If you happen to be a teenager reading this, you might want to take some notes. In whatever way you kids take notes these days.

Because we’ve got a few regrets here that are both specific and universal, and they point toward things you probably want to avoid.

Which mistake did you make as a teenager is still biting you in the ass until now?
byu/zepher_goose inAskReddit

Let the wisdom of Reddit wash over us all.

1. Nicotine

Smoked a pack a day for almost 15 years, started when I was 16-17 Finally quit 100% about a year ago when my wife and I found out we were expecting.

I’ve been really good, and haven’t had a single smoke, but I’m not gonna lie, at least once a day I think “d**n a cigarette would be good right now”

– jreindel1

2. Taking out student loans

I foolishly took out a private student loan for my wife about 8 years ago and I finally paid the interest down to just under what was loaned.

I’ve been making full payments and more for over 4 years.

SallieMae is barely better than being literally mugged and beat half to death. It’s the payday loans of student loans.

– incognito_ginger

3. Skipping P.E.

My mom was always too scared I’d hurt myself during P.E class in school, so she always would write me notes to give to the gym teacher that I couldn’t participate in class.

Every single day…

I wanted to tell my mom I wanted to not just participate in class, but that I also wanted to play sports.

But I didn’t. That’s my mistake.

The last time I exercised was probably 12 years old, I’m 27 in a few weeks and my body is like that of a 55-year-old man.

I can’t stand up straight, my knees are killing me, my heart rate increases to around 140 BPM if I so much as even walk more than 100 feet, I can’t lift anything more than 25ish pounds, if I sit down I need someone to help get me off the ground, if I sit in a chair I need to take about 3 seconds to “lift-off” the chair.

But like OP said, “until now”

I have been walking .25 miles every single day, pushing myself harder and harder, for the past 6 days. My goal is to just be able to walk 10 miles. My ultimate goal is to straighten up my back, be able to run 5k, and get rid of all this fat on my body. Already got my binge eating halfway under control. One step at a time.

– Nexola

4. Not pursuing things

Never learned to do anything that I wasn’t forced to do. So I lack the discipline to do things I want to do and don’t have the social skills required to meet people because it wasn’t something I had to do.

I guess it’s a simple fix but it’s not easy.

– 1blackcoffee

5. Joining the Army

Seriously take this advice: Go to medical and get on record every medical issue you have.

Any falls or injuries you’ve had, back pain, IBS issues, whatever etc. Make sure they’re documented somewhere. Then, before you leave base make sure you have a copy of those medical records.

I promise you future you will thank you for doing that.

– sapphicsandwich

6. Tried to fit in too much

It made me realize I had the wrong group surrounding me.

After HS, I cut everyone off, don’t have many friends now but I’d rather wait to make friends that I know I’m able to connect with as me, not as someone I’m trying to be.

– TridentLayersTop5Gum

7. Not telling girls I liked them

Years later, 3 different ones told me: I liked you when we were in middle school/high school.

I never had the confidence to let them know and I think about it every now and then.

– Galactus1701

8. Starting to smoke

Did it because I was out with a girl who offered. Also, because The Rolling Stones were smoking in all their pictures and they’re cool as f**k.

Now, almost 20 years later….I wish I had a f**kin’ time machine.

Impressing that girl didn’t end up mattering at all and while, yes, The Rolling Stones *DO in fact* look cool….emphysema does not.

– kidkarma

9. Being a bad friend

I sometimes feel random guilt towards people that cut me of because of things I did.

And that’s okay that they got away and got space, but I wish I could apologize.

Now ages after, it would just be weird.

– 7babydoll

10. Not taking the time to be a child

I was always independent and pretty much spent all my time working to make money. Now that I’m an adult, thats all I really do too.

I wish a f**ked around more. Worked less when I didn’t need to.

– cheese_n_apples

11. Buying into the “gifted kid” thing

It’s exciting when everything comes easily, but it also means I never established good study/work habits and it’s been a b**ch slowly rectifying that.

– NoxDineen

12. Not getting in shape

Depression has prevented me from being able to hold a stable routine for almost anything outside of work since I was 18.

If I’d built up some muscle mass earlier even my depression would have been less problematic.

– lonacl

13. Damaging my hearing

With loud music, guns and being in a garage band. I now have permanent hearing loss and persistent tinnitus.

The constant ringing drives me insane sometimes.

– rallyimprezive

14. Not learning French

As a Canadian, not learning French.

For some reason it’s an option once you reach grade 7, and everybody switches because learning the basics of a new language is easier than learning intermediate/advanced French. So not only are students encouraged to switch to a different language because they’ll get better grades, but imo languages like Japanese or German are just more fun, especially if all of your friends are taking one of them.

The unfortunate thing is that switching languages is shooting yourself in the foot should you ever get a job with the government. It’s more difficult to even get a job, and once you do get one you can get less pay and it’s more difficult to progress your career.

I have no idea why such an important decision is given to literal children. Honestly, I think every Canadian should have to speak both English and French fluently. Your average Canadian will never need Spanish or German, so why even give kids the choice?

And before anybody says “why don’t you just learn French now?” I’m trying! I recently made a bet that I would learn French if the Montreal Canadiens beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in the playoffs, which they did, so I made a duolingo subscription. However, as an adult I just don’t have the time or motivation to learn a language, so the progress has been discouragingly slow

– blue-lloyd

15. Not finding a good therapist

If I pushed this and figured it out as an early teen, I could have bettered my whole life.

– Icy_Chemical_1426

Solid advice to both the kids of the past and present!

Do you have any big regrets?

Tell us about them in the comments.