17 Things We Did When We Were Young That We Regret Now

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By Darryl Henderson

Youth is a time filled with carefree joy, but it’s also a time for making and learning from mistakes. As we age, we often look back and regret some of the things we have done, so here are 17 things we did when we were young that we regret now.

Social Media Posts

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As we age, it becomes common practice to look through our old social media posts and delete them, especially because we don’t agree with the viewpoints and opinions of our younger selves. Cringe statuses and photos were all too common, so we have now taken the time to remove them from existence.

Risky Fashion Trends 

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Many of us experimented with bold outfits and risky fashion choices in our youth. Whether it was oversized clothing or outfits with crazy colors, many of us cringe at the way we dressed. According to The Guardian, adults are expected to adopt a modest wardrobe, so this regret is pretty natural.

Slang Words

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As teenagers, we all used slang that was popular at the time to fit in with our peers. However, these slang words have been used less and less over time, mainly because they are no longer relevant and wouldn’t fit into many professional and academic settings. It’s regrettable, to say the least.

Bad Tattoos

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While tattoos were once seen as cool, many of us who have distanced ourselves from our past have begun to regret the permanent ink. It could have been the name of an ex-lover or a band; either way, there is no place for these tattoos in our adult lives.

Cringeworthy Hairstyles 

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Going to the hairdresser was a universal experience for many children and teenagers, but nowadays, we get a smart hairstyle that fits in with our new aesthetic. We are no longer getting bowl cuts or unique designs, such as lightning bolts on our scalps, as, frankly, they were immature and regrettable. 

Unhealthy Eating Habits

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Nearly every young person has been influenced by fad diets, fast food, or other unhealthy eating habits, but trust us–it’s always regrettable! Psych Central reminds us that eating healthy foods can promote a healthy mind, so if we’d eaten healthier in the past, who knows where we’d be now!?

DIY Projects

Many of us believed ourselves to be inventors and DIY experts when we were younger, usually involving problematic shortcuts. Thankfully, we are now more likely to turn to skilled tradespeople or professionals to get the job done instead of living with the regret of trying it ourselves. 

Love Letters 

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In our teenage years, many of us wrote heartfelt letters to the person of our choice, such as a local crush or our favorite movie stars. We believed that writing dramatic poetry or confessions was the way to win over someone’s heart, but we regret this today with immense embarrassment.

Reckless Driving Habits

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When you first get your driver’s license, it can be exciting to drive your friends about or experience the thrill of driving fast; we may even pick up our phones while driving so that we can appear cool to others. However, as adults, we are now more cautious when driving, finding this past reckless behavior highly regrettable.

Attempts at Flirting

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Partially influenced by rom-com movies and the books we read, it’s likely that many of us attempted to flirt in awkward ways. Whether it was using awful pick-up lines or giving excessive compliments, we were confident that this would score us a date. Nowadays, we cringe at this, sticking to having genuine conversations instead.

Financial Choices

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Taking care of our finances was not on our priority list when we were younger, and boy, do we regret it! Nowadays, we make cutbacks and save whenever possible, but The Washington Post reminds us that budgeting isn’t enough; even when your money meets your needs, you should still save extra for emergencies.

Questionable Piercings

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While many of us still have piercings in our ears, in our younger days, we opted for more experimental piercings, such as belly buttons or tongue piercings. Today, many of us regret these piercings, especially when they caused irreversible damage, such as ear stretchers.

Embarrassing Dance Moves

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When we were young, we didn’t have experience dancing, so we’d crack out a variety of dance moves in an attempt to seem cool. Unfortunately, these dance moves were regrettably awkward. We older folk tend to have more sophisticated dance moves and are known to take dance classes to improve our dance skills!

Embarrassing Nicknames 

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Many of us had nicknames when we were younger, and regrettably, they were often based on our physical attributes or characteristics. While some of these nicknames have stuck, most people, including us, have chosen to part ways with them because they are thought of as embarrassing!

User Names

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While our wacky usernames were once thought of as cool, nowadays, we dread looking back at our social media handles. It’s hard to comprehend how we thought these ridiculous names were edgy. Worse still, some of these accounts were important, and we’re still stuck with them today!

Petty Arguments

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Adulting comes with a hefty to-do list, and wasting time on petty squabbles doesn’t make things any easier. As we mature, we regret the petty arguments from our past, as they were just not worth it. Nowadays, we value peace and harmony, realizing that life is too short for unnecessary conflicts.

Consuming Energy Drinks

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Finally, Harvard Health warns that consuming energy drinks leads to weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, so many adults regret drinking them in their youth. These days, we prefer natural alternatives like exercise and a good night’s sleep over a quick fix in a can. We wish we could go back and never buy them!

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