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What were 5 things you wish you knew as a senior in high school?

I am just now a rising senior in high school. I have too many questions to ask and not many answers, but I realize now that I am at a golden opportunity (not many responsibilities) in my life to make big changes and preparations for a successful life in the future. How can we avid teenagers reasy to take on the future better prepare for life?

My love life has been less than exciting. Despite putting in an inordinate amount of effort, I have, only this year gotten my first kiss, an endeavor which ultimately ended the first inklet of a relationship I ever had.

I have taken many leadership roles for clubs and a nonprofit organization that is working on a penpal program between China and the US.

I enjoy investing and learning about the stock market.

I play tennis and rock climb.

I enjoy Photography and Videography.

I enjoy hanging out with my friends.

The point of this whole description really was to express the diversity of my interests-- and presumably the diversity of everyone's interests--and to express my dilemma. Where should I focus my attention to best prepare me for the future? What five things that you know now looking back would you tell me? What five things do you regret doing or not doing looking back? Which aspects of your life do you wish you had focused on?

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  • Jun 23 2013: 1. I don't regret staying sober and drug free or choosing not to have sex with the very sweet and cute guy I was dating. I took crap about my decisions once in awhile, but I had good friends who stood by me and even spoke up if someone was harassing me. These choices earned my parents' trust in me, kept me in line with my own personal morals and kept me from a lot of heartbreak. I do regret basing too much of my worth on being validated by having a boyfriend.
    2. If you are being creative in High School with your photography, keep at it. I was in all bands in high school (trumpet), in plays and in show choir. I went to UW-Madison, a large state school in Wisconsin. I played the trumpet for a semester and then dropped it and all other creative outlets. I ended up missing them and the friends made being involved in these groups.
    3. I was raised Athiest. In college, I learned about religion and spirituality more deeply. I am so glad that I did. I am now quite spiritual and have some Buddhist and Unitarian leanings.
    4. I turned down the opportunity to study abroad in Spain for a semester in college because of a relationship and fear. I wish I could go back and do that over. I would go to Spain.
    5. I didn't know much about self compassion and caring for my needs. This is so important to understand. I am getting it slowly, post divorce, at age 45. Learn a lot about you and how to care for you, the inner you...prayer, meditation, exercise, healthy foods, pacing your day, mindfulness.
    One More! 6. Read Pema Chodron, Parker Palmer, poetry, The Dalai Lama, Kabat-Zinn... And love who you are. You are practicing at life. It's ok to mess up. Learn from that. I love that you posed this question! All my best to you! Kristi

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