We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.

Greg Sullivan

Custom image created with images from Strvnge Films on Unsplash, Photo by Elijah Hail on Unsplash and Photo by Holly Mandarich on Unsplash

People trying various hobbies like hiking, psychedelics and reading books

Being over 30 doesn’t usually qualify someone as an ‘elder,’ but those who fall into the "elder Millennial" generational bracket or above had plenty of wisdom to share in a Reddit thread that recently exploded onto the front page.

A post by Redditor ThickEmployee8948 asked what the tricenarian crowd regretted doing or not doing when they were younger, and the community was quick to answer.

The thread’s top comment, “TEETH. Wish I’d Brushed and flossed more regularly (...)” by anthonystank, bit off over two thousand upvotes.

User MkVsTheWorld agreed that taking care of your teeth should be high on the to-do list, sharing their harrowing experience.

“[I] skipped regular check ups for 3 years and when I went back for a checkup I had 6 spots that needed filling. (...) One of the cavities ended up being so deep on a molar that I had to later get a root canal, get a crown on it, then an extraction because that tooth cracked, and then finally an implant & crown. Start-to-finish, it took me 6-months to complete the repair.”

two men making a toast with drinks in front of a fire pitmen's black jacketPhoto by Dylan Sauerwein on Unsplash

The advice from the not-quite-elders ranged over topics from finances to relationships to drinking and drugs, with the 30-plus crowd often coming down on both sides of a given topic.

User humancanvas79 regretted not doing psychedelics, while user fin425 advised “Quit drinking. Alcohol sucks and it’s really bad for you.”

three students studying on their laptops at a tablethree people sitting in front of table laughing togetherPhoto by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Education was a recurring theme in the comments. The importance of education itself was generally agreed upon, but two opposing views about how to approach it emerged.

User JoeyTepes wishes they had put more thought into the specifics of their education:

“I was the first person in my immediate family to go to college, buthad no idea what I was doing when I got there. I wish I had planned out my major inadvance, and done a better job of networking in order to get a better job when I graduated.”

User wagedomain took the opposite view:

“I went into college knowing what I wanted to do (writing, probably journalism). I dedicated a LOT of time to it, and learned a lot,” they shared, going on to say, “But I do feel like I missed part of the college experience. (...) I didn't go to any parties, didn't make any lasting friendships, didn't really "experience" things even like movie nights or shows.”

person walking across a wooden bridgerunning man on bridgePhoto by Fabio Comparelli on Unsplash

User lovemydogwillow shared information from their thesis on the topic of regret. “The overwhelming finding was that regret for things that you fail to do (...) stick with you much more than regrets for things you did (...).”

Findings supported by a 2009 paper published by Frederick Leach and Jason Plaks and any number of other comments, including one by user TraditionPast4295. “My friends and I talked about doing a 2-3 week Europe trip back in our 20s. “Oh maybe next year”. Eventually jobs, bills and families put all that to rest.”

User nycmonkey didn’t offer specific advice but spoke to the question itself. “[You’re asking] the right question. Your regrets are usually due to not doing something you could've controlled. The answer to your question is put yourself out there and go do."