“Words to your Past Self?”: a Social Experiment

If you could speak to your past self, what would you say? It’s a very meaningful question, something I think many of us wish we could do regularly—to impart precious wisdom on our naive selves. I often wish it for myself so, as a miniature social experiment and as a quest to obtain wisdom for my own journey of self-understanding, I asked a multitude of people of all ages and walks of life for some words they would give to their past self. These were the results:

“Have more fun. Talk more. Be less sad.” ~Female, age 17, introverted

“It’s not worth it.” ~Female, 18, high school senior

“Beware June 5th, 2014” ~Boy, 17, computer expert

“Stop brushing your hair!” ~Female, 18, curly-haired

“Don’t go to school, pursue your real dreams”  ~Male, 18, traveler

“Don’t be so gullible” ~Female, 17, the life of the party

“Live for yourself”  ~Female, 24, teacher-in-training

“Relax. You will change and the world around you will change, and things will get better” ~Male, 65, Humanities teacher

“Buy stock in Microsoft, Amazon, and Yahoo” ~Male, 33, with a Ph.D in Chemistry

“Don’t slack off on final exams” ~Boy, 14, high school freshman

“Snape kills Dumbledore”  ~Female, 27, environmental science teacher

“Donald Trump becomes president and Biden cried”  ~Female, 17, artist

“You should do sports when you’re 6 years old”  ~Female, 18, future doctor

“Go to that football game”  ~Female, 17, socialite

“You do you, man”  ~Male, 18, hippie

“Don’t waste your life, and don’t take double-block chemistry”  ~Male, 18, procrastinator

“You don’t need to rely on anyone else for your happiness” ~Female, 22, college student

© 2017 Obliquity of the Ecliptic

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