If you could go back in time, is there anything you would have done differently? Do you regret how you handled a certain situation, or that you passed up an opportunity you didn’t recognize at the time?
We asked our Teen Volunteers what advice they would give to their younger selves and this is what they said.
Although it’s impossible to travel through time, reflecting on the past can be a crucial way for us to learn from history, avoid repeating mistakes and grow from our experience.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, and don’t be afraid to talk about what you’re going through. -Pearl, age 15
I would remind myself to stay present. In the measly 18 years I’ve been alive, I’ve realized that above all, things change, and sometimes I can’t control everything. The longer I spend worrying about what my life might be like in the future, the less I enjoy the life I’m actually living in the present. As difficult as it is, I would tell my younger self to delight in the good and bad, because things rarely will stay the same. – Izzy, age 18
I would advise my younger self to do things that interest me, not just things I can put on my transcripts. I’ve learned from high school that the best experiences (and also the best thing you can do for your application) is to pursue what you’re passionate about. – Chelsea, age 17
I would tell my younger self that trying so hard to fit in is beyond unnecessary. If I could bring back every minute where I spent buying clothes everyone else had, talking like everyone else, and being surrounded by surface friends, I would. – Adia, age 16
Take a breath and relax. You don’t have to always be so tough and there’s nothing wrong with not being the strongest or the fastest. There is a benefit to being in the middle. Jack of all trades master of none but better than a master of one. – Eleya, age 17
I would tell myself to stay true to myself, the good and the bad. Honestly, I can’t think of any advice that actually would’ve helped me, I really just think I needed to live through the rough times and see for myself. – Daisy, age 15
I would tell my younger self to just be outgoing because everything you do back then won’t matter in the long run. Just have fun and be yourself. Don’t try to fit in and don’t pretend to be someone you’re not!! – Sofia, age 15
It doesn’t define you. One dumb mistake doesn’t need to be repeated. One painful question doesn’t need to be ingrained. Those things, that word, it doesn’t define you. – Paola, age 15
My advice would be to stop and smell the roses. I always go way to fast, no matter what I am doing I do it fast. I am learning to slow down and really appreciate life. – Jane, age 17
I would tell myself to keep fighting because one day soon you will see how much it will pay off, and you will be very happy. – Katie, age 16
I would tell my younger self to worry less about fitting in, and instead to spend time doing what makes me happy. – Cameron, age 16
What may seem terrible and like a big deal now may end up small, and can even end up benefiting you. – Niyaz, age 16