20 Things We Did When We Were Young That We Regret Now

It’s easy to say hindsight is 20/20, but what advice would you really give your younger self? Here are 20 things that most people did when they were young that they regret today. 

Neglecting Health

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Many of us took our youthful vitality for granted, and adopted unhealthy habits like consuming junk food, and not getting enough sleep or exercise. As we age, we realize how such neglect can have lasting effects on our health.

Skipping Sunscreen

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Back then, getting a golden tan seemed more important than protecting our skin. But now, we regret not wearing sunscreen regularly as we deal with premature wrinkles and an increased risk of skin cancer.

Not Traveling

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With the weight of responsibilities and limited time in adulthood, we regret not taking the chance to travel and explore when we were younger and had fewer commitments.

Not Saving Money

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The concept of saving money seemed alien in our youth, but as we got older, we realized the importance of financial security. Not starting to save money early on is a common regret.

Ignoring Our Parents’ Advice

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Our parents’ advice may have seemed annoying back then, but as we navigate the trials of adulthood, we often regret not taking their wisdom to heart.

Being too Afraid to Take Risks

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Whether it was a new job, a big move, or a daring adventure, the fear of uncertainty often stopped us from taking risks. As we age, we regret not seizing those opportunities for growth and discovery.

Caring too Much About What Others Think

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Many of us spent our youth trying to fit in and worrying about others’ opinions. This regret often centers around the lost opportunity to discover and embrace our unique selves earlier in life.

Not Learning Another Language

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Many of us regret not taking the opportunity to learn a second language when we were younger and our brains were better suited to new language acquisition.

Not Maintaining Friendships

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It’s easy to lose touch with friends as life moves on. Looking back, many of us regret not putting in the effort to maintain those cherished friendships.

Picking Up Smoking

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The appeal of looking ‘cool’ led many of us to pick up smoking. As adults, we regret this decision, as we begin to realize the severe health implications and difficulties that come with trying to quit.

Ignoring Dental Health

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Neglecting dental health can lead to problems down the line. Many of us regret not taking better care of our teeth when we were younger, especially when this disregard led to expensive (and painful) dental procedures.

Not Pursuing a Passion

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Whether it was painting, writing, playing an instrument, or any other passion, many of us regret not nurturing our talents due to societal pressure or fear of failure.

Choosing the Wrong Career Path

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Many people choose career paths based on societal expectations or financial prospects rather than passion, but eventually regret not pursuing what truly made them happy.

Not Learning to Cook

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Relying on takeouts and ready meals seemed easier in our youth, but as adults, we regret not learning to cook. This skill could have led to healthier eating habits and saved money.

Not Expressing Love

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Many regret not expressing our love and appreciation to those who mattered most to us when we had the chance. As we age, we understand the importance of conveying our feelings to loved ones.

Taking Life too Seriously

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In our rush to grow up, we often forget to enjoy the simple joys of life — but as adults, we regret taking life too seriously and not appreciating the lighter moments.

Avoiding Mistakes

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Many of us were so afraid of making mistakes that we chose the safe path. In retrospect, we regret not embracing mistakes as valuable opportunities for learning and growth.

Not Investing in the Stock Market

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With a better understanding of finances, many of us regret not investing in the stock market when we were younger, as we missed out on potential long-term gains.

Not Keeping a Journal

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As we age, memories fade. Many of us regret not keeping a journal to capture our thoughts, experiences, and milestones when we were younger.

Neglecting Mental Health

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In our pursuit of career, relationships, and material possessions, many of us overlooked our mental health. As adults, we regret not paying more attention to self-care and mental well-being. 

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