To think that the choices that you make as a teenager determine the rest of your life?

(125 Posts)
poshsinglemum Sun 01-Aug-10 21:13:47

And how happy you will be?

Yet many teenagers make foolish choices. As a teenager I did work hard at A-levels but I was clueless about what career I wanted. I have settled on being a teacher but in retropect I'd liek to have been a doctor, lawyer of hotshot journalist.
It was at the age of 16 when I got involved with my very abusive ex and that has set the scene for my future relationships. I have had a difficult time with men ever since.
I think I was abit of a rebel to be honest and didn't want to listen to my parents at all.

I drank a bit and tried weed which messed my head up.

My sister was a very straight-laced teen and knew exactly that she wanted to be a doctor and is now a highly succesful psychiatrist. My parents thought there was something wrong with her as she spent her teens reading Jane Austin novels on the couch whereas I was down the pub shagging boys. Fair play to her. She's the one who has got the best life now.

I just wish I had made better life choices back then and yet I am filled with nostalgia for my fun-filled teens.

Having said that- I hope dd turns out like my dsis and not like me. I would love her to ba and Austen reading teen.

I will basically tell her what I got up to and say ''well if you really want to end up like me then go for it and rebel but I'm sure you'd rather be like your amazing auntie!''

poshsinglemum Sun 01-Aug-10 21:14:48

Although mabe rebelling against me will make her like Saffy.

Mingg Sun 01-Aug-10 21:16:47

Yes and no - some things you cannot change others you can if you choose to

southeastastra Sun 01-Aug-10 21:17:15

i always think you must be very lucky to know what you wanted to do at such a young age

Lynli Sun 01-Aug-10 21:21:24

If you know what you want now, go and get it.
Just because you have taken a wrong path doesn't mean you have to stay on it.

SparklyJules Sun 01-Aug-10 21:21:36

I don't think they determine the course of the rest of your life, but they can influence it. But then, life is not all about taking the "right path" is it? Sometimes we learn more about the world and ourselves by taking the harder route and having regrets. Maybe if you had gone down the route of being a lawyer you'd be sat in an office working from 7am until 10pm, a corporate slave with no lovely DD in your life?

EccentricaGallumbits Sun 01-Aug-10 21:25:10

Yes - the choices made as a teenager have influenced my life but that's not a bad thing.

I was a messed up teenager. read austen and dickens and shut myself away from the world. Never kenw what i wanted to do. until i dropped out of A levels. took up with dodgy BF. smoked bit. drank a lot.
then moved a bit. then met now DH, got knocked up quite young.
Had DD1, then DD2, then a dog. then got married. went back to school. got a job, went back to school again. got another job.

NOW - i know what I want to do.

As a teenager - yes i made choices that have influenced my life. If i'd done the A levels - uni route i'd never have met DH and never have had the DDs but i'd be doing something else i wouldn't be as good at. so i don't regret te choices - even if at the time they seemed bad ones.

poshsinglemum Sun 01-Aug-10 21:25:27

Trouble is now I'm a single mum I don't know what I want any more. Yes- I'd like to have an amazing job. No- I don't want to spend years training for it right now when I have to provide for dd financially. I plan to go back to Uni when dd leaves home tho!

fartblossom Sun 01-Aug-10 21:30:28

Ive been thinking something along similar lines (infact Ive thought about starting a thread in AIBU). Although I feel Ive got a crappy life right now and things could be soooo much better for me, but I got onto this path in my mid 20's. During my teens I was heading for bigger and better things. So in that respect I would have to say YABslightlyU, but YANBU to think that our past does effect where we are now and possibly our future, its just that this might not necessarily be our teens.

Ive decided today that without a decent lottery win Im not going to be able to change much, but I can change my perspective and instead of being all down and depressed about how my life has turned out, Im going to TRY to do something about making the best of it. I think you might need to try to do that?

EccentricaGallumbits Sun 01-Aug-10 21:30:51

that's a pla.

i went back to school when DD2 went to school. was very very poor for a few yars but made up for it since.

whiteflame Sun 01-Aug-10 21:31:09

i think this is a case of the grass is greener on the other side. in my family, i would probably be the equivalent of the straight-laced sister, and my life isn't so rosy as it probably looks from the outside...

also i often look back and feel sad that i didn't do any of the teenage partying that my sister did!

EccentricaGallumbits Sun 01-Aug-10 21:31:36


i meant plan

whn i win the lottery i'm having a boat.

laweaselmys Sun 01-Aug-10 21:34:05

Life is not that easy though is it? And lumping souch pressure on teens to choose what they want to be right now is probably partly why we have such horrifically high teenage depression rates.

I didn't know what I wanted to do until I was twenty and had nearly finished my degree. As long as if you don't know what you're doing you stay in education I think it's fine.

sue52 Sun 01-Aug-10 21:34:34

I was a very well behaved convent school girl and when I look back I wish I had made more of my teenage years. It was the sixties and I lived in London. I think maybe everyone plays whatif with their past, however well or badly life has treated them. Good luck with your Uni plans, I am sure you will be an incredibly focused mature student.

fartblossom Sun 01-Aug-10 21:35:41

Im 31, have a degree and still dont know what I want to do.

Sometimes I envy those that know from a young age what they want to do, but sometimes I wonder how it must feel if you dont achieve that dream for whatever reason.

BelleDameSansMerci Sun 01-Aug-10 21:36:44

Hmmm... I think it's limited to teenage choices really. I suspect it's all the choices we make - every day. I made some very questionable choices in my teens/twenties but now I'm in my forties I don't feel the impact of any of them. The stupid things I chose to do a few years ago however are still giving me cause for concern grin

I know what you mean.

The friends I have who lived it up in their teens/early 20s are paying the price for it now (health problems caused by drug use/unemployment due to undereducation etc). Whereas the ones who stayed in and studied now have the nice houses, husbands and fulfilling careers.

It's not all that black and white, though. Some have invested in careers that are incompatible with having children and will have to make an either/or choice at some point.

Like most things it is about finding the right balance. I want my DCs to make the most of their youth because you are only young once but just not so much that they ruin thier lives.

wukter Sun 01-Aug-10 21:39:57

Equally though, in your 40's you may well be saying the choices you made in my 20's determined the course of your life. Hopefully they will be wiser choices than your teenage ones.

(Generic 'you' btw)

DuelingFanjo Sun 01-Aug-10 21:40:00

I didn't lose my virginity until I was 25/6, didn't smoke until I was 26.... I'm still not a lawyer or a doctor wink

wukter Sun 01-Aug-10 21:40:44

xposts BDSM smile

expatinscotland Sun 01-Aug-10 21:41:59

Mine certainly did. My life has been basically one big catalogue of fuck ups, too.

ivykaty44 Sun 01-Aug-10 21:45:26

tbh it sounds really that you are not happy with your life and don't know how you are going or could cahnge it

you can at this satge change the course of your life if you so wish - you only get one chance so if you want to be a doctor or solicitor or hot shot jorno - then go and get it isn't to late

no it may not be easy - it may not make you any happier but take a look at what you want and dddecide if you want to change

sanfairyann Sun 01-Aug-10 21:46:58

nah, I don't buy that at all. of course we all make choices every day and they affect us but at any point we can change direction,start a new career, go off down a different path. my dad's started out on a new career, complete change of direction. he's 64, started his new job about 4 years ago at the age of 60. it's more to do with attitude and self belief

FakePlasticTrees Sun 01-Aug-10 21:52:38

Agree with academic choices (what to do and how hard to work). Let's face it, I am not going to go back to do a different 4 A levels for 2 years and then to uni for another 3 years in my 30s. So career wise I'm limited by choices I made at 16 when picking my A levels, and even more limited by my degree choice.

Career wise, if you made bad decisions not to study at school, not to focus, not to choose certain career paths/chances, you are really stuck by 30 and it's very, very hard to start again when you have responsiblities of DCs - and by the time DS is no longer my responsiblity, I'll be pushing 50 and winding down to retirement - and unlikely to have the energy, drive and working years to start again and get to a high level in something new.

Relationship wise, not really - you don't have to make the same mistakes over and over, I haven't.

Marjee Sun 01-Aug-10 21:57:26

I think yes and no to that question. I wish I had some ambition when I was younger and actually studied or saved money instead of drinking, taking drugs and partying. I have a lovely dh and ds now so its not all bad but I've got no career and not much money.

On the other hand I've got friends with amazing careers who are jealous of me because of my wonderful family. I think the key is to be happy with what you've got or find a way to change things. I'm planning to go to college soon to train for a better paid and more fulfilling job but I'd rather be without a fantastic career than without a fantastic family.

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