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

If you could speak to your past self, what would you say? It’s a very weighted question. It’s also something I think many of us wish we could do regularly—to impart precious wisdom on our naive selves. Personally speaking, I’d tell younger me to focus on the more important things in life. Like cryptozoology.

However, unless time travel is invented in the foreseeable future (which is sadly improbable), my past is my past and I can’t change it. I can try my best to change my future though. 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 are 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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