Photo by Sammie Vasquez on Unsplash

Life seems endless from the perspective of a 16-year-old. Heck, at that age even high school itself seems like it'll never end. But adulthood surely does come, and not long after those years.

And with that adulthood comes a much clearer-eyed assessment of those time warped adolescent years.


The 20/20 hindsight does bring some anguish with it, though. Time spent incorrectly, wastefully, or problematically during those years adopts a sharper focus and greater significance.

In response to a post, some Redditors reveled in their angst, shared what they learned from those rotten feelings and regrets.

GetHyper66 asked, "What is one thing you regret about your teenage years?"

An Investment

"I didn't take care of my teeth very well. I had to pay a stupid amount of money to get them fixed." -- ZerenTheUnskilled

"Treat your teeth like they're worth a fortune or you'll end up paying a fortune." -- -digitalbath

"Everytime I see one of these posts I see someone saying the teeth thing. I literally saw it so much that I floss now lmao. Thank u internet" -- sosumo11

Passing By

"Not involving myself more. I never went on school trips, I didn't go to prom, I skipped anything extra and a lot of what was mandatory. It carried into my adult life and it seems obvious to say, but I guess I'd be a different person now if I had been then." -- swallowyoursadness

"I see this thread of people wishing they didn't miss out but say all they did is the same now and they are still missing out."

"Get out of your comfort zone. Its nice there but life isn't comfortable. Don't get me wrong, social anxiety fucks me up too, but when you realize people aren't even paying attention to you it'll subside." -- Bustertimes

It Will Not Just Happen

"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.' "

-- JesicaRicketts

Feeling On Stage

"The amount of time I spent caring about what others thought of me." -- ND_5913

"I am 46 and am just now learning that. Just had a relative curse me out and drop me from social media because of my BLM support. My number of f***s to give about people like that is at an all time low right now. I wish I had arrived there much sooner." -- Wilhelm_Amenbreak

A Heart Held In

"That I never confessed my feelings for this girl until our late twenties." -- LezWolfVet

"Exact same story here man! We both thought the other was out of our league for 10 damn years until one of us finally spoke up, and now she is moving in with me this week!" -- HaCo111

An Acknowledge Immature Response

"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 fueled 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."

-- SharonRobles

Cling to the things You Can't Help but Do

"Giving up something I loved - writing - so I could dedicate more time to studies. While I did manage to achieve excellent grades, I really wish it didn't come at the expense of putting a stop to writing and creating fictional worlds."

"I thought I'd always stay 'passionate' about writing, and that I could jump right back into it once I was done with school... but I realized too late that it isn't that easy. Because I hadn't been writing for so long, it just isn't the same anymore."

"No matter how much I try, that spark and magic just isn't there anymore. It's just sad to think about what I lost."

-- SleepyBalloon

A Sudden Rerouting

"Getting pregnant. Bf was Catholic and couldn't break the birth control rule ... Apparently the premarital sex rule was ok to break. I should've insisted. But you know, young, dumb, 'won't happen to me' and all of that...." -- grammy1972

"You still together?" -- TobyGoRawr

"Nope. Got married, split 3 years later. That little surprise is now 30, with 2 of his own." -- grammy1972

Could Have Been Worse

"The day I turned 18 I was able to gamble at the local casinos. I won a jackpot playing poker and then lost $18000 (almost all of it) within 6 months. Pretty sure the only thing I actually bought was an Xbox One. Haven't gambled for 6 years. Still cringe when I think about it." -- 0000000f

"You got a really important lesson taught for essentially $0!" -- Enk1ndle

"Good on you, i have Friends and relatives that have put themselves in huge debts from gambling. My friend is getting back on track. My relative is rock bottom and there seems to be no way back for him. Also (Also alcohol and drug addict)."

"Gambling is one hell of a drug. Glad you made it." -- Wulterman

A Reactionary Tendency

"Most decisions were made from fear; I dated an a**hole because I was afraid no one else would like me, I let my 'friends' tease me because I was scared of not fitting in, I didn't audition for certain groups because I was scared of not getting in, etc."

"Sometimes I wish I could take a time machine back and slap myself in the face and yell, 'F***ING TRY ANYWAY.' Oh well." -- ayzayzar


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