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People are sharing the simple, three-word advice they’d give their 13-year-old self

Here are 20 of the best responses.

advice for teens, talking to myself, askreddit
via Pexels

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

Identity

Celebrate International Women's Day with these stunning photos of female leaders changing the world

The portraits, taken by acclaimed photographer Nigel Barker, are part of CARE's "She Leads the World" campaign.

Images provided by CARE

Kadiatu (left), Zainab (right)

True

Women are breaking down barriers every day. They are transforming the world into a more equitable place with every scientific discovery, athletic feat, social justice reform, artistic endeavor, leadership role, and community outreach project.

And while these breakthroughs are happening all the time, International Women’s Day (Mar 8) is when we can all take time to acknowledge the collective progress, and celebrate how “She Leads the World.

This year, CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, is celebrating International Women’s Day through the power of portraiture. CARE partnered with high-profile photographer Nigel Barker, best known for his work on “America’s Next Top Model,” to capture breathtaking images of seven remarkable women who have prevailed over countless obstacles to become leaders within their communities.

“Mabinty, Isatu, Adama, and Kadiatu represent so many women around the world overcoming incredible obstacles to lead their communities,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA.

Barker’s bold portraits, as part of CARE’s “She Leads The World” campaign, not only elevate each woman’s story, but also shine a spotlight on how CARE programs helped them get to where they are today.

About the women:

Mabinty

international womens day, care.org

Mabinty is a businesswoman and a member of a CARE savings circle along with a group of other women. She buys and sells groundnuts, rice, and fuel. She and her husband have created such a successful enterprise that Mabinty volunteers her time as a teacher in the local school. She was the first woman to teach there, prompting a second woman to do so. Her fellow teachers and students look up to Mabinty as the leader and educator she is.

Kadiatu

international womens day, care.org

Kadiatu supports herself through a small business selling food. She also volunteers at a health clinic in the neighboring village where she is a nursing student. She tests for malaria, works with infants, and joins her fellow staff in dancing and singing with the women who visit the clinic. She aspires to become a full-time nurse so she can treat and cure people. Today, she leads by example and with ambition.

Isatu

international womens day, care.org

When Isatu was three months pregnant, her husband left her, seeking his fortune in the gold mines. Now Isatu makes her own way, buying and selling food to support her four children. It is a struggle, but Isatu is determined to be a part of her community and a provider for her kids. A single mother of four is nothing if not a leader.

Zainab

international womens day, care.org

Zainab is the Nurse in Charge at the Maternal Child Health Outpost in her community. She is the only nurse in the surrounding area, and so she is responsible for the pre-natal health of the community’s mothers-to-be and for the safe delivery of their babies. In a country with one of the world’s worst maternal death rates, Zainab has not lost a single mother. The community rallies around Zainab and the work she does. She describes the women who visit the clinic as sisters. That feeling is clearly mutual.

Adama

international womens day, care.org

Adama is something few women are - a kehkeh driver. A kehkeh is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, known elsewhere as a tuktuk. Working in the Kissy neighborhood of Freetown, Adama is the primary breadwinner for her family, including her son. She keeps her riders safe in other ways, too, by selling condoms. With HIV threatening to increase its spread, this is a vital service to the community.

Ya Yaebo

international womens day, care.org

“Ya” is a term of respect for older, accomplished women. Ya Yaebo has earned that title as head of her local farmers group. But there is much more than that. She started as a Village Savings and Loan Association member and began putting money into her business. There is the groundnut farm, her team buys and sells rice, and own their own oil processing machine. They even supply seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture. She has used her success to the benefit of people in need in her community and is a vocal advocate for educating girls, not having gone beyond grade seven herself.

On Monday, March 4, CARE will host an exhibition of photography in New York City featuring these portraits, kicking off the multi-day “She Leads the World Campaign.

Learn more, view the portraits, and join CARE’s International Women's Day "She Leads the World" celebration at CARE.org/sheleads.


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Over or under? Surprisingly, there actually is a 'correct' way to hang a toilet paper roll.

Let's settle this silly-but-surprisingly-heated debate once and for all.

Elya/Wikimedia Commons

Should you hang the toilet paper roll over or under?



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