Whether your teenage years were the best of your life or a miserable awkward pit really depends on who you ask.
But no matter where our experience ranks, we’ve probably all got regrets.
What do the people of Reddit wish they could go back and undo for their younger selves? Let’s dive in.
1. Punching a wall
Hit the stud. The fracture in my hand didn’t properly heal as well as losing the use of two of my tendons which makes opening my hand a nuisance. As you could imagine it was my dominant hand. My life isn’t h**l from it but boy If I could go back in time to my teenage years, that’s when I’d go.
Please please please!!!! If you ever feel like you need to hit something for whatever reason please hit something soft and not living, like a pillow. Your delicate hands will thank you down the road.
2. Sharing needles
Spent the next 40 years with Hepatitis C and did two unsuccessful Interferon treatments that lasted a total of 22 months.
Fortunately, got cured in 2015 with a 90 day treatment of Harvoni, but still, I spent a lot of time effort during some very important years trying to get well.
3. Not finding your bliss
Not asking my parents for help with finding things I really enjoyed doing.
I think maybe if I’d joined a chess club or something like that, I’d actually have had a lot more fun and made some friends.
I was really lonely for a long time and it wasn’t easy to make up for the lack of social development during those important years.
4. Being lazy
It’s not so much of an issue now, but it really bit me in the a** when I tried to make it on my own.
I was incredibly lazy and unambitious. I didn’t have any job experience, any extracurricular activities, no hobbies, no clubs.
I had nothing going for me. It’s pretty hard to get hired based on nothing but your own assurance that you’ll do a good job.
I want to go back and shake 15-year-old me who thought buying cigarettes with my lunch money would cause weight loss.
I am 50 now, and quit smoking when I was in my mid-40s, but the damage done to my lungs and heart is permanent. I got a fitness watch three years after I quit, and it says that my “fitness age” (based on VO2 and exercise tolerance) is still that of a 70-year-old, even though I exercise every day.
6. Thinking poorly of myself
Parents were big on calling out and punishing mistakes, but not much for praising or rewarding good behavior, so I grew up into a rather meek teenager and always just assumed that if a situation felt bad or awkward, it was because of me and my shortcomings.
High school was staying silent, waiting to be acknowledged, and being terrified of being noticed since (in my mind) it could only be for a negative reason. I’m a lot better than I used to be, but it’s definitely still something I struggle with.
7. Not paying attention in math class
Because I was “good” at math.
Math lessons are compounding so if you don’t learn how to do Algebra properly for example then you’ll struggle with subsequent lessons.
8. Overplucking my brows
Probably only women “of a certain age” will understand this, but overplucking my eyebrows.
The late 90’s sperm brows that were in fashion were my jam and they have never grown back, almost 30 years later.
Every day I have to pencil them in, or look ridiculous.
9. The candy situation
I told one of my friends I like a weird candy only found in her moms home country I said this we were thirteen and everyone else said it tasted like feet.
It does taste like feet but she started cry so I said I liked it and now her mom sends me a box of it every few months and I have to sit there pretending to enjoy the candy when I skype my friend and thank her and her mom for the gift.
i have started rolling the candy in cinnamon before the video chats and that mostly hides the taste but it would really hurt a good friend of mine if I told her the truth even now so i eat a box of candy that tastes like feet sometimes to spare the feeling of a good friend
10. Smoking way too much weed
I still love weed but I wish I’d waited til I was a bit older to smoke so heavily – I’m never as present as I used to be, my short term memory is spent and I don’t know how to self-soothe because I always just turned to smoking a J
11. Not learning to drive
My parents didn’t want to pay the fee for the class my school offered and said they’d just teach me.
They never did.
Now I can’t afford classes as an adult.
12. Constant comparisons
Allowing my older sisters endless success to cause me to really hate myself.
I’ve always loved my sister and do not in any ways blame her but i heard a lot of teachers ask me if “I was sure I was actually her brother” or tell me “I miss your sister, she was so smart”. For some people it may have lit a fire under them but for me it just led to thinking everything was pointless because no matter what I do I won’t be as good as her.
I’m in my mid 20s now and I’m only just starting to believe I’m capable of anything. I’m by no means a stupid man but 12 years of being belittled like that, it convinced me I was. I think now if I had stood up for myself and maybe even gone to a higher authority in the schools about it I would have been better off.
Moral of the story, you are not your siblings and anyone who thinks you should be isn’t worth your time.
13. Not seeking enough mental help
Was a really talented student but family sucked about doing treatment for mental health. Thought me being depressed was me being lazy, as told to me by my mom.
It would definitely have allowed me at minimum to have my high school diploma instead of a GED. Also would’ve prevented me from half of my less than ideal situations “friends” put me in as well as less judgement for how i finished school.
I’d probably feel less lost too, had i fully threw myself into personal finance. Would be nice knowing how to actually handle more intricate money matters.
14. Not learning to talk to girls
Having no mom and no sisters left me without any reference. I was not shy, simply didn’t know what the h**l I should talk with girls about in conversations.
Later I discovered I should just go about them as any other human being.
I wasted good years trying to imitate what I thought I could learn from popular culture about the opposite gender.
15. So many things…
Notable however: Flunking out of college because 18/19 year old me would rather get f**ked up on a weeknight than go to class, and study.
Then shortly thereafter, turning down a guaranteed spot in the millwrights union because “I’m going to go back to college.”…which predictably never happened.
Unfortunately, we can never go back. But we can ALWAYS move forward.
What do you regret about your teen years?
Tell us in the comments.