It’s easy to feel like you’re falling behind in life. Which is why I really admire whatever forward-looking teen posed this question to Ask Reddit:
What is the teenage stuff you should do or try before turning 18? from AskReddit
What’s the advice we all wish we’d had? Let’s see what the wisdom of the crowd has to offer.
1. Be invincible
That invincible feeling you have where your body doesn’t hurt and crack when you move?
Yeah, take full advantage of that now.
2. Hang out with your parents
if you have parents and are on at least ok terms with them…spend some time with them while they’re still young. They will get old super fast.
Let them embarrass you. Let them get on your case.
It is surprising how much you will miss it when they get older.
3. Find a hobby
Get into a sport or something you like, now, while you have time and energy.
It will be easier for you to stay in it if you’re already kind of intermediate at it and in shape.
Plus hobbies are a good way to meet people.
4. Make mementos
Keep a journal and update it daily. Detail the events of your day, detail as much as you can remember. Write about the way you felt in a given moment, your interactions with people, the movie you watched, the song you listened to. Draw picture in it to illustrate how you felt or a depiction of an event in the day.
Make playlists. If you are rotating between the same songs or albums make sure to give them their own playlist. As time goes on they will become time capsules of that period in your life and you can listen to them to remember the emotions you had at the time, maybe memories of the places you were when you listened to them.
Take pictures. Take pictures of yourself, your friends, the places you go. If you are in any moment that you enjoy to any capacity take a picture to keep the memory immortalized.
In years when you look back on your life you will be able to see each day as a unique experience with different people, events, and media instead of a blur of uncertain memories.
5. Get out there
Hiking, climbing, bouldering, travel a bit, long distance running, or vocal or music instrument, basically find a hobby that can keep you going throughout life.
Like when nothing works you know that you can always do that hobby and be good at it.
6. Spend time with your grandparents
I get it, “old people” are boring and a lot of them are outdated with things like technology, but your grandparents more than likely have a lot of interesting stories they can share.
7. Get fit
This pays dividends in terms of later health
It’s a great time to try new stuff, so make the effort to find something that you love.
Some things require you to be kind of limber and flexible (e.g. gymnastics, rock climbing)
8. Develop a skill
You have time to really explore a topic.
It could end up becoming a future career path, but really doesn’t have to.
It might be useful on a regular basis.
It might become your hobby as an adult. (Mine became one of my main hobbies!)
9. Work out
The same effort in your teenage years will completely transform your body.
You’re in a special part of life where you can get a fit body for life with way less effort — do it, you’ll thank yourself later’
10. Make pictures
Not just before 18 but throughout your entire youth. Make pictures. Make a lot of them. With all your friends, people you meet, everyone everywhere.
I almost don’t have any pictures of myself of that time and now don’t even know how I looked during that time. 12-18 is the time to spend with your friends, outside, making memories.
11. The great outdoors
Camping, Hiking, Bike riding, Swimming, Cannoning, Fishing, Cooking, and sit in front of a campfire at night and enjoy your accomplishments.
I’m 57 and still do all these things. I never grew up and kept the kid in me.
Stay out of debt for sure, grow your own garden and study animal and plant life.
Keep all that knowledge as when you become as an adult. But enjoy your young life and enjoy your life in general.
12. Ask ’em out
Asking out that girl or guy that you like (or at least making it obvious that you like him / her) instead of constantly daydreaming, wondering “what if…?” and living with the potential that the other might like you in return. (I was inactive in that regard and I kinda regret it).
It’s a good step towards maturity because later in life, you will also have to pursue your goals actively and take decisive steps towards them – it’s not like the world will hand you on a plate what you want and need.
13. Just enjoy it
You will have plenty of time to be a grown up. Enjoy your teenage years. Play video games for hours on end, binge watch anime or your favorite T.V shows, listen to the edgiest songs you love, dye your hair, obsess over a band that you like, fill your room with posters, make posts that people in your high-school class will get.
When you’re older you won’t have time to play or watch as much T.V as you could when you’re a teen. When I was in high school I was able to binge watch the first season of Attack on Titan in the span of 24 hours. Now? I haven’t even been able to finish the last season! I don’t get time to spend ridiculous amounts of time into video games I love. I end up buying games and not even finishing them. There’s just not as much time when you’re an adult.
New music becomes less tolerable when you get older. The music you listen to as a teen will most likely be your favorite genre when you’re an adult. Listen to as much music as you can.
When you graduate high-school your circle of friends gets tiny really fast. You might take it for granted now, but the people you know even as an acquaintance just disappear fast. Social media was really fun back when I could make a joke online and a lot of people in my high-school commented on. You won’t have that as much when you’re an adult. Most of the people you will know will be from work, or far away (online friends you will never meet)
14. Try a bunch of s**t
That’s my number 1 suggestion. Your goal as a teenager should be to find your passions in life early so you can foster them before its too late. the more things you do and decide you don’t like, the closer you’re getting to finding what you love.
I hated being a child and a teenager. Being an adult rocks.
Don’t listen to people say “These are your best years!” because they might suck and it’ll get better.
You know what they say, youth is wasted on the young.
But what advice would you give to your younger self?
Tell us in the comments.