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Real Life Peggy Sue: What would you do?

Discussion in 'Real Life Discussion' started by Taure, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. DrSarcasm

    DrSarcasm Unspeakable

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    Assuming that it's at the defining moment of change in our life, I'd end up at the summer after my kindergarten year, when my mom got remarried. And I'm also operating under the assumption that despite all the knowledge of the future, I'm still myself at that age--personality quirks and mental issues that accrued after I was 6 don't hitch a ride.

    I'd focus more on schooling, getting the studying skill down. I never needed to study and still got straight A's up until about 6th grade, and by that time it was too late. Try to hint to my mother that my step-father's ex was turning my step-sisters against her--maybe that would help prevent some of the issues that they gained later in life.

    Try to get into public school--a class size of 30 means that I didn't have any friends growing up, so have a far greater pool of people to be friends with (some of which I know now shared my interests at that time, which would have really helped) may have prevented the isolationist personality I gained in 3rd grade. Maybe I would even have gained the confidence to pursue the one or two girls who showed interest in me.

    Barring public school, maybe that specialist private school for kids gifted in math and science that my parents tried to tease me with in an effort to raise my grades--the activities there may have kept my interest in math and science.

    Try to be more physically active to combat the weight gain in my school years. I wasn't really that overweight, but with only about 10-12 other guys in my age group and they were all in shape really did a number on my self-esteem. Probably not complain as much at the karate training I did, so my parents wouldn't drop me from it.

    Maybe the success that I would achieve from these things would help me avoid certain events and personality traits that screwed me over for a long time. It may even have helped keep my dad from falling into the depression he fell into after he was laid off from the job he really liked, increasing his smoking habit and probably accelerating the lung cancer that killed him. That being said, the fact that it was a Christian private school probably plays a great bit in my strong moral center.

    On events and money:

    I wouldn't do anything for 9/11. Nobody would take anything a 10-year-old would say seriously, I would have no way to prove that I had any reason to know that it was going to happen, and on the off-chance they did believe my future-knowledge I would have a life of information extraction to look forward to, for what little good it would do them.

    I doubt there would be anything that I would be able to do on the stock market at that age that would allow me to get into things like Google or Facebook. And as I always assume that the time travel is not something that I planned for, there's no way that I would know previous lottery winning numbers or remember them for long enough to last until I was old enough to buy tickets myself.
     
  2. CareOtters

    CareOtters Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    If I was eleven again?

    I'd probably make like Uchiha Itachi and let my youngest sibling survive the massacre.
     
  3. Oinyal

    Oinyal Fourth Year

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    I could go the safe route by only focusing on events that directly effect my personal life. But why be so boring?

    I'd totally pull a Joan of Arc. I'd tell the world that angels whisper in my ears. I'd want to prevent 9/11, so I'd have to come to awareness before 2001, but I can't go too far back, because then my mental capabilities will be pretty hard to partially hide (I'll be a genius kid, but not so genius that people think I'm an alien). So 2000 will have to do, because I was four years old. I can fake a four/five year old. I babysit my cousin enough to generally know how they behave.

    To make people believe me, I'll call a local news station, tell them my age and whatnot, and then tell them that on January 30th and January 30th there'd be two plane crashes, one in Kenya and the other in California. They'll laugh it off. But they'll want an interview after it actually happens. I think it'll go national. I mean, a five year old randomly predicting a bunch of deaths? Some little kid got national attention for claiming he's been to heaven. This would actually be news worthy.

    Of course I'll warn them of the future economic collapse. Maybe I'll urge people to vote for Al Gore. I mean, he did win the popular vote, and the Bush administration screwed up the country on so many levels it's hard to know where to start. So, yeah. I guess I'll say that Palm Beach County will be the deciding vote, but that people should vote for Gore. Then I'll predict 9/11. Hopefully security will be ramped up, and that terrorists don't hear of my blessed psychic self so that they change their plans. They planned that pretty far in advance, didn't they?

    I doubt that anyone would do anything about the economy. So I'd try to find some way to help my parents out. Maybe being the genius, catastrophe predicting kid will be help enough. I'll just tell them, generally, what's going to happen. They'll have to find some way to deal with it on their own.

    If I change history so much that I'm unsure of what comes next, I'll stop predicting human events. The weather, however, is unlikely to change too much, right? I'll predict Hurricane Katrina. A few earthquakes. Hurricane Sandy. Typhoon Haiyan. Basically anything weather-related that I happen to remember.

    And I can send messages from God. "Allow homosexuals equal martial rights as heterosexual couples. Get rid of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Give women equal pay. Global climate change is the biggest threat to humanity." Stuff like that. And if they vote Bush in, and they didn't listen to me about 9/11, I can freak out the government a bit by telling the world that God says that the Patriot Act gives too much power to the NSA. Oh, and I'd prevent No Child Left Behind, because that shit doesn't work at all. I'll try my hardest to keep the USA out of Afghanistan and Iraq, but I'd have to someone get all the countries on board with actively tracking down terrorists, because they'll still be a huge threat.

    Once it gets too hard to predict anything, I'll just say that the angels haven't talk to me in a long time. Then I'll go on to be the genius kid, working on my personal life. And I'll be so great, I'll later become POTUS, easily.

    tl;dr: Awesome stuff that happens in fantasies—like government officials listening to five year olds—would never fucking happen so I'll just spoil the ending of Harry Potter, or write a fanfic that has a better ending. No Harry/Ginny. No OOC Hermione in my HBP. And no fucking James Sirius and Albus Severus and Lily Luna. No.

    And I would, of course, terminate Twilight. I don't know how I'd do it, but I fucking would. And no Twilight means no Fifty-Shades of Gray. I would save thousands the mortification of spotting the book on their mother's dresser, the same way I wish I had been saved.
     
  4. disturbed27

    disturbed27 Professor

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    I certainly wouldn't go back to being 11. Reliving my childhood with an adult mind sounds awful. Not much I could change then either, since I was 11 and didn't have much a choice in anything. If I could do high school over though? Being able to circumnavigate school with actual social skills and a work ethic far less shitty would probably put me in a far better position at my current age, but I also think it'd be pretty boring. I suppose I might redo my last two years. I'd end up with better grades, better IB scores and less ex-girlfriends who want to kill me in my sleep, and there wouldn't be a massive maturity gap between me and my peers.

    Honestly, though, there aren't really 'points of divergence' in my life. For me, things have evolved dependent on many small actions more than they hinged on massive decisions.

    EDIT: Also, there's a problem with everyone thing you're a genius because you're a 20 year old in a 10 year old body. You'll get older and you won't seem like a genius anymore, unless of course you actually are a genius. I mean, by the time you turn 20, they'll be expecting you to have invented cold fusion or written novels that will be celebrated for millennia, and you won't be able to do it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
  5. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Most of my focus would be on taking full advantage of the opportunities I had open to me as a teenager which I squandered.

    If was choosing, I would probably go back to the end of year 9 (age 14). This is the age where you choose what subjects you take for GCSE exams (UK equivalent of SATs, taken at age 16 in ~10 individual subjects).

    So I'd go back and choose different GCSEs: English Lit, English Lang, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Spanish, French, Latin.

    I'd also:

    - Take up the piano
    - Start running and join an athletics club. I was relatively fit at school, but only did exercise during PE.
    - Write*

    I'd work hard to get straight A*s, also working extra outside of class on more advanced mathematics, physics, and Spanish.

    Then at A-Level (UK equivalent of AP courses, taken at 18 in ~4 subjects) I'd pick mathematics, physics, chemistry, Spanish and history.

    The aim of all this would be to get into the 4-year Physics and Philosophy programme at Oxford, Bristol, King's College London or Durham. Of course this means not meeting the friends I made at uni IRL, but I'm not sure if it would be the same anyway, with me already knowing them but them not knowing me.

    While at uni I would focus on just four things:

    - Get a top grade academically
    - Involve myself in the student paper
    - Keep up with physical exercise
    - Maintain languages

    I'd also try to get into some good internships over the uni holidays. Didn't do that the first time around.

    Funnily enough, at this point I would still want to go to Chile to teach English as I did IRL. Get Spanish to native level by living with Chileans, maybe even find a Chilean girlfriend this time XD And I'd definitely want to re-meet some of the friends I made in Chile who I now know in the UK.

    And that more or less catches me up with the present, at which point I'd probably either choose to settle in Chile permanently or return to the UK for postgrad study.

    The funny thing about all of this is that while I would change a lot in terms of what I've done, the end result would still be more or less the same. I'd still end up where I am now, not quite sure what I want to do with my life. But I'd have a lot more options open to me!

    *Write

    I'd focus on fanfiction first. With all those extra years you could get down to some serious writing without feeling any time pressure. I'd write a post-PoA continuation of the HP series that kept to the formula of the first three books, keeping the "magical boarding school" focus. I wouldn't resurrect Voldemort or have a magical war. Instead each book would have its own year-long self-contained adventure. Then I'd write The One He Feared. With that series and fic under my belt I think I'd be satisfied with my fanfic and be ready to move on to original fic with no regrets.
     
  6. afrojack

    afrojack Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    I had the chance to skip high school. I'd probably do that.

    I was getting into fanfiction by that time as well, so I'd probably do something like you just suggested, and get my urge to write it as practice for original works out of the way, spend what would have been my years as an Undergrad completing Grad School with what could have been a decent scholarship, and ended up where I am now with a much better degree and ready to write the novels I want to with a much better job than the one I might be about to begin in the next few weeks to feed myself with until I was able to make a living as a writer.

    Silly me. I wanted to 'experience' high school. This is why 13-year-olds aren't allowed to make more of their own decisions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
  7. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    So, everyone thinks about it, not just me? Yay!

    My significant Point of Divergence would be in February 2007, when I've met my best friend (think of it as Harry meeting Ron) through the internet.

    We've both had a lot of adventures since that time and changed each other's lives quite significantly.

    Knowing that, I'd want to go back at least to that moment when we met. I would surely improve not only my life, but his as well.

    Also, similar to Taure's plan, I'd start learning how to write properly and would attempt to write my own fanfictions and then original stories.

    If I were to go back to age 11 however, I'd appear in 2001 and would be able to alter my life on such a level that it'd be unrecognizable from the current one. I would definitely live in either the UK or the US right now, I'd have a much higher education, better physical condition and an improved financial status.
     
  8. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Going back to age 11? Well, first of all, I'd register on DLP in 2005.

    Learn a programming language. Get in shape. Start wearing contacts earlier. Not waste money on all those DVD sets and other shit I barely used.

    And write Assassin's Creed/Dragon Age as novels before it has a chance to turn into a video game franchise. Proceed to bask.
     
  9. Inexistence

    Inexistence Seventh Year

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    I really feel like I've made the most out of a hell of a lot of my life so far, so I think given the chance, it wouldn't be worth bearing the repeated years in order to improve anything. There's obviously the "invest in something I know will work out well", but really that doesn't tell me anything about myself so isn't a useful part of the thought experiment. Definitely could have done with the better social skills back in high school. I was fine, but subscribed to the "Girls don't want nice guys" crap that so many nerds do, without realising that I was being friendzoned for perfectly good reasons. But I've come out of fine, so overall I'm pretty happy. Perhaps carrying on piano past the first year, I'd like to be good at piano, but right now it's not a priority, so it'll have to wait for later in my life.

    I think the most interesting parts of this thread are the things people would do, that they can do right now. Getting in shape, learning languages/subjects, practicing writing. There are obvious reasons why it'd be easier back then, perhaps having more time, not having to worry about other responsibilities, and definitely due to different priorities at different ages. I think, thought, the reason is that we think of ourselves as we are now, if we had done those things before, we don't think nearly as much of all the hard work it'd require that we'd have to live through whether we did it at 11 or 21, so it's easier to just imagine going back, doing it, and then we think of the benefits of already having done it.
     
  10. Hachi

    Hachi Death Eater

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    Win the lottery, use the money won to invest in stuff I know will work out.

    Retire. At 12 years old.
     
  11. carvell

    carvell Professor DLP Supporter

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    I would go back to when I was 16 and take different courses at college like engineering and focus on them like mad.
    I would also put my future knowledge of sports results to good use at the local betting shops and buy the few houses that were cheap back then and do them up before waiting for the housing boom to happen, with careful management of my finances I believe that by the time I reach 30 I would be well off, perhaps not a millionaire but rich enough to enjoy life a little better that I do now.
     
  12. Eilyfe

    Eilyfe Headmaster

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    I would go back to the point when I met a certain person. We became good 'friends', and I consequently lost nearly all my other friends, almost got kicked out of school, started smoking (though that one's mostly on me), and he owed me 400€ for almost two years during which the full extent of his douchebaggery became known to me.

    Once I'm back at that point, I'd show him the finger and hope that I'd never meet that fucker again.

    Otherwise, I'm not too caught up in what-ifs. Every choice I made led to where I am now, and while it certainly isn't the best, it could've been much worse. Also, once I started at university, I met some truly awesome people who enrich my life day after day.
     
  13. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    11? Not much.

    14? I'd cram as much as I could into school, drop out at sixteen (HS diploma is worthless), get my GED and go to college. Cram four years into three, and focus on getting my Ph.D. before twenty-five, rather than the age I am now.
     
  14. Bill Door

    Bill Door The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    I wouldn't want to go back any further than 18. I don't think I could handle living as an 11 year old again. And most things I wish I had done differently before that are things like be more sociable and do a few relationships differently but god it would feel so creepy to be back with my first few girlfriends. That shit was awkward enough the first time.

    So yeah, no thanks. Give me the chance to go back to my younger body by about a day and I might take it sometimes, I don't wanna do the my adolescence again.
     
  15. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity High Score: 3,994 Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Not much of a change in youth. I'd have stuck with piano longer than eight years, maybe written more, saved my sister from being gang raped/fucking up her life at 14, but yeah.

    A big divergence would have been in uni. I'd have taken on more leadership roles and nabbed that Rhodes Scholarship I'd narrowly missed this time around. Also, I would have done some other field of study for my PhD, some fusion of cybernetics/philosophy of the mind/computational mathematics/electrical engineering, my second choice after theoretical physics. (After a career in physics, I'm disinclined to take the easy route and do more of the same.)

    Ignorance, fear of failure, lack of humility, lack of empathy, and excessive pride were probably my biggest character flaws in my first forty years of life. More than anything, I'd welcome a Peggy Sue opportunity to see what I could do with some sense of awareness of this and a chance to do right by people (myself included) I've wronged over the years.
     
  16. CareOtters

    CareOtters Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    We've all grown a lot since our childhoods. I wonder how that would factor into a Peggy Sue scenario. Would we have the possibility to grow just as much again, mentally and emotionally, or would we have a 'finished' adult mind in a juvenile body? How would things like brain chemistry and puberty affect us?
     
  17. Lyrium

    Lyrium Sent Back to India

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    Edited for less ramblyness

    1. Make sure parents separate as early as possible
    2. Make sure family members who died young for various reasons or got injured (botched surgery, accident) avoid that fate
    3. Study more\better
    4. Avoid certain people and relationships

    The hardest thing, I think, would be convincing family to actually listen to a child (Hey Uncle, don't do x on y date because you'll die...I mean it would be odd if anyone did that). I imagine doing it by pretending to be in communication with the spirit of a relative who passed away but there's a chance of it backfiring or family wanting to know things that I couldn't predict (as in once changing major things).

    As for changing world events, I feel like I would avoid anything that brought attention to me or my family since I expect the government to try to control any individual who could predict events. If there was an anonymous\untraceable way to do it then maybe.

    Idk, but its fun to think about going back to fix things.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  18. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Assuming I kept my mind, memories and personality, I'd go as far back as the beginning of primary school, acing everything up to and including the level I'm currently at, while fixing everything that was wrong (or inconvenient) in my life in my spare time (which would be most of my time). I'd avoid the people I know I'll dislike, and get closer to the people I know I will like much faster and easier. Or experiment and try to get different results, such as getting that snobbish girl to like me, or to get that asshole on my side, etc. Stuff like that, basically. I would try to bring my life to a more or less ideal scenario, which should not be that hard.

    Beyond that, there aren't many 'milestone' moments in my life, beyond a few bad choices I've made.
     
  19. Palindrome

    Palindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Oh boy. Well, I wouldn't do any of that saving the world nonsense. Not for me! Well, mostly that's because all the huge events don't happen in Britain.

    It'd be easy to fake being my old self or fake changing; I got my first computer at 9 and have spent most of my time on it since then. I'm fairly confident that the fact I never spent too much time around people at that age and that my bullshitting skills are decent, I'd be able to come up with some plausible reason behind me maturing, if it was noticed.

    I wouldn't do much with my life back then except treat it as free time; I'd do more creating, maybe pinch a few programming ideas from things that worked well in the future and implement them, mostly anonymously. School is a non-factor and I could just enjoy life as it comes while I focus on my hobbies. Perhaps my increased intelligence would get noticed and they'd move me up a few years, but I don't care too much about academics. There are other ways to get noticed.

    Now that I'm about to start my new job and my video creation thing is going so well - I just feel like I don't have enough time. Part of me dreads starting work, because it spells the end of all my free time. So I'd use my extra years to keep enjoying myself and bettering my skills.
     
  20. Peace

    Peace High Inquisitor

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    I'd go back to Grade 7 and hit the guy who bullied me for most of high school with a cricket bat.

    Not really though, mostly because he's not worth the trouble.

    I'd go back to Grade 7 and remove myself from the situation that let him bully me. It'd mean cutting myself off from a couple of friends and a bunch of people who never really liked me but I can deal with that. I'd get to know some people I avoided because of peer pressure and definitely start getting into shape earlier and stick with soccer which I quit because the bully was on the team.

    I'd try to fix some of the problems in my family, which will most likely backfire horrendously. I'd write more, spend less time on useless things.

    The problem with this thought exercise is that I keep thinking about what could go wrong: I could prevent my younger nephews being born by trying to help my family, not make the friends I have now because I'm a different person.

    It goes without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway, that I'd use my future-knowledge to make lots and lots of money, get awesome grades (knowing how to write an essay before college will definitely help) and try to keep Bad Things from happening even if I probably would find a non-9/11 world pretty damn frightening since I know what might happen.
     
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