Oh, the joys of being a teenager - most of which are making terrible life decisions (even though they are fun in the moment). Hopefully, you didn't make any really important decisions growing up that you deeply regret as an adult...like a few folks in the following...
(For more stories, you can find the original source thread at the end of the article).
"I regret getting angry and ending the friendship when my best friend told me that she was worried that I was hurting myself by hanging out with a bad crowd in the 10th grade. I called her a goody-two-shoes and didn't speak to her for the rest of high school. In retrospect, she was 100% right and was probably the only true friend I had at the time. She was the only one who noticed how unhappy I was and cared enough to try and say something.
We reconnected years later, and I apologized and told her she was right. She graciously accepted my apology, but the friendship never recovered. The only relationship we have now is occasionally liking each others' posts on Facebook."
"I didn't socialize. My parents are and were overprotective and I couldn't even leave the house to go a block down to the local convenience store. I missed out on so much potential during puberty. It didn't have to be wild parties, it could have been coffee with friends, or wandering around the town square, or window shopping.
Instead, I spent my time at home playing video games, reading books, listening to my CD player or the radio, and being a recluse.
To clarify, as an adult who has more leeway now, I still do exactly the same things, but now it's a choice I make rather than being forced to because my parents were worried I'd be kidnapped as soon as I stepped foot out of the door. I also never discussed my interests with anyone else because there was nobody to talk with, and the Internet wasn't big back then. All in all, it was a very lonely existence, so I regret that I never got to live it to the fullest."
"When I was 14 and a freshman in high school I was offered fully paid tuition to the college of my choice and any production Ford vehicle in my graduating year, again fully paid for. All I had to do was maintain a 3.5-grade point average for every semester. This offer was from a very wealthy family member. Long story short, all I was interested in was getting laid and partying. I barely graduated due to attendance mainly. Just dumb."
"I bought bitcoin way back in 2011. I bought about 1000 Bitcoin when it was like in cents.
I kept them on a USB.
I lost the USB and never saw it again.
I'm kind of poor now. But I hope one day if luck or maybe just a kind stranger ever take pity on me I'll be able to find it. And bring myself out of poverty. But I gave up on that a long time ago. I don't have a job and I keep looking for that darn USB.
I'm pretty depressed, but I keep trying."
"I regret not taking care of my health. I was a heavy-set teenager but I carried my weight really well (bomb hourglass shape for the win, with some lady lumps to spare). My mother tried to get me physically active, but I wouldn't hear it because I didn't think I needed it. I ate and drank whatever I wanted as much as I wanted.
Now I'm in my 30's and FIGHTING every single day to lose weight to stop these health issues that have cropped up over the last five years (horrible joint pain, high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol to name a few). I lost 89 pounds over two years and I still have another 100 to go. I could have handled this issue when I was younger."
"One time at the mall with my best friend, we found a backpack at McDonald's. We looked through it and it contained a few textbooks but nothing with anyone's name on it to identify the person who lost it. I'm not sure how, or why, but my first thought was 'I'll poop into a big Mac container and put that into the backpack!'
I guess I thought it would make my friend laugh... and it did! Anyway, we left the backpack where we found it and like a half hour later went back and saw that it was gone. I told my friend 'ha! Somebody stole that backpack and is gonna find quite the surprise!' Then I realized that it was probably the kid who lost it who came back and got it. I felt so bad!
I just kept thinking about some poor kid bringing it home and leaving it in his room all weekend without looking inside and having to explain to his parents why there was a turd-filled BigMac in his school bag. It's been over twenty years and I still feel bad when I think about it."
"There was a lot of divorced-parent issues growing up with my sister and me, and on a whim, we decided to move in with our mom. It didn't happen that way, but during the tumultuous time where it was a plan, my dad was devastated and nobody could properly express themselves, so everyone fought and it was a mess.
For some super-condensed background information, my mom was a teen mom and eventual raging addict who never really wanted kids, anyway, and I have some serious mommy abandonment issues. During one of these family fights with my dad and stepmom, I asked my stepmom if I could stay with her if they divorced. He looked at me from his seat on his bed and asked, 'You wouldn't want to live with me?'
And I said, 'No?'
And he immediately started sobbing. I had never seen my dad cry like that before or since and I don't even like my stepmom. My father is the only parent I've ever had that loves me unconditionally, does his best and genuinely wants the best for me. He is a good man and a wonderful father. I was just a misguided teenager with issues, but I wish above anything else that happened during my teenage years that I could take this away.
Thankfully, my father doesn't even remember. Today our relationship is great and has never been bad up until that point. But I will never, ever forget how he looked or sounded and I cried typing this. It happened almost fifteen years ago and I still hate myself for the way I acted at that very moment."
"I was 16 when a girl approached me at a dance and called me cute. I was completely convinced that one of my friends got her to do it, or it was one of those horrible things that some girls do to lead boys on and end it with 'no one would ever like you'.
I totally stonewalled her after she told me a bit about her until she eventually left, half-crying and said: 'Good luck getting a girlfriend!'
Man does that still haunt me. I don't even remember her name because there was music playing and I didn't quite hear her when she said it. I just wish I could meet her someday and apologize.
The younger me was a piece of crap.
And she was right, I haven't had a girlfriend since before I graduated high school and that's like 5 years now."
"I and my friends were messing around in a public bathroom when I thought of the great idea to take a number 2 in the urinal. Why? I'm still not quite sure. Nevertheless, I pulled down my pants, squatted, squeezed and, right as my turd began to emigrate from my body into the urinal, the janitor walked in and gave me the blankest of stares.
It was too late at this point, my excrement had already found its new home on top of the urinal cake. My friends cleared out almost immediately, but I felt bad and exclaimed, 'Uh...Uh...I'm sorry, Can I....uh...help?' He replied back, 'No, no. It's my job...' I accepted this statement and moved on with my day, exiting the bathroom.
I still think about that old man every so often. I wonder if he still thinks of me."
"I was too self-conscious to speak. I had crippling social anxiety. Even when people were nice to me, I couldn't reciprocate conversation or just normal human interaction. I lost the friends I did make because I couldn't even handle hanging out with them because I was so anxious.
Looking back, yeah I'm kind of an odd person. As an adult, it doesn't matter. I just do what I want and if people like it they like I, if they don't, they don't. I make friends. I hang out with people if I want to. I just wish I had friends from high school like many others."
"Ending a friendship with my best friend because he wasn't outgoing enough. I was just starting to getting into the party scene with high school friends but he never really wanted to go out. It got to the point where all he wanted to do was play video games on a Friday night rather than going to someone's house party.
Though I did feel he was holding me back, I felt bad for ending a friendship just because he didn't like parties. I wanted to be part of a crowd that he didn't care to be apart of."
"As teenagers, we used to do a lot of stuff I look back on and feel terrible about. Ding-dong ditching, smashing pumpkins, closing a one-way bridge off with caution tape because we thought it would be funny to watch cars go all the way across the bridge and have to reverse it once they saw the tape.
But one time we all thought it would be a hoot to place a parking cone in the middle of the road at night. The idea being that a car would see it, stop and go around it. Hilarious right? Well, obviously it was a bad idea because as we watched from the bushes a car at full speed drove right into the cone and skidded out. Now we knew the woods better than anyone as kids so we ran as fast as we could through all the shortcuts we knew until we were safe at a buddy's house.
But yeah, I think about that sometimes and shake my head at how much of a jerk I was. I'm pretty sure the driver was fine but it was infinitely not my brightest idea."
"Having a giant party--like the kind in '16 Candles'--and fully trashed my house.
My parents said I could have 30 people over, but they all had to be gone by midnight. I told the entire high school and word got out to adjoining towns.
At midnight I couldn't get people out of the house. My parents pulled up, everybody bolted and the house was destroyed. Things were stolen, the banister ripped off the wall, plants thrown around, drinks everywhere. There were even stains on the ceiling.
It was the first time my mom ever raised her fist to me."
"Getting married fresh out of high school to my high school sweetheart. I didn't even know who I really was yet.
10 wasted years, and a lot of money later...I had to spend some time finding me and being happy with me.
And once I did that, someone amazing came into my life. I couldn't be happier now but I wish I had spent my college time discovering me instead of trying to provide for someone else."
"I decided to study engineering at the local technical college.
I came away with a Business and Technology Education Council national diploma in engineering and used that to get into an Aero Engineering degree course in university. Two years later I dropped out.
I was always fascinated with engineering, but I lacked the aptitude to really get to grips with the more difficult maths. I chose this path because I made the mistake of picturing what my life would be like working as a designer at an aircraft manufacturer. Liking planes were not enough to get me through. My grandparents (who raised me) also pressured me to study something practical that had a guaranteed decent salary. 'The world always needs engineers,' they said.
If I could go back I would have studied A-Level History, English, and German. I loved to write and I adored getting lost in research, but I robbed myself of that chance because I didn't listen to my gut.
I stuck around in the city after flunking university. My friends pointed out that if I had chosen the other path then we would likely have never met. I love my friends, but I can't help but wonder what my life would have been like had I made that one different decision back when I was 16."
"My mom bought me a pristine Oxford English Dictionary and a paperback Roget's Thesaurus when I entered high school. She warned me to only use the latter sparingly and always in conjunction with the OED. I ignored her, of course. I mean, ain't nobody got time to look up every word they use and least of all a teenager.
By senior year, the thesaurus was tattered and dog-eared, while the pages of the dictionary retained their gold leaf. The local paper put me on their kook list for writing too many verbose letters to the editor.
As for university, all the top schools were turned off by my unreadable word salad essays and I had to settle for community college."
"My best friend and I let some issue over who knows what (seriously don't even remember now) put us in an antagonistic way for the back half of high school. Oddly enough, over 10 years later, we're actually best friends again. But since then, he's moved across the country and we can only really hang out once or twice a year at most if I make it out there or he makes it home.
I really regret the years we didn't get to spend hanging out for no other reason than that we were really immature. Now that we live that far away, it really sucks to have lost that time."
Points are edited for clarity.