes and goes. It is like the seasons."</p><p>"As cold as it can be in the winter, if you put the effort in, the spring will always come back."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa41jl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Aizpunr</a></p>
Some people don't take breakups very well. And those that don't can sometimes engage in behavior that others might view as bothersome, unsettling, even toxic.
Others engage in abusive behavior during the relationship, a major red flag that some people might not take seriously until it's too late.
After Redditor XYZ3110 asked the online community, "What's the creepiest thing an ex has done?" people shared their stories.