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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

via FIRST

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Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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