10 High School Regrets I Had (Things I Wish I Did)

High school regrets

Going to high school soon? Don’t make the same mistakes I did in my past. Here are 10 high school regrets I wish I didn’t do!

Before we start, you should note that this is based on personal experiences. You may or may not go through the same things.

Most of these regrets are things that I did NOT do. None of them are things I regret doing. A lot of times in life, it’s the things we missed out on that we regret.

Hopefully you will learn something useful from these high school regrets…

Not Making Better Friends

One of the best quotes I’ve read is “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.”

What this means: your personality and habits are essentially the sum of your closest friends around you.

If your friends are rude and underachievers, you are likely to be as well. If your friends are kind, caring, and overachievers, you will be like that too.

The point is, I regret not making better friends in high school because friends don’t always last forever, but they shape us into who we’re going to be.

During freshman year, don’t limit yourself to just 1 or 2 friends. Experiment your interests with all different people and stay close to the good ones (you’ll know them when you see them)!

Not Expanding My Circle

Similar to not making better friends, I also regret not expanding my circle of friends.

Networking is an important thing when you’re a little kid, in high school, and as an adult. You never know when you’ll need some help from an old friend.

Instead of sitting at your normal table of friends, challenge yourself to spend one lunch per week sitting with another group of kids you know.

Maybe you talk with them during class, but never get to hang out when you’re not in the middle of a lecture. This is an excellent time to familiarize yourself with those people.

On top of that, try to say hi to everyone you’ve met before as you walk to class or during your breaks. It helps people remember each other easily.

Related Post: 12 Things You Should Know Before Starting High School

Not Communicating Better

One of the biggest high school regrets I had was not communicating better with friends, but more importantly… family.

In high school, it’s easy to close yourself off, form small circles, and never leave your room. I get it, I was there too.

However, it’s important to speak your mind when you’re not happy about something. The only way to fix the issue is by openly communicating how you feel.

For example, if it bothers you that your parents never knock before coming in, sit down with them for 60 seconds and ask nicely if they can start knocking.

If you bicker with your friends often and end up not talking for a day, start openly communicating about why you’re upset and how you guys can fix the issue.

Avoiding this communication while you’re young can end up leaving long term effects on how you talk to people when you’re older.

Not Doing Extracurricular Activities 

High school isn’t only about getting good grades and doing your homework. There’s more than that to life while you’re a teenager.

Doing extracurricular activities is a great way to improve your high school records on paper while also having fun after school.

There are hundreds of extracurricular activities to choose from between clubs, sports, robotics classes and more!

Not only do they keep you occupied, but they’re also important for getting into college! Don’t have the same regret I did.

Not Gaining More Experiences

Dating, hanging outside with friends, and going to new places are all examples of experiences you can gain during high school.

I regret not gaining more of those harmless experiences, whether they turn out good or bad. Remember, bad experiences are good too. That’s how humans learn from mistakes.

Keep in mind, doing drugs and alcohol is not something you need to knock off as an experience. Of course, people will experiment as teenagers like many of my friends did.

If you have to try it once just to say you did it… fine, but draw the line there.

I sadly lost a friend that was under the influence during high school and I bet she would regret it if she could do it all over again.

Listen to your instincts and you’ll know which experiences are healthy and which ones are dangerous.

Related Post: 15 Things Teenagers Wish Their Parents Knew

Not Focusing on Passions

Whether you have a passion or not, you should never forget to go out of your way to pursue them.

High school is really good at making you forget about the things you love and making you focus only on school or getting a job.

The whole point of life is to be happy. How are you supposed to be happy if you’re not focusing on your favorite passions?

Who knows… maybe one day that passion could turn into a side hustle or a full-time business. As long as you’re actively searching for them, you’re on the right track.

Don’t forget that your passions are also valuable to colleges, so start a club around your favorite things and add it to your portfolio!

Not Joining a Sport

One of my worst high school regrets was not joining a sport. I wish I had the guts to keep trying to get on a sports team.

If you’re the athletic type and are looking forward to joining a sports team, I highly recommend you do everything you can to make it work!

If you’re not super athletic, I would still encourage you to work on your physical fitness while you’re young because it only gets harder from here.

Being part of a sport is one of the best experiences you could have in high school. Your friends become family and it teaches you a lot about discipline and hard work.

Related Post: Full Body Workout for Teenagers at Home

Not Going for that Girl/Guy

Another thing I regret not doing in high school is going for that girl I was into at the time.

A lot of high school students are scared to start something with their crush because they don’t want to “ruin anything” between them.

My advice: screw that! You’re going to look back at high school and laugh about how serious you took everything.

At the end of the day, starting a new relationship or getting some more practice with someone you like is only going to give you more experience!

Your crush is just as much of a human as you are (probably just as insecure too) so don’t be afraid to tell them how you feel.

And if you get rejected, who cares! You wouldn’t have known they didn’t like you until you asked, right? We all have to learn to deal with rejection anyways (more experience points).

Not Being Myself

In high school it’s easy to try and impress others. All we care about is what other people think of us. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t care about our likes on Insta or how many followers we have.

The truth is, if your friends like you as your fake version, they’re not your real friends. If you’re not even honest with yourself, then who can you be honest with?

Playing this lie only gets worse as you get older. You’ll start buying things you can’t afford and dressing up as someone that’s not you.

I regret not being myself. I think I would’ve made more friends in the long run and had less fear now about who I really am.

One thing that did help me was reducing my time on social media (I know…boring). It’s true though. I highly recommend it.

Related Post: 15 Life Lessons Every Teenager Should Know

Not Enjoying High School While it Lasted

My last and one of my biggest high school regrets was not enjoying the high school experience while it lasted!

Look, it’s a very strange few years of your life. You’re going to make friends, lose friends, get wacky grades, try new things, etc.

That doesn’t mean that you won’t have fun! The amount of fun you have is dependent on how much you’re willing to appreciate the good times while you’re still in them.

By no means does this mean that you’re likely to peak in high school, but it does mean that you’ll get opportunities that you may never get again in life.

Seize those moments with every breath and smile your way through these odd 4 years! That way, you’ll never regret a single thing.


Hopefully these 10 high school regrets have actually taught you something valuable that you can take with you into freshman year. Good luck in high school! I know you’ll do great!

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions leave them down below. Thanks for reading!

  1. Hi there, Daniel!

    I’m striving in the ninth grade right now. ( Not absolutely, positively, sure if I can survive!)

    This fascinating article helps me to be extra aware and care about, to explore, enjoy, and improve upon specific things I normally overlook without your subtle reminder.

    4# I’m going to try out and experiment with new extra-curricular activities, a big THANKS to you. Up until now, I’ve never taken part in any co-curricular activities because I was just so fixated on improving my grades and didn’t bother to spend time in the real phenomenal world. I’m quite into writing stuff so, may I get some recommended or advised activities within my passion, writing? It’ll truly mean a lot to me.

    Have a marvelous day,

  2. Hey Mandy,

    I’m so happy you’ve been finding useful information from some of the posts on Modern Teen… it truly means a lot!
    Extracurriculars in writing are awesome for finding your passion and for college. I’m not sure what it is exactly that you write about, but you can try out things like blogging, writing stories, notebook collecting, or journaling.

    All of those hobbies or clubs (if you choose to turn it into a club) are excellent ways to work on what you love. If you ever have any questions about blogging, feel free to email me as well!

    Hope this helps 🙂
    – Daniel

  3. Hi!!!
    I love reading your blogs
    I just entered my high school life… during COVID though😭
    And I am missing all the fun
    Reading your blogs makes me feel better
    Pls write more blogs on high school drama and high school relationships!!

  4. Hi Riaa!

    I’m so glad that you enjoy the blog posts! You just made my day 🙂

    I’ll definitely look into to writing more posts on those topics… thanks for the input!

  5. Great points! I’m much much older than you and still have these same regrets. One of my biggest (not on your list) was working a job during my high school years. I worked many hours a week, and missed out on so much of the high school activities I would’ve enjoyed. I remember what my high school tennis team coach said to me when I quit the team so I could work and have a car: young man, you have your whole life to work at a job, enjoy your high school years while you have them.

  6. Hi Daniel,
    I’m from Malaysia and I just started engaging in high school after the pandemic, you tips seen really useful and I hope it will be helpful. I have something to ask, about sports. I’ve tried to go to ever sports audition that happened in my school and most of my teachers told me that I shouldn’t join and I was late at joining without even giving me a chance to join! Tell me what should I do? What is your opinion? How can I enter any sports?
    From, Izz

  7. Hi Izzy, I’m glad the tips seem useful and I wish you the best of luck in high school. If you already missed the tryouts for sports, sometimes it’s best to speak directly with the coaches and see if they’ll let you join late. Hopefully this helps!

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