1. Not traveling when you had the chance.
Traveling becomes infinitely harder the older you get, especially if you have a family and need to pay the way for three-plus people instead of just yourself.
2. Not learning another language.
You’ll kick yourself when you realize you took three years of language in high school and remember none of it.
3. Staying in a bad relationship.
No one who ever gets out of a bad relationship looks back without wishing they made the move sooner.
4. Forgoing sunscreen.
Wrinkles, moles, and skin cancer can largely be avoided if you protect yourself.
5. Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians.
“Nah, dude, I’ll catch Nirvana next time they come through town.” Facepalm.
6. Being scared to do things.
Looking back you’ll think, What was I so afraid of?
7. Failing to make physical fitness a priority.
Too many of us spend the physical peak of our lives on the couch. When you hit 40, 50, 60, and beyond, you’ll dream of what you could have done.
8. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles.
Few things are as sad as an old person saying, “Well, it just wasn’t done back then.”
9. Not quitting a terrible job.
Look, you gotta pay the bills. But if you don’t make a plan to improve your situation, you might wake up one day having spent 40 years in hell.
10. Not trying harder in school.
It’s not just that your grades play a role in determining where you end up in life. Eventually you’ll realize how neat it was to get to spend all day learning, and wish you’d paid more attention.
11. Not realizing how beautiful you were.
Too many of us spend our youth unhappy with the way we look, but the reality is, that’s when we’re our most beautiful.
12. Being afraid to say “I love you.”
When you’re old, you won’t care if your love wasn’t returned — only that you made it known how you felt.
13. Not listening to your parents’ advice.
You don’t want to hear it when you’re young, but the infuriating truth is that most of what your parents say about life is true.
14. Spending your youth self-absorbed.
You’ll be embarrassed about it, frankly.
15. Caring too much about what other people think.
In 20 years you won’t give a darn about any of those people you once worried so much about.
16. Supporting others’ dreams over your own.
Supporting others is a beautiful thing, but not when it means you never get to shine.
17. Not moving on fast enough.
Old people look back at the long periods spent picking themselves off the ground as nothing but wasted time.
18. Holding grudges, especially with those you love.
What’s the point of re-living the anger over and over?
19. Not standing up for yourself.
Old people don’t take sh*t from anyone. Neither should you.
20. Not volunteering enough.
OK, so you probably won’t regret not volunteering Hunger Games style, but nearing the end of one’s life without having helped to make the world a better place is a great source of sadness for many.
21. Neglecting your teeth.
Neglecting your teeth.
Brush. Floss. Get regular checkups. It will all seem so maddeningly easy when you have dentures.
22. Missing the chance to ask your grandparents questions before they die.
Most of us realize too late what an awesome resource grandparents are. They can explain everything you’ll ever wonder about where you came from, but only if you ask them in time.