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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 30 2013: Great question. When we are young life seems like a very long time and there is plenty of time to do things and get 'there'. Now that Im over 50 I know we do change as we age, what mattered then seems so unimportant now. Dealing with that disappointment can be crushing. Don't wait to do what pulls you.

    Big lesson: money equals freedom of choice. I grew up in the tv age and everybody seemed to care most about what they had. So I spent what I earned on label items and other stuff. Now I sure wish I had a big savings account. Things don't make you ok or happy, freedom to, live where you want, go on trips and adventures, this adds richness to life that having a 50k car sure wont. So squirrel away funds, even if its only $5. a week and don't touch it. You'll be glad later.

    Don't buy into what the media is telling you. Read Jon Katz blog Bedlam Farm for much more eloquent discussion on this. Fear will kill you faster than anything.

    Do what you enjoy and if you don't know what that is, keep trying new things. I had many careers and jobs over the years till having the self assurance to be self employed. I don't make much money but Im happy and I don't have to deal with office politics or wear pantyhose.

    Be respectful but don't fashion your life on other peoples approval. In the end you have only yourself and how you feel about yourself is crucial.

    Learn good communication skills. Take courses in interpersonal relations and relationships. Getting along with people and having emotional maturity is a skill and can be learned. Don't use tv as an example of what relationships should look like, its the opposite. Learn to fight fair, to speak your heart and be responsive not reactive. Relationships take work, "falling in love" is hormones, and you have to work to create depth and understanding after the thrill wears off. great thought: do people feel better about themselves after being with you? If you strive for that you will have a life rich in love. Cheers!

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