TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

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?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jun 26 2013: Be brave but not foolish
    Know that you are better looking now than you think you are (especially to someone else)
    Travel to Europe...I recommend the Netherlands, or Denmark.
    Remember that 10% extra effort at study, paper writing, building, you name it, will make the result twice as good.
    You don't have all the time in the world, so use it wisely.
    10,000 hours applied to any topic will make you an expert.
    Learn to juggle and or play an instrument...girls like that
    Meditate; if you don't know how, learn.
    Show compassion and generosity ALWAYS.
    Remember that under the skin, most of the people you see are insecure children, peering out at the world, afraid.
    Participate in something like Kiva.
    Never be bribed.
    Fall in love; you'll know it when it happens...way better than drugs.
    Stay fit...walk or ride a bicycle when you can.
    Never believe in the notion of the "transformational purchase" (If only I had that house, car, or iPad my life would be complete)
    Never contort yourself to "fit in."
    Be a continuous learner.
    Do good when you can.
    Avoid religions of all kinds except as an exercise in understanding the past.
    Take the time to look at the stars on dark clear nights, preferably while holding someone's hand.
    Try to do one extraordinary thing.
    Never let an old man like me tell you how to live your life.
    • thumb
      Jun 27 2013: Great answer!
      Especially "Fall in love; you'll know it when it happens... way better than drugs."

      Ain't that the truth!

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.