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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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  • Jul 9 2013: 1. Don't stress about dating/relationships. Successful ones can't be forced. Just be open and friendly to everyone and eventually the right person will come along. Don't settle for cheap imitations of real relationships.
    2. Become a person that you would find fun and intriguing. That will be one of the most winsome things you can do. People are drawn to authenticity. And you will get so wrapped up in experiencing all that fun and excitement that you will forget to worry about it. Make your life an adventure . Do hard things, take chances, push yourself outside your comfort zone occasionally. When you are approaching the horizon is when you will feel most alive.
    3. There are many types of compensation in life, only one of them is money. Respect, appreciation, free time are all forms of compensation - don't discount them. Money is great - it can allow you to pursue many different opportunities, but it cannot make you happy in and of itself. Use it as a tool.
    4. Don't let fear of making a mistake freeze you and prevent you from making intentional decisions. Make the best choices you can, ride both the good ones and the bad ones for as long as you need, and then bail off if you want to. You will learn more about yourself and the world from your mistakes than from your successes. Mistakes are not fun, but they are okay. Allow yourself to make some!
    5. Enjoy who you are right now. You will only be 18 (or 19, or 20) once. Treasure every minute of it, even the moments of doubt and insecurity. It all has value. Make the memories that you think you might want to have to look back on when you are 50.

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