You’ve heard the cliché saying ‘you’ll only regret the things you didn’t do and the things you never said’. I’m here to tell you when it comes to high school, it’s pretty damn true. Looking back, there’s plenty of things I wish I had done during my high school years.

1. Ditching people I didn’t like

Why didn’t I just ditch all the people who made me feel like shit? There was so many people I hung around out of obligation that I should have cut off years earlier. I always felt like I needed to stay friends with them just because we always had been, regardless of how little we had in common or how far we grew apart.

2. I regret not saying no more

I wish I’d just said no to parties I didn’t want to go to and extra shifts at work when I was already exhausted. I wish I’d said no to people when they tried to put their responsibilities on me and no to extra cramming when I knew I was done.

3. Always giving a shit about what people thought of me

Why did I care so much about what people thought of me? I was constantly worried that someone was judging my hair, or my clothes or the way I laughed and spent hours agonising over whether I was doing something right. Who cares what people thought of me?

4. Not going for it

I regret not just going for it. For not telling my crush I liked them, for not messaging first and for not asking them out. I regret wimping out at my last ever swimming carnival and not even getting in the pool. I regret not just putting my hand up in class when I knew the answer. There’s so many things I didn’t do because I was scared of failure, or embarrassing myself. Looking back now, the memories I would have made would have been worth it.

5. Not being nicer

I regret all the bitchy comments and snide remarks behind people’s backs; all the shit things I said about teachers I didn’t like, or all the times I laughed at someone when I should have asked if they were okay. I regret turning my back on people when I should have offered to help and I regret not just sharing my goddamn study notes with someone who was struggling. It’s so easy to get caught up in the drama of high school and all of us are guilty of it. There are always times where we could have been kinder, softer and a little bit more sensitive.

6. Not giving myself a break

I regret pushing myself through all-nighters when I hadn’t slept properly in days. I regret telling myself I was a failure when I didn’t get a certain mark on an exam. If I could go back in time I’d cut myself some slack. I’d let myself have a break, a nap and some time away from the stress I put on myself to achieve in high school.

7. I regret not asking for help when I needed it

I should have reached out to people when I was struggling. There’s no shame in asking your teachers for extra help or your friends for some support. There are people who would do anything to help you out and I wish I’d let myself use their support instead of thinking that I would burden them. Asking for help can be one of the hardest things to do because it means admitting that you’re not okay, or not able to do everything on your own, and that can make you feel like shit. But I regret thinking I had to carry everything by myself and not asking anyone for help.

@lavie35mm

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