When you’re a teenager, it can sometimes be hard–impossible, even–to envision what your life might be like when you grow up. Chances are good that the only adults you know are, like, your parents, your teachers, and maybe some of your older cousins, and, while you might love and cherish and respect them very much, you might not really see yourself in them.
Today, I came across a thread on the Ask Women subreddit called, “What about Today You would most surprise Teenage You?” In it, as you can probably tell from the title, a bunch of people (who are adults) reveal the things they do now that would have surprised their past teenage selves. Looking through it, I was surprised not so much by what people said, but more by how much commonality there was between everyone’s responses. Nothing was exactly the same, of course, but most people, it seems, have the same type of anxieties in their youth that are usually quelled at some point in adulthood. It’s pretty comforting! So, check out these things that you (might) do as an adult that you probably can’t imagine doing now:
You Won't Die A VirginA big concern for a lot of teens is being a virgin forever. If this is a concern for you, too, you can rest assured that it probably won't be the case. Worried19 said their biggest surprise is "that I have a partner. Teenage me was convinced I was going to die a virgin." Cyanpinapple agreed, saying, "same. I'm still fat, but very happily married with all the sex I could ask for. Teenage me didn't think that would ever be possible." Image source: Romeo + Juliet
You'll Be HappierThe best thing about growing up? It really does get better. Stripedpinkboxes said that their biggest adulthood surprise is "that I'm alive. Teenage me couldn't picture being an adult at all. I didn't have many (any?) people like me to look up to. Teenage me never really expected to make it because people like me never did." Image source: My So-Called Life
You Could Grow Out Of Your ShynessDo you have a lot of social anxiety? It might be comforting to know that it could go away--or, at least, lessen as time goes on. JennyReason said, "I have a job where I talk to strangers all day. I used to be shy to the point of pretending I had to go to bathroom in restaurants when I thought the waiter was going to come so that my parents would have to tell him or her my food order. I'm proud of myself now!" Obviously, this might not go away on its own--you'll need practice and maybe even therapy--but it's nice to know that it is, indeed, possible. Image source: Clueless
You Could Be Living In A New CountryOne of the coolest (and most daunting) thing about being a teenager is that, at this point in your life, the rest of your life can take pretty much any shape. And, potentially, it could be influenced by a choice you make right now--cunnilinguist87 said, "16-year-old-me would be crazy shocked to know that the silly French class I took in high school would eventually lead to me living in France." Image source: Passport To Paris
Your Beliefs Will...MatureAs you grow up, your beliefs might, too. Scrote_inspector said that their biggest change from being a teenager to adulthood is that they were a "young-earth creationist, fundamentalist, evangelical Christian who thought homosexuality was a sin in my teens. Now I'm a queer atheist scientist. Massive upgrade." We agree! Image source: Saved
You Could Fall Short Of Your Long-Held GoalsGrowing up, for some people, means letting go of some goals--and being okay with it. KTcube said the biggest surprise to their teenage self is "that I don't have a PhD and don't want to. I was so convinced that I would get a PhD in physics, but after one year of college I realized I hated it. I got my bachelor's, and I'm totally done with school forever. I loved school until I was 18, so the fact that I hated college surprised everyone including me." Image source: Heathers
You Might Care Less About Body HairDo you feel super self-conscious about your body hair? If so, you'll be pleased to know that, as you grow older, self-consciousness in general tends to lessen. Because of this, you'll probably be less self conscious about most things, including your body hair. Specifically, for reddit user J4viator, the bus, who said, "I'm rocking a bush now. Teenaged me favoured the barren, featureless desert that is a shorn vagina. She was a fool." Image source: Sex and the City
You'll Be Surrounded By People Who Love YouIt's pretty common to feel friendless and alone when you're a teenager. Sodabrothel said that, because of this, their biggest adulthood surprise is that "there are a lot of people who love and care about me, and I am 100% aware of this." Image source: Riverdale
Were you surprised by any of these things? Which ones? Let us know in the comments!