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5 Regrets We All Have From Our Teenage Years, And How We Can Overcome Them

September 29, 2021
February 4, 2024

The mistakes we make in our teenage years can be very jarring, especially since the adult years are usually the ones in which we finally get our act together.

Table of Contents

We all remember our teenage years.

From bad hair and bad fashion to bad relationship choices, many of us look back on those years fondly – but mainly because they’re not our reality anymore.

For some of us though, the woes that plagued our teenage years didn’t really leave us. They can be very jarring, especially since the adult years are usually seen to be ones in which we finally get our act together.

Here are 5 that I’m sure you’ll still say, “Same here!” to.

1. Not Saving Up

Not Saving Up

Before getting our full-time jobs, there were better times when our parents funded us not only for our meals, but for little expenditures via our allowances.

Because we couldn’t really feel the pinch that comes with spending some hard-earned money, we tend to live from allowance-to-allowance, buying items on a whim.

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I’ve definitely gotten more kiam (aka stingy) after my allowance stopped coming in, and I needed to take on the role of being a financially-independent adult. From phone to credit card bills, I find myself looking at the now-useless items I splurged on in my younger years with disdain.

Some ways we can alleviate this now is to, well, start saving up! I’m sure we all know about insurance agents selling us Savings Plans which basically force us to set aside a sum of money every month, but what about those of us who prefer to have full control over our dollars and cents?

This is where budgeting, and online tools come in. For example, Moneysense’s Goal Savings Calculator is good for those of us who have aspirations, but don’t know how much to put aside each month.

When travelling, opting for hostels and Airbnbs as compared to hotels is also a good way to ensure your holiday doesn’t drain -too- much of your savings.

Money earned is meant to be spent, but it also doesn’t mean that we should be splurging indiscriminately.

2. Not Taking Care Of Our Skin

Perhaps many blame their raging, unstable hormones for the outbreaks we all hated.

Back then, Oxy pimple cream was our last line of defense, and pimple patches were last ditch attempts to cover up the red, embarrassing spots on our faces.

Partially knowing that it was the fast food and, salt and sugar-laden snacks that we consumed in copious amounts leading to the dire states of our skin, we still continued to feast on these during our recesses, and during after-school activity breaks… because YOLO right?

Many of us have since gotten out of the phase, mostly due to our hormones stabilising, but there are still some who suffer from adult acne, or commonly, scarring from previous outbreaks.

While we now know better than to pick at our pimples and indulge in skin-killing food, some scars and breakouts are simply relentless, and there are no off-the-counter medications or treatments that could possibly come to our rescue.

Fortunately, though, there are skin clinics around Singapore, which offer acne management programmes – even ones for men!

Amaris B. Clinic is one of those clinics, and their tailored skin therapy programme not only helps those with the usual pimples and blackheads, but even those with cysts and scarring.

For those who want to rejuvenate their skin and restore their youth and confidence, the clinic also has treatments to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation.

The truth is, the condition of your skin (especially on your face) is what helps you make a good, or not-so good first impression, so it might be a good idea to your skincare game from just face wash and pimple cream.

3. Not Taking Care Of Our Body

Somewhat tied into the point on not taking good care of our skin, many of us also don’t see our weight as a problem unless we were members of the notorious TAF club in school.

Most of the time, this meant that we tend to eat whatever we liked, whenever we liked, and these habits also tend to carry on into adulthood.

Unfortunately for us, our metabolism rates have also aged alongside ourselves, and adding on a mainly sedentary lifestyle that our jobs entail – we find ourselves putting on weight even though we’re eating moderately enough.

“We can just exercise and diet, right?”

That’s half right, because the sad truth is that while fat cells can shrink, they never really disappear.

According to an article on QZ, “once we hit our mid-20s, though, we maintain the fat cells we have. Though some cells may die, our bodies are quick to replace them”.

What that means, then, is that the best way is not to go on crash diets, but to make sure we engage in healthy habits to maintain our weights.

However, sheer willpower is sometimes not enough, especially for those with more severe weight problems.

Amaris B. Clinic has a weight management programme and also Vaser Liposuction, a fat removal procedure which targets unwanted fat cells in problem areas like the abdomen, hips, arms, neck and even chin!

The best part of it is that it is less intrusive than traditional liposuction as it leaves vital body tissues largely undisturbed. Losing weight and looking good with it isn’t just dependent on liposuction or weight management. Instead, it is the combination of both that’ll ensure satisfactory changes.

For the rest of us who don’t need these measures, embarking on a regular exercise routine and eating clean will be the best way to go about a sustainable, and healthy weight loss.

4. Not Taking Care Of Our Health

Not just applying to poor eating habits, this also includes those we tend to overlook.

For one, we’ve been told to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, but while some have come out to say otherwise, and that only drinking when one’s thirsty should be the guideline, we are sometimes even too caught up with our work to realise that our body needs the water!

I’m sure we all remember our kindergarten and primary school days, when teachers enforced rules to ensure that we were drinking enough water.

As we got to secondary school, junior college, poly and university, we were trusted to know to keep hydrated – but when there are other drinks like cola, bubble tea and coffee… who needs water?

It doesn’t take a medical student to know that these drinks are not substitutes for water, but do we adhere to that? Nah.

A simple way to get around this would be to simply have a large water bottle next to you and its presence would probably be enough to remind you to drink up.

For those who prefer a more invasive approach, smartphone apps like Water Drink Reminder for Android and Water Alert for iOS are here to help.

On the same note, ensuring that you get proper meals and eating at a reasonable pace even in the face of deadlines is a necessity, because chronic gastritis isn’t something you’d want to experience!

5. Not Appreciating Our Parents’ Advice

Not Appreciating Our Parents’ Advice

We always take for granted the closest things to us, and in this case, it’s our parents and their advice.

Particularly in Singapore, most of the nagging that we got were related to studying, and while most of these tend to fall on deaf ears, I’m pretty sure we remember the times when we get back our mediocre grades and can’t do anything but mumble, “Sigh, should have listened to mum/dad on this.”

Some of us are lucky enough to get out of our rebellious rut early and realise the importance of working hard, but for many, we might have missed out great opportunities because of not-so-good results.

However, not all hope is lost, and while most of us are no longer students, nor have the luxury to take a year off to further our studies, there are still many alternatives we can take on.

For example, part-time degrees are aplenty, and those with full-time jobs can get a diploma or degree by attending the evening lessons. For those who don’t want such a big commitment, Government incentive SkillsFuture serves as a portal for us to find modules, or short courses from which we can get extra skills and certifications from.

With the $500 credit we have in our SkillsFuture accounts, not taking on the benefits would simply be wasteful.

Never Too Late

It’s easy to mull over regrets, but taking a brave step to address and overcome them is something we should all take.

Think about it, if we didn’t do so right now, we’ll have even more to regret in the future!


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