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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 26 2013: Hi Robert,

    Here is what I would have told myself. I hope that it helps you. :)

    1. You will have painful experiences in your life. Just know that those experiences, while no fun to go through, will help shape your character. More importantly, you choose how they shape you.

    2. In time, you will see your experiences (good, bad, and everything in-between) build on each other and allow new doors to open to you. Being aware of this can sometimes help you along.

    3. Let experiences, passionate work, and connections to others be your joy. Material possessions won't bring you the same happiness. Don't waste your time chasing the carrot on a stick.

    4. Take time to show appreciation and love to the people that matter to you. You don't know how long they will be in your life.

    5. Don't be afraid to fail. Just ignore the butterflies/anxiety you might feel and follow your heart. If/when you do fail, appreciate and learn from the experience. See #1 and #2

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