26 Adults Share What Teenagers Should Cross Off Their Bucket Lists Before They Get Older

When you’re young, you can’t wait to get out of your parents’ house as fast as possible so you can start being a real adult!

You want to get a car, get an apartment, stay up as late as you want, etc. And then, once you do start adulting…you quickly learn that it can be pretty rough and that you’d do just about anything for a home-cooked meal once in a while…

My point: teenagers shouldn’t be in such a huge hurry to grow up and they should absolutely do as many things as they can before the real responsibilities hit them.

Adults dished out some advice to teenagers on AskReddit that we think they should definitely pay attention to.

1. This is very true.

“If you’re gonna be a dipsh*t, do it before you’re legally an adult. Like for real, get it all out before “grown up” charges become a reality.

Judges around the world are like blood hounds when it comes to finding someone to make an example of.”

2. Do the real stuff.

“Go ask that person out, flirt awkwardly at a party (whenever we have parties again) instead of standing on the sidelines, actually ask/do that crazy dare in truth or dare, sneak into a pool at 2am to go skinny dipping.

Take a road trip or skip school to drive three hours for a Philly cheese steak with your three closest friends, write your own terrible fanfic and do a dramatic reading at an open mic.

Do things that are real, not just online. Take the social risk and put yourself out there.”

3. Use that free time wisely.

“Take advantage of the free time you have.

Teach yourself new things.

You may surprise yourself by unintentionally discovering something you might find joy in doing.”

4. Soak it all up.

“Have fun. Cherish the people around you and times you’re having with them now.

Because in a few years you’ll either go your separate ways or some of those amazing people will be gone. You’re living in the good times now, friend.

This isn’t the adult advice you were looking for but I promise it’s important. Live while you can but be smart about it.”

5. Build a good work ethic.

“Don’t waste all your time working, but learn to work. Do some time in a warehouse. Do something lifting heavy shi*. Do something with long hours. Just as long as you want.

It instills some work ethic and working a sh*tty job now will make you thankful for the good jobs you land in the future. Also, don’t waste all your time on sports unless you’re genuinely trying to get a scholarship or something.

Why would you spend 30 hours a week in football practice when you could be running around having fun with your friends? Don’t waste your youth feeling obligated to give all your time to something that won’t benefit you in the long run.

Soon your life will revolve around college and work, so enjoy free time now.”

6. Good stuff here.

“Try everything you are interested in now. Schools often offer a wide variety of different clubs and stuff.

Most of the time it’s free or at least wayyy cheaper compared to doing this sh*t as an adult. Woodworking was offered at my school I never took it but wish I had. Not having to spend my own money on materials and tools would’ve been awesome.

I took Home Econ 101 for the “easy a” and didn’t even learn to cook anything luckily my wife is amazing in the kitchen. I got to try soccer, swimming, tennis, drama, band, football, chess, ROTC, wrestling, karate, and so much more for the cost (to my parents) of a lot less than going to do these activities for private clubs.

Granted some stuff does cost more than others but you can’t beat the experiences you get. And if you don’t like it, or it ain’t for you, you just stop.

But don’t be afraid of new experiences, learn how to save money, if your parents are comfortable letting you in on finances then get involved and see what sh*t costs. If I managed my money better and had a little bit of an idea how easily that sh*t vanishes I’d be in a much better spot.

All that being said you can have fun as an adult, but it is nothing compared to the basically consequence-less fun you can have as a kid. Have fun, be safe and make memories.

Also, s*x is gonna be thrown around a bit in these years. I don’t expect everybody if anybody to stay “pure” but for the love of God protect yourself, boys and girls.

Condoms and birth control are so much cheaper than raising a kid or having an ab*rtion, both of which are bound to put you through extreme mental and physical stress. I promise it’s not that much better if you go in without protection.

Also boys and girls (but mostly boys), no means no. Pressuring a girl into it isn’t cool even if she’s done it before or said she would do it with you. If she changes her mind respect that.”

7. You’re only young once.

“If you’re looking for practical life advice, learn how to use tools.

If you are looking for a memorable experience, honestly just stop and enjoy life. Take a SO and take a night to lay down in a field and watch the stars, stay out late with your friends to all hours of the night.

You are only young once, so enjoy it!”

8. It’s as simple as that!

“Swim naked or make out somewhere in nature with bf/gf/partner.

And learn how to use jumper cables

And not in the same night ideally.”

9. Enjoy your style!

“Have fun! Have crazy hair! Be goofy! Dress to express yourself!

How much I miss being able to do that!

As a mom and employed I do miss having more freedom to dress my punk style.”

10. Learn it!

“If I’ve learned anything in the past 10 years is that an uncomfortably large amount of business in America is processed though Excel files.

Learn as much Excel as you can before you join the workforce.

Put that on your resume!”

11. You’ll miss them.

“Hang out with your friends as much as you can.

Adulthood doesn’t give you much time to do so.

I miss my friends.”

12. Get out and see the world.


Spend or borrow the money, backpack on a different continent, bring a friend or go alone. Don’t delay it.

A year turns into 2, a wife, car, apartment, kids…

Save up, take off and enjoy before other commitments take over and your job becomes too important.

I’m a pretty financially conservative guy…. but the experience is priceless.”

13. Every little bit counts.

“If someone hasn’t set up the future for you, then I highly recommend you start putting money into some type of retirement account right now.

Even $100 will go so far if you start investing now compared to when you get a career later on.”

14. Just be young!

“Stay up all night with friends.

Look at the stars. Eat food in a Denny’s at 3AM and just revel in your youth.”

15. Totally essential.

“Road trip! Maybe a little harder to do now with covid.

But cramming 4 teenagers in a car and road tripping to another state? Awesome. Bonus points for an event or an entirely stupid reason.

I once went along 15 hours away so my buddy could meet an online friend. That didn’t pan out, but I did get to tour Kalamazoo, Michigan. Go to the Kellogg’s factory, its awesome.”

16. This is good.

“Talk with your elders. Your grandparents, your elderly neighbor, aunts and uncles, rest home folks, etc.

Especially with family, ask about their parents and siblings and what family history they know. Go through that box of old family pictures together. Take notes. Your elders won’t be around forever and they will offer a window to the not-so-distant past when things were similar yet very different.

It’s one of those things you may not think much about now, but will really come to appreciate with age.”

17. Words of wisdom.

“Learn what it’s like to be by yourself, do nothing, and be absolutely okay with it.

Go camping by yourself for a weekend, take a car trip to nowhere alone, go to movies and dinner solo. Once you can cross “know yourself and be okay with it” off your list, you are empowered to do what you want.

You can remove toxic people, leave abusive relationships, and know who you are…Most people never learn it, and a lot of people will forever be dependent on other people for their life.

Learn who you are, learn to accept who you are, for you, and the rest of your bucket list is simple.”

18. Something to think about.

“Learn how to be lazy while being productive.

I’ve learned that working smart is more difficult than working hard.

Once you start mastering that, life ‘could’ get a bit easier and gives you ample time to live rather than getting bogged down in just work/career.”

19. A big adventure.

“My dad told me, my brother, and my buddy to go hike the Appalachian trail before college.

I really wish I had taken that advice.”

20. Learn it early!

“Learn how to change a tire.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stranded because of this and it makes you feel so accomplished afterward.”

21. That’s very specific, but okay.

“Hop on a random cargo train, ride it for a while.

Call your cousin Troy from a pay phone to pick you up.

Pay him in weed.”

22. Do it your way.

“Don’t be a people pleaser and don’t be afraid to tell someone to f*ck off.

23. Good tip.

“Learn to use the more boring end of computers.

The guy who can type fast and use spreadsheets is going to be worth hiring over the guy who can speed run Minecraft.”

24. A little bit of everything.

“Try everything.

Take dance classes. Try to learn an instrument. Try running. Play a sport. Try rock climbing.

Go ice skating. Listen to music. Learn a language.”

25. Enjoy it while you can.

“I can’t stress how much you’ll one day “realize” that these years are NEVER coming back. You’ll spend almost 75 years (maybe by then, even longer than that) being older than 25. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

I totally understand that the time frame you’re in can feel like a lifetime – simply because these 13 – 19 years so far have been you’re entire lifetime. I cannot stress how fast it will transition from “lifetime” to “5 minutes”.

And only then when you finally get it, will be the same moment you realize that the years are already gone. That first time through was the only chance you’ll ever get. There’s no repeating, no “understanding it all” and making it better the next time, it happened once and gone forever.

Do Everything you hope to someday take a shot at. Just f*cking do it. The years are never coming back.”

26. Just say yes.

“Say yes to just about everything you’re invited to do. Trust me. Even if you think you may have nothing to gain, there is always something to gain.

It’s not far off to think of life as a video game and your character having progression. Every time you’re invited to something, you’re being offered a quest, and there will always be experience points awarded for completing that quest. Sometimes you’ll get physical rewards too.

Go on enough of these quests in high school, and by the time you graduate you’ll be a higher level than anyone else your age. It helps a lot to be properly leveled when you reach college.”

What do you think teenagers should do before they become full-blown adults?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

We’d love to hear from you!