I didn't enjoy high school that much. The experience had probably a lot more downs than ups, and I was lucky to come out of it with a few really close friends. I returned home for this break, and one of those friends asked me what my regrets were for the last four years.
There's a lot that I could've done differently. Many of those things are immediately identifiable, beginning with even the summer before freshman year of high school.
"Would you go back and do it all again, if you knew it would change the future?" he asked. My answer: not a chance.
There's no time for regrets. I don't need messy hypotheticals that start with "if only..." I have way too much stuff to do to ruminate on how I could've sucked less at age 15. I like where I've ended up.
We need to stop commodifying experiences like there's only one way to live our lives. I've heard way too many young adults lament their lost years like they don't have 60+ more ahead of them.
You didn't find love at 16 like YA Lit promised you? That doesn't mean that all that time you spent not going on dates had no value. You didn't try out for or try hard enough to make the football team? Whatever you did instead of those practices still had merit. You didn't party hard enough, or study hard enough, or make enough friends? I promise: your life doesn't come down to the mistakes you made or your high school grades.
A lot of regrets that I've heard are framed as mistakes, like, "I could have done better, but I didn't." Well, armed with that knowledge, you can do better now.
We're always moving forward with our lives. Your past experiences inform your future, but they don't define your path. You're never going to be able to redo your past, but you have an entire world in front of you. Don't spend so much time looking back that you forget to look ahead.