advice for teens, talking to myself, askreddit
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What would you tell your 13-year-old self?

The age of 13 is a turning point in a lot of people’s lives. It’s right before you enter high school and begin to be exposed to a whole new world of temptation in the form of drugs, alcohol, dating, sex, smoking and gangs, to name a few.

When you’re a kid you can make a mistake that doesn’t follow you forever. But once the teen years hit, your decisions can have lifelong repercussions.

Imagine if you could go back in time and tell your 13-year-old self what pitfalls to avoid and which decisions to make? A Reddit user by the name kiwipangolin asked the online forum an intriguing question about how they’d handle such a meeting: “You meet your 13-year-old self, but you can only tell them three words. What do you say and why?”

Three words aren’t much, but they’re easy to remember.


A lot of the people who responded wished they could tell themselves to avoid a lifetime of addiction, mostly cigarettes and drugs. Some wished they would have let loved ones who passed away know how much they cared. While others would have let their past selves know their friends or family members were in danger.

There are a lot of people in the Reddit thread who have some serious regrets. While some of their stories are tragic, they also serve as powerful reminders for the rest of us to watch out for our health, look out for those who may be in trouble and to let our loved ones know how much they matter.

Here are 20 of the best responses to the question: “You meet your 13-year-old self, but you can only tell them 3 words. What do you say and why?”

1.

"Don’t fucking smoke." — whateverathrowaway00

2. 


"Love dad more." — RealLifeHaxor

3.

"Yes Kimmy California. My sister wanted to move to California near where I was living. My life was really complicated at the time and I really discouraged it. My marriage was a mess and I was afraid it would make it worse. She stayed where she was. About a year later she was killed by a drunk driver. My marriage ended. I would do literally anything to still have my sister here." — purplecrazypants

4.

"Stay off ATVs. Rolled a 4-wheeler when I was 16. Left leg has never been the same." — Cloudkicker91

A healthcare worker chimed in with more information.

"I work in a pediatric operating room in an area where ATVs are popular. Anytime the weather is nice and the kids are out of school, the number of add-on surgeries we have for atv injuries is mind-boggling. 4 year old, shattered femur, ATV rollover. 8-year-old, broken left arm, ATV roll over. 13 year old, ATV ejection, emergency crani. Shattered pelvis, degloving of the leg, brain bleeds, punctured lungs... On and on and on. So much agony. So many kids. It's easily the number one cause of emergent surgery we do.

In my book, putting a kid on an atv is about the same as giving an infant a loaded gun for a pacifier." — YamGroundbreaking953

5.

"Keep making music." — douglas_yancie

6.

"Stop copying others." — Kyndron

7.

"Evie needs help. Maybe then I’ll still have my big sister." — Space GeneralAmerica

8.

"Drugs ruined you." — GizmoTheLion

9.

"Brush your teeth." — mynameisusama

10.

"You are autistic. That’s my three words. That would’ve solved so many god damn problems, knowing who I am." — kelcamer

11.

"Go to therapy." — cornygiraffe

12.

"Stay in school." — Julie-Andrews

13.

"Don't trade Charizard." — facepwnage

14.

"No student loans." — TravelingGleeman87

15.

"Wear a condom." — NicksterPro

16.


"Treat her better." — VinFamous

17.

"Never start gambling." — elegantBullfrog2417

18.

"Exercise, socialize, study." — LesbianStan

19.

"Happiness isn’t linear. Everyone needs to know this at any stage of life but I wish I was told that back at 13, so I would know earlier that life is full of ups and downs, the downs will go back up, tho the ups don’t always last long." — Evangelion-02

20.

"You'll be ok." — Pretenderrender

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

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A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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