Teachers Reveal The Most Surprising Things They've Learned About Their Students While Attending A High School Reunion
Well now it all makes sense.
Haven't you always wondered if teachers keep journals with names and descriptions of the students that made an impression (for better of worse) over the years? They must have a curiosity about how everybody turns out, especially when it comes to the high school or college age kids. They must make mental notes about the girl who will be President or carry a mental scare from the boy who rankled them so often that by graduation it wasn't just water in the water bottle. Reunions are the best way to find out all of those answers, well if they get the invite.
Redditor wanted the teachers out there to share some facts about former pupils by asking.... Teachers who regularly get invited to high school reunions, what are the most amazing transformations, common patterns, epic stories, saddest declines etc. you've seen through the years?
The Drug Crisis....Giphy
8 of my 438 student graduating class (2009), have passed from opioid overdose. The reunion is this July. ZalphaMBio
Yeah my graduation class of 160 something in 2013 already has three overdose deaths. Probably more, I'm not in touch with most people from HS. Rust belt is really dying from heroine. LibatiousLlama
The Star Pupil.
I have a few. One guy was this star pupil. Smart handsome athletic everything. Dating the head cheerleader. Some hallmark movie stuff. They leave go off to college and nobody thinks it'll go wrong. Come 10 years later, she divorced him, was given the House his late grandfather built in the divorce, and lived there with her new lover while he was in a hotel. 10 year reunion happens, he's deathly skinny and depressed. Sees the school, remembers the memories he had, goes home after reunion and kills himself. Leaving behind 2 little girls. His ex got chased out of the community last year. Death threats against her and her lover. She's trying to get in contact with people now because the lover took her money and fled back to the Philippines and she's homeless now. RedRoverLaws
I'm a middle school teacher of over ten years so some of my students are high school and college graduates at this point. I'm happy to say that a good number of them have reached out to me to share life stories and updates.
The one student that comes to mind was confidentially suicidal from a broken home with identity issues. She came to me for help and we found spoken word poetry as an outlet for her emotions, anxiety and discovery of self-worth.
She is currently returning to school to finish her associates degree and she was the first in her family to graduate HS. I get updates from her on my birthday each year. She still writes and performs spoken word poetry in her spare time.
Edit: Wow I did not expect to get this kind of overwhelming response! Yes, I have a million other stories (many of which don't have as happy of an ending.). Yes, this is why I love being a teacher and yes I love hearing from my students years later, though very few actually reach out. Dsgorman
People will find a way....
I wasn't a teacher but a janitor in a handicapped school, did a stint for 9 months.
There was a kid there, around 14, who was mentally somewhere between 5 and 10. Troublemaker, hard to control by his teachers, but he loved helping us janitors in the gardens (often greatly overenthusiastic). Ran into him last Christmas in a supermarket. He actually managed to pass an apprenticeship as a gardener and was working as one now, still living under general supervision of a carer, but financially independent and with perspective. Acc87
I'll Remember, the strength that you gave me....Giphy
My mom used to be a teacher for children with severe learning disabilities. By severe, I mean the majority of students she taught could barely do anything for themselves. Now she's retired, but one day we were in the supermarket when a lady comes up to my mom and hugs her. She seems a bit surprised at first and asks if they know each other, and it turns out she used to be in her class. We get in the car and mom instantly breaks down in tears, after a few minutes she explains to me that 20 years ago, that lady had been unable to speak, walk or even go to the bathroom by herself. And yet there she was, out on her own, talking to us and doing her own grocery shopping. What probably made my mom cry was that after so long and accomplishing so much, this girl actually remembered her old teacher. :3 Roseora
So many kids....
A frustrating thing as a teacher is not being able to remember all the kids you've taught. I've taught roughly 150 kids a year for 15 years, so it becomes hard to remember specific things about every student. I feel like a d-bag when a kid who really enjoyed my class comes up and asks me questions about life or the class he/she was in and I can't remember much about it. I've found that I usually remember high achieving/creative students or kids who were badly behaved (as I have a soft spot for these kids).
Since I usually remember the badly behaved kids I have noticed that most of them figured it out by the time they reach 30. Most have great jobs and are well adjusted. Conversely, many of the high achieving students end up dropping out of college and are working low-wage jobs. I don't believe that high school is much of an indicator of future success. As long as you graduate high school and attempt college, how you performed in high school will not be that important. Thechosendick
On the way to the pole...
A former student of mine grew up in an ultra-conservative Christian home. He and his siblings were never allowed to socialize with other students during lunch and recess. Whenever they had free time at school they had to read their Bibles. In science class they were forbidden to learn about evolution. Every essay, short story, personal narrative, and poem he wrote for me involved some kind of Christian theme.
When he graduated, he immediately enrolled in a big seminary in our area and that was the last I heard of him until his class invited me to their 10 year reunion. This same kid showed up with sleeve tattoos, piercings everywhere, slamming beer after beer after beer and smoking like a locomotive! When I asked what he was doing now, he responded he currently was a bouncer at a strip club. JediTaz
Used to have this one kid in my art class in senior high who treated it like one of those "easy to pass" classes. He was a big guy, much bigger than the other students, and he'd use his size and strength to bully other kids. The smaller ones, he was a little b underneath it all.
He would draw guns and crosses in his art book with pseudo-gangster sayings like "live by da gun, die by da gun," and "F**k da police." You get the idea. Come reunion time, which was some 5 years later, he's found a girl who really reined him in and, kind of like a hunter taming a wolf, really turned him into a good man.
They had a baby boy, and he's a responsible father and does yoga on the rocks by the beach. Complete 180. I do think he was a good guy underneath it all, he just needed direction from someone who could break down his walls. lifesnotperfect
The end of the Rainbow....
A previous student of mine grew up in a horrible home situation. This individual was really smart and I did my best to help them apply/receive many scholarships and grants, and eventually went to an ivy league school to get away from their abusive home life. They made it big and I mean BIG - big time millionaire. Made their family jealous but in the end their hard work paid off. It was great to see and I was so proud of what they'd become. developingwaver
Some required reading....Giphy
At a reunion, my English teacher told me not to be an English teacher. Then we started pounding wine, and I complimented her on her (then) recent publication of a romance novel. It was actually a great read. I commented that she had clearly been naughtier than I'd previously realized. SourMelissa
People Share The Best Real-Life Examples Of 'You Can Have A Ph.D. And Still Be An Idiot'
Earning a college degree, especially a doctorate, takes a heck of a lot of work and definitely requires intelligence. Expertise in your usually narrow field of study definitely doesn't guarantee expertise in other areas — especially common sense, it seems.
Redditor SgtSkillcraft asked:
"Richard Feynman said, 'Never confuse education with intelligence, you can have a PhD and still be an idiot.' What are some real life examples of this?"
Too Much Ketchup
"My ex-boyfriends mother was a linguistics professor and knew over 10 languages. She was also one of the dumbest people I've ever met. Some examples: she believed that in case of emergency stewardesses catapult out of the plane; she was also convinced donating blood causes some blood disease and you can die because of it. But my favourite one was when she said her son's orthopaedic problems are not a result of a serious injury he had. His knee hurts because he eats too much ketchup."
"Man that ketchup is going straight to my knees. Ima need to sit for a minute."
You'd Think An Engineer Would Understand Physics
"I had a boss who was an engineer who put a couple hundred dollars in change in a bank’s pneumatic drive through tube where it got stuck and they had to use a jack hammer to get it out. He was upset that the bank was charging him for this because he didn’t know this would happen. They had large signs saying not to put change in the tubes, including on the tubes themselves."
Self-Powering Power Strip
"My first call at my first IT job was in a medical laboratory. There was a doctor who had been in the job for years and she called saying her computer would not power on. I walked her through some troubleshooting and nothing worked. "Is the computer plugged in? Ok, is the monitor on? Ok, when did the problem start?" type of questions were asked and she answered them all. I go up to her office and indeed the computer is plugged in to a power strip which is plugged in to itself. Cleaning crew had deep cleaned her office and never plugged anything back in. Dr. plugged the power strip into itself thinking that as long as it was plugged in, that's all she needed."
Liquid Displacement Isn't That Complicated, Is It?
"I was at a keg party at college and the (gravity keg) was set up. Someone complained that the beer was not flowing, so I check that the keg was still almost full. Turns out someone closed the air intake on top. I opened the intake and poured myself a beer. Problem solved. A few minutes later someone else complains the beer is out. I told them the keg was full a few minutes ago and it was a tap problem that I fixed. They told me they just came from the keg. I go back to the keg and find the intake was closed again. Opened it and poured the young lady who said it was empty a beer. As she is leaving my suitemate comes in and goes to the intake can closes it. Now my suitemate is a straight A student who gets all As mostly due to his photographic memory."
"Back to the keg. So I tell him that he needs to leave the intake open to let air in to displace the beer coming out of the lower tap. He then proceeds to tell me that since the beer is carbonated air is not needed to replace the liquid volumn lost when the beer is dispensed. So I asked him two questions; If it is not needed, why is there the upper tap, and does he really think the amount of gas the carbonation gives off in a glass of beer is equal to the volumn of the liquid beer? He thought for a few seconds and his only response was, "I have a 4.0, what is your GPA?" Then he walked away."
Med Students Aren't Immune To The Bystander Effect
"Not quite PhD. But I was at a party (in the uk) full of med students and stereotypically everyone was off their face drunk. Well some guy fell over and broke his collar bone and immediately got rushed by a dozen of them all fussing and asking him the same questions over and 'going through the checklist'. Half an hour later and he's still on the couch in pain and I go in to ask if anybody knows why the ambulance is taking so long. Nobody had an answer because nobody had called one. A party full of medical students hadn't called an ambulance or made any transport arrangements for a guy in severe pain with a broken clavicle. Idiots."
"That's actually super common in emergencies when there's a group of any kind. One of the first things you learn in a lifeguard certification course is to identify a single person to instruct to call 911. Never just yell out 'someone call 911' or assume that it's been done because everyone in the group is assuming someone else did it already."
"It's not necessarily that everyone forgot about it, just that everyone assumed it was the logical first step that someone else would have taken already."
He Just Hadn't Had His Coffee Yet
"I had a professor for higher mathematics who had real difficulties figuring out how to extract a cup of coffee from the vending machine. Bless him."
Laser Focused Intelligence
"My wife has two Masters and a PhD, is internationally recognized in her field, and is an absent minded doofus. My role in her life is to ensure that her car works, that she takes her meds, and that she eats things other than yogurt and eggs. She can be brilliant one minute, then walk into the side of a moving bus the next."
"I love her dearly but she's a numpty."
Dump Dinners Were Designed For This Person
"As someone who did two trades and then decided life is better with education - my experience currently going to Uni is how clueless so many people are in Uni. I wouldn’t say they’re an idiot, but tons of ignorance develops living in a student bubble your whole life."
"I rented a room to a guy who did his masters, and it would take him hourssss to cook dinner. I watched him one day, and he just couldn’t wrap his mind around cooking things that take different amounts of time to cook."
"Like, he’d start cooking potatoes and wait til they were done before moving on to the next thing he was going to eat them with."
Doctors Are Brilliant...and Not So Brilliant
"I work with medical doctors all the time for work. Doctors are some of the dumbest smart people I have ever met."
"Yup. I know a plastic surgeon who thought it was a great idea to sue Yelp for bad reviews his business was getting. This ensured that tons of news stories were written about him that repeated those bad reviews to a bigger audience."
"My friend's dad is a surgeon, I never forget when we were 13-14 and her mom called her to ask if she could go home and make something to eat for her dad because he was starving."
"That's when she told me that he had never ever made a meal himself for his entire life, he cannot even work the toaster, literally! So the guy was just starving at home because he cannot make a simple meal. And the next day he's fixing someone's heart."
"As someone who works security in a hospital, I can say a good 90% of the doctors there are smart but lack any type of common sense, and sometimes I wonder how they function on a day-to-day basis"
Doors Are Hard
"I used to work at a university, and tons of academics are incredibly educated in their chosen field, but have the common sense of your average dachshund."
"My favourite was probably an entire group of geology professors and PhD candidates who got 'stuck' for a good few minutes in an entryway because they didn't think to check if the door required a pull rather than a push. Bearing in mind that they'd just entered with that same door not an hour before."
Children Require Supervision At All Times
"My ex had a real lack of knowledge and common sense when it came to children."
"She's currently completing her PHD in biochemistry and molecular biology. She was confused though when I said I couldn't go out after putting my toddler to bed as I had no one to babysit. In her mind, once my daughter was asleep she no longer needed anyone here to take care of her."
"I chalked it up to cultural differences and never being around children. Eventually though our opinions on raising kids differed too much and I had to end things for my daughter's sake."
Just Read The Documentation
"Worked at a tech company, was made team lead. One of our team members was a PhD in astrophysics. He would ping me constantly for how to do things that we had well documented. How to install certain programs, how to gain access to servers or code repositories. Literally we would sit in zoom calls together and I would just read the instructions out loud and watch him do them. I was utterly confused as to how he could breathe by himself."
It's Not Supposed To Be A Soup
"A long time good friend, absolutely brilliant. Can literally beat you at chess blindfolded. Engineering in college and one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. But he’s a big picture guy, sees how things develop and great long term vision. Incredibly successful. But little things? Guy couldn’t pack a suitcase, wouldn’t know how to book a flight. Was making boxed Mac-n-cheese and couldn’t figure out why it was so watery. Ya, he didn’t drain the water after the pasta was cooked."
India Is Definitely Not A Continent
"Mother in law has a PhD in some thing related to botany. She thought India was a continental island like Australia. To this day I still have no idea how that happened when this came up she was in her mid 60's."
Computers Aren't That Hard To Understand
"If you work IT you feel this. Every lawyer, doctor, celebrity and CEO I've ever worked with is computer illiterate. They can email, they can Twitter and that's it. They confuse the mouse, they openly call themselves Luddites, they kick the power plug out and claim the 'box broke'. Mega-millionaires, too. Smart in other regards, but computers are kryptonite."
"not IT, but, I worked in tech support for Verizon fiber optic services a long time ago. they provided internet, TV, and phone services."
"my favorite call was a dude who couldn't receive calls, and this was a Big Deal™ because He Was A Doctor - that might've been something he repeated a few times. anywho, I walk him through basic troubleshooting as he's dramatically exhaling after every sentence because I should obviously just be sending a tech. I wasn't allowed to do that without going through the steps, though."
"everything in the house checked out, but, after an attempt to remotely reset the system to no avail, my last required step for the guy was reporting the state of some status lights in the terminal on the wall outside the house. I get the guy to pop the front panel, and I'm explaining that he needs to tell me which of these lights is on and off, and what one of the digital panels says. guy cuts me off to say, 'oh, hey, there's a bunch of phone and internet cables in here,' to which I reply, 'yes, there are, but, we don't need to pay attention to them at this time, we just need to know what the status of the system is.'"
"dude says, 'well, these don't seem to be plugged into the right ports. let me see if I can correct-' this was when I interjected with, 'sir, please don't mess with any of the wired connections, those are setup on installation and everything is already mapped to your home layout-'"
"that's when he cut me off with, 'I think I know what I'm doing - after all, I'm A Doctor.'"
"the line immediately went dead. obviously, I tried to call him back... but, his issue was that he couldn't receive phone calls, and we didn't have a cell phone number for him. shucks."
"I've often pictured the guy standing outside his home, realization of his mistake settling in, all while his brain starts to focus on the fact that he had to wait on hold for over fifty minutes to even speak with me. f**king glorious."
We can't all be smart in every area of life, but it's good to be able to acknowledge your weaker areas as well as your strengths.
People Break Down The Greatest Villain Performances In Film Or TV History
When it comes to TV and movies, acting is everything. A good actor can make a bad TV show good, while a bad actor can do the opposite.
While the main character is the person viewers focus on for the most part, the villain may be the most important character.
Without the villain, our main character wouldn't be interesting.
The actor or actress who plays the villain needs to be top-notch. A great example of this is Imelda Staunton, who played Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1.
Umbridge was a truly despicable character, made more evil by the fact that she posed as someone working for the greater good and held a position of authority over all the heroic characters. Staunton did a great job portraying her exactly as the books described, and made viewers hate her just as much as we hated her in the books.
As the main villain in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, a poor performance would've destroyed the movie. Instead, this is often the movie fans like the best.
Redditors know the importance of a good villainous performance and are eager to share their opinions on the best in TV and movie history.
It all started when Redditor Helloimafanoffiction asked:
"What’s the greatest villain performance in a movie/TV show?"
Worst Teacher Ever?
"J.K. Simmons is up there for his role in Whiplash. Hated his guts there."
"I just watched that movie for the first time a couple days ago, I too hated him! Who throws a chair at a student??? Who embarrasses a student in front of a whole audience just for revenge and then have the audacity to say "I will gouge your f*cking eyes out"???? Hated him."
"Thank you for getting that he was a villain. Too many of my friends see his speech at the end about finding/creating a good musician as profound enough to justify everything he did throughout the movie. And they see the “reconciliation” at the end as a sign that he was a good teacher after all. Maybe I’m off base, but that wasn’t what I saw at all. I saw a power hungry, obsessed, abusive adult take advantage of a passionate boy."
Origin Stories Matter
"Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister."
"His introduction where he lectures Jaime while skinning a deer is perfection."
"Yes. His acting was far more intricate and nuanced than any other villian on the show. He seemed like a real villian, not just a character being played. Too often hollywood goes overboard on the evilness of their characters and makes them evil for the sake of being evil. Give me backstory. Tell me how they become who they are."
"Homelander in The Boys. I forgot the actor's name but the performance is actually kind of terrifying"
"Yeahhhhhh he is so very very very scary. Absolutely amazing performance."
"Every scene he's in I'm always worried that whoever he is interacting with won't survive the scene, especially if they're not a main character."
"Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds"
"That opening scene is just....... 👌"
"Tarantino grew so frustrated at casting that role, he was five days away from calling off the movie when Waltz auditioned."
""I told my producers I might have written a part that was un-playable,” Tarantino said. “I said, I don’t want to make this movie if I can’t find the perfect Landa, I’d rather just publish the script than make a movie where this character would be less than he was on the page. When Christoph came in and read the next day, he gave me my movie back.""
The Curl Of The Lip
"Any and every villain Alan Rickman played, the man was a pure genius"
"Rickman's villain roles are always captivating. Hans Gruber and the Sheriff of Nottingham being the two more notorious examples."
"Sheriff of Nottingham is my pick. Maybe not as high as others in the evil stakes but nobody curls their lip in disdain like Rickman."
"Child catcher from chitty chitty bang bang .. this one performance might have stopped many rl kidnappings."
"Was the first film character that truly terrified me"
"Yeah nightmare fuel for sure, he was a ballet dancer in real life."
Is There A Right Answer?
"Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh."
"To this day, I still wonder what the right answer to "Do you see me?" is."
So Very Hateable
"Commodus in Gladiator"
"One of the first movie characters I actually hated. And that one a**hole from The Green Mile."
Why So Serious?
"The Joker by Heath Ledger"
"I think it’s too easy of an answer so people are going with other stuff. He is the GOAT for that performance."
"Absolutely this one. Crazy, maniacal, insane, unhinged - he’s just so damn convincing. 100% my favorite Batman film."
"David Tennant in Jessica Jones."
"I absolutely adore David Tennant, in a Doctor Who—obsessed kind of way. And Kilgrave terrifies me to my core. It was really difficult to reconcile. He did such a good job being positively chilling."
"The man has range."
"Man he felt straight up menacing and nothing redeemable about him."
"I’ve never wanted to step into the screen and kill the bad guy more than this character."
"Really enjoyed Andrew Scott’s portrayal as Moriarty in Sherlock."
"Of course people are going to die, because that's what people DO!!!!"
"He was such an enjoyable unhinged maniac in that show."
The Ultimate Anti-Hero
"Probably the most complex and realistic evil character both in writing and performance. So complex that you honestly might not call him a villain at all. He's something like a good person who does evil things with good intentions and evil reasons. And Bryan Cranston's portrayal of him is awesome."
"Azula in Avatar the Last Airbender"
"The scene where she and Zuko fight is so amazing. You see her unhinge and slowly lose her sh*t up to that scene. She finally goes crazy and it’s brilliant."
"Grey Griffin was the best voice actor for the role. Intimidating but cool."
Azula was always my favorite villain!
Who would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
Sometimes the most outlandish ideas sound totally plausible.
In this day and age when 'Saturday Night Live' and 'The Onion' sound like credible news sources, anything is possible.
It feels like a lot of humans will believe literally anything.
Redditor Jeffery_DahmerTV wanted to discuss the ideas that sound too crazy that they have to be true, so they asked:
"What is the most believable conspiracy Theory?"
In this day and age of alternative facts, it all seems like lies and truth.
InfectionSick Computer Virus GIF by Achievement HunterGiphy
"That computer viruses are made by antivirus companies to test their antivirus software."
"Parents bought a new computer recently, the McAfee stuff was in there pretty deep to remove. The staff bogged it down, way faster afterward."
"We are being goaded into waging culture wars that don't matter to keep us from waging class wars."
"Is this a conspiracy theory though? It would be if you assume it was engineered from the start, but this would also make it very unbelievable. But that existing conflicts had been fueled and taken advantage of by people in the position to for millennia is well evident I'd say."
"Mattress Firm is a front for laundering money. There is no other reason for there to be so many. No one is ever even in there."
"Double down on this one! I have a Mattress Firm next to my job and I have never seen anyone in there ever. It’s been six years!"
"I’m not convinced of this. Our local Mattress Firm is clearly baking $1k+ into their margins and then aggressively selling credit-based financing. Selling two or three a month probably covers everything."
Weather IssuesClimate Change Earth GIFGiphy
"Those climate protestors that glue themselves to the road are hired by oil giants to make climate activists look stupid."
"I feel this way about a lot of 'extremist' groups on both sides, that there are plants from the other side doing really stupid stuff just to discredit the idea."
The climate is changing. We have to come together. How is that a conspiracy?
That's AllMeryl Streep Pursed Lips GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"That the fashion industry purposefully doesn’t put pockets in women’s clothing so they have to carry purses."
Financial Clean Up
"That the only reason that the US government doesn’t do anything with student debt loans is because then people would stop signing up for the army."
"That and healthcare.
"When you join up you get healthcare fully covered for you and your family, and you can get a full college education.
If the government started providing either of those for civilians, no one would need to join the military anymore."
"I think so too. I know and agree with what that dude was saying but when I see or hear people use 'Army' as a way to generalize the military, it usually means that what they said is something they’re just repeating what they heard."
"There's definitely more to JFK's assassination than the Warren commission made it out to be. Whether or not LHO was the sole killer, I find it fishy that the CIA was so desperate to hide information from the public."
"There is a very well-done documentary that concludes it was an accidental discharge from a Secret Service agent in one of the cars ahead of him."
"CIA probably considered the assassination a declaration of war against Russia. They’re probably covering up that they were about to start WW3 over it."
"The Great cheese conspiracy. Each year the US government buys more and more milk to make more and more cheese. The US government is sitting on something like 2 billion pounds of cheese. Just to artificially inflate milk prices."
"Not even a conspiracy, just an example of the government controlling the economy in favor of dairy farmers."
"I watched a documentary about this. It's actually true."
They're Listeninggovernment agent GIF by South Park Giphy
"That the CIA posts questions like this on Reddit to measure their past and current work, brainstorm for future projects."
"I have a conspiracy theory about conspiracy theories. I believe the governments and 'leaders' of the world are actually rather incompetent, so much so, that they require the illusion of them being an ominous all-powerful all-seeing entity in order to remain in power."
"And to accomplish this they allow conspiracy theories like the Illuminati and etc to spread around to add a bit of urban myth to how 'powerful' they are."
"It's probably all a bunch of garbage Europe can barely communicate within itself you expect there to be some secret global order??? Oh, stop it haha."
Sifting through what could and could not be true, could take forever.
Life is full of mystery.
When we were in our early twenties, most of us felt like we were officially adults, untouchable, and essentially unstoppable.
But looking back, most of us made some pretty cringy decisions when we were that age.
Redditor ALLEYWAYwithanS asked:
"What's the dumbest thing you've done in your twenties?"
"Decided against contributing to my company's matching 401k. It cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars."
"This can't be stressed enough. If your company is matching 401k contributions, the single best thing you can do is contribute up to their match. That is an instant 100% return on your investment."
"Social Security benefits will not be enough for you to retire comfortably, and when you're over 50 it gets real tough to find work that pays more than minimum wage. Make saving a priority now. The sooner the better, because it is a cruel world for unprepared retirees."
"Everyone wants to hear about dumb stuff like driving eight hours to get with someone you liked only for it to end up being a booty call."
"However, I personally think it was my general lack of effort to build any good habits like exercise. Your body likes routines, and my routine of gaming for 15 hours a day was not one I should have cultivated."
"This is such an important one! I'm 25 and have wasted the last eight years of my life being a typical Asian young adult, focusing solely on education and career instead of doing more to take care of my fitness and mental well-being."
"My culture brainwashed me into thinking of it as a good thing to sit at my desk and study for six hours straight instead of building a good habit of eating a balanced meal and exercising every day. I'm paying for that mistake now."
"Not looking after my teeth."
"Second best time is now! Start taking care of them and get into the dentist, a dental school even for free cleaning and check-ups."
"I'm still playing catchup. I let my teeth go in college and didn't get them looked at until after I finished AIT in 2020. I had them in a good spot for a while, deployment in 2022 f**ked them up again though. It's so godd**n hard to fix your teeth once they're on the downward slide."
"I have weak teeth, too. That's not a reason to give up, it's just a reason to absolutely lock down your routine. You'll save yourself a lot of time, money, and pain!"
"Here's what I do:"
"I only eat two times per day (intermittent fasting is not for everyone but it's great for limiting acid exposure on your teeth). And don't drink anything sugary. If you have to, do it while you're eating and not between meals."
"Swish with water and/or mouthwash immediately after meals/drinks."
"Wait 30 minutes before brushing. Your enamel is softest directly after eating so brushing too soon can be harmful."
"Get really good toothpaste with fluoride or hydroxyapatite for remineralization. Your dentist can give you a prescription high-fluoride toothpaste."
"Do your brushing routine in this order: floss, then mouthwash, then brush. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and don't scrub too hard. Don't rinse after brushing so the fluoride can stay on your teeth and do its work."
"Get a tongue scraper and do that once in a while too."
"If you're away from home (work, friend's house, driving, etc) and don't have a toothbrush, xylitol gum is great for a quick cleaning and breath freshening. Xylitol helps kill plaque-causing bacteria because they think it's sugar."
"Might seem like a lot but it's worth it! My mouth always feels clean and I get compliments from hygienists."
"I worked way too hard and burnt out. Sacrificed family time. Sacrificed health. Need to pace yourself at the age of 20-30."
"This is me right now. 29 and totally burned out. I refused to pace myself even with my chronic illness, I refused to address my traumas because 'I am a functional member of society so why would I seek a therapist,' and I refused to say no to things because I was afraid people would dislike me."
"Last year, I slowly started collapsing under all that. Things I repressed wouldn't stay repressed and because of nightmares, I had constant panic attacks when I got home from work and eventually bordered on agoraphobia where I would try and flee the grocery store because 'everyone can see you are feeling unwell and is judging you' and started making excuses to work from home because the office would overwhelm me."
"I really wish I started addressing stuff sooner. I tire so easily now and am constantly anxious about not being productive enough now that I'm at home. Which is super counterproductive when your body is saying, 'Yo, slow down. Please go find a nice hobby and relax.'"
"Begged to be loved."
"I’m still in my early twenties and I feel like this is what I’ve been doing. The worst part is that other people are good at detecting desperation so they move away from you, which just hurts more."
"I moved in with a girlfriend before finding out more about her preferences. We had been dating for a year but I didn’t realize how much of a problem she had sharing until we lived together."
"We lived together for five years and never shared a bedroom, had everything split down the middle, including the pantry and fridge. Even when it came to spices, she insisted on me getting my own. She hated it when I would be in the same room as her unless it was on 'her terms.'"
"Whenever I asked to make our relationship more of a shared experience, I was gaslit into believing I was wrong for not allowing boundaries. She moved out a month ago, and I couldn’t believe how quickly my mental health improved simply by not having that toxic influence around anymore."
"Fell into a debilitating drug addiction. I have 26 months sober on the fifth!"
"I took a $12k loan to buy a motorcycle. I didn’t want to pay for comprehensive insurance, and the bike got stolen four months later."
Mental Health Assistance
"Not getting help for my depression sooner. Spent the entire first half of my 20s in the darkest place I can imagine, and all I needed to feel better was some meds once a day."
"I got into a half-hearted relationship and wasted three years of my life."
Receiving an Education
"Not studying properly."
"At the time, studying for two to seven years seemed like a lifetime, but now at 30, I wish I had done it. Don't have the money or flexibility to do it now."
"I drank my way through my entire 20s. After 25, it wasn't really fun anymore, but that didn't stop me. I drank for another five years."
"My 20s are a total blur splattered with some fun times here and there. But mostly it was just me running away from things with alcohol."
"Almost 17 years later and not one drop. My 30s and 40s are exceptionally better."
"I crashed a golf cart at 29. I was so f**ked up with road rash, both ankles were rolled and f**ked up, and one Achilles was messed up pretty bad."
"It took two years for one ankle to feel normal again. I still have a bunch of scarring. I have never f**ked myself up so badly before. The road rash and treating it all over my body was one of the most painful things I’ve ever dealt with."
"I am so careful in those things now and honestly just everything in general. I'm lucky I didn’t hit my head."
"I went to Italy and forgot to eat pizza."
"I still can't believe that happened. I had pasta there, gelato, took some amazing photos, explored a lot, and when I came back, I was like, I missed something?"
"Then I was like, 'F**K! I forgot to eat pizza, IN ITALY!' LOL (laughing out loud)."
An Unexpected Life
"I remember when I was that age and desperately wanting the kind of job you work for the same place your whole life. Instead, I was in a dead-end job, working the third shift, going to school, and worrying constantly about what I was going to do with my life. I was lost and without any real direction."
"20-some years later, I still don’t have many traditional accomplishments. I’m a stay-at-home dad, and I was diagnosed with Crohn's at 21/22, so that ended school."
"All the things I thought I’d need to get through life, I don’t have."
"What I DO have is a wide array of experiences. I’ve worked in retail for decades, childcare/teaching/mentoring/etc., had kids for almost as long, worked on a shrimp boat, and tree farms, I’ve seen and been around every state except for Alaska."
" I know a ton of people and I’m generally on good terms with them, I’m healthy enough to exercise every day, I have a loving family, and all our basic needs are met. I’m still directionless but I’m no longer lost."
"Anyone else out there feeing like I did, just do the best you can with what you’ve got. Never stop trying to be better, and if you need to, just point in a direction and go that way."
"If you need a degree but you don’t know what you want, just pick something you think you’ll like. Some jobs that need a college degree mean they need someone with a Bachelor's degree."
When we think of mistakes made in our twenties, we might think of dating mishaps and drinking or partying too much.
But the reality is that the mistakes made in our twenties are far more serious, like creating routines that help us take care of ourselves or completing tasks that will help us reach our dreams.
Fortunately, we're young in our twenties, and we have a lot of time to come back from those mistakes.
It's also never too late to commit to doing better right now.