Would you go back in time if it meant living your entire life again from your first memory.

So you can go back in time. However, there’s a catch: your consciousness as it exists now will be transplanted into your body at the age you began to form and maintain long-term memory. For some of you, that can mean returning to the age of a toddler. You won’t be able to think or process things like a child; you’ll still have all the memories and intelligence that you have now. You won’t be undergoing the mental or emotional developments that most people go through as they age from an infant to an adult. You will still develop physically, however, so prepare for awkwardness.

Because you’ll be keeping your consciousness intact, you’ll be able to exploit any information you can hold in your head. The shadowy agency that’s making this offer will give you exactly 24-hours to memorize anything you wish. For most people, I imagine lottery numbers and stock histories will be a priority. But anything is game. Think big. Or maybe think small, whatever.

I want to impress upon you how difficult it can and probably will be living your entire life again. It will be nearly impossible for you to connect with your peers until you reach highchool or beyond. It’s almost certainly going to be long and tedious. You already know most of what’s going to happen. You might be able to avert some tragedies, but more than likely, you’re going to have to watch some of them unfold all over again. And relationships – well, any serious relationship you have right now will have to start from scratch. It should go without saying that if you have a wife or husband (or any significant other), unless you met them very early in your life, you’re going to be waiting a long, long time before you can reconnect with them.

But beyond all those hardships, you have an opportunity to shape the world to your will.

So what do you think? Would you do it? And what, exactly, would you do if you could?

Yes. In a heartbeat. Taking the stuff I’ve already learned in life and getting the chance to apply it retroactively would make me a much happier person, in the end. Some wrongs would *definitely *be righted.

No shit. Getting a chance to be young again and able to avoid all the stupid shit I got myself into?

Where do I sign?

Lots of hesitation.
If I know not to date the boy I was (stupdily) dating towards the end of college, I would not have moved north and met my now-husband. But the senario assumes anything can change, as I could win the lottery or buy stocks. Need to think some more.

I think this is a better hypothetical without the “24 hours to memorize stuff” caveat–as your OP noted, that opens the door pretty wide to untold wealth via lottery winnings multiplied by purchases of Apple or Microsoft stock on the right day or year.

But yes, I’d do it, with some reservations because in many ways you would be throwing away the life that you have. I cannot imagine my interpersonal relationships being the same–although for the few truly important individuals in my life, I’d probably seek them out anyway (e.g., assuming I went to the same college that I did previously).

Oh, sure. Knowing then what I know now, with a chance to make different choices? In a heartbeat.

And, yes, it would be tough not really being a child when this whole new world would see me as one. But it would be fascinating. Talk about an undercover assignment.

Definitely, yes! I would change my whole high school and college years, and get away from my abusive mother much, much earlier.

Since you have your memories, you could just move north anyways. I don’t think you read the OP quite right. The real problem could be that your husband-to-be might not hit it off with your slightly older soul in your younger body.

Nope. Why risk making a whole new bunch of horrible mistakes in an effort to avoid all the ones made first time around. Not to mention another 10-12 years entirely under my parents’ thumbs. I would hate it all for the better part of two decades before having the ability to make independent decisions for myself and would probably be too bitter, frustrated and angry to enjoy it by then.

Not remotely interested in any alternate reality that doesn’t include the Firebug.

Five years ago, I’d have had a different attitude towards things. But those years of having an adult brain in a kid’s body would be really frustrating. As a kid, you spend practically all your time with other kids of roughly your age. If you found yourself in the body of your 3 year old self, you’d go ten or twelve years without a decent semi-grownup conversation.

Given the opportunity to be with my dear departed wife for another 25 years (even if it took 25 years to get there) would be worth any amount of turmoil.
Also, my childhood was no cakewalk. Knowing what I know now would have ameliorated quite a bit of the angst I felt at the time. I would also know that the Soviet Union wasn’t going to bomb us into oblivion, so that constant background fear would be removed as well.
Investing in Microsoft early on and then cashing in before the bubble burst in 2000 would ensure that I wouldn’t have had to worry about money as much as I used to.

But, mostly, being able to spend another 25 years with my darling would be worth anything.

I voted “Yes, with some hesitation”. I have no hesitation at all about going back and doing it over again - and lots of it differently. I do have hesitation at the thought of leaving my current life behind, and living 30+ years without my SO until I can meet him again. Going to find him earlier in our timelines probably wouldn’t work, as it was the time and circumstances of our meeting, as much as our personalities, that drew us together. If I tried to seek him out when we were younger, he’d be disgusted by this little girl trying to seduce him! (He’s 22 years my senior.) OTOH, he’d have *loved *my tits before kids… :smiley:

I didn’t make terrible choices growing up, and I got along fine with my parents.

Being independently wealthy would be nice, but then there is the chance of dying randomly in a car crash or some other bizarre way; it happens all the time in every city in the world.

I think I’ll stay where I am, as much as I’d like the wealth and chance to correct some wrongs. Waiting 30 years for the internet to finally arrive would be torture!

This. The change in, well, everything, would probably drive me completely insane. My life has only gotten better the older I’ve gotten so I can’t think of any reason why I’d want to relive the past. Then again, I am still rather young and thus still have a lot to look forward to. If I was much older I can certainly see why I might want to.

I am not sure I would do it. There is a lot of pain and risk to go along with the pleasure and advantage.

To those of you thinking about memorizing lottery numbers or sports team wins, that is a far from a certain thing especially in the case of lotteries. You won’t behave exactly the same way you did the first time given your new knowledge. Your life is going to deviate and set off a massive chain reaction of chaos theory that will eventually change the whole world. The same numbers and teams won’t win in your new world just because of you. Your parents may not have gotten into a deadly car accident the first time around but they might this time when you delay them for just a few seconds. You almost certainly won’t have the same younger siblings that you have now either or any other family that is younger than you. A specific sperm meeting a specific egg at a certain time can be disrupted by just about anything.

It is quite possible that you would end up with a much worse version of reality than you did the first time even with your new knowledge. OTOH, general knowledge like knowing the internet will take off at some point is useful and could make you wealthy in lots of different ways. Be careful what you wish for.

I don’t care about lottery numbers or Apple stock. I’d just like to do things differently. There are many, many things I would do differently.

The life I’ve led hasn’t been horrendous, but it hasn’t been spectacular either. Why not give it another go?

No. I’d lose my wife.

There are two stupid mistakes I’d have to make all over again, since I can’t imagine losing my kids. But other than those two bad relationship choices? Oh HELL yeah! I am a girl who lived most of my young adult life using my heart instead of my head.

I liked school okay, and I really really liked High School (though with this one-time offer, I can see very well how I could improve even that fairly nice experience a lot).

Money? meh…I guess I’d bet on a football game, or one of the triple crown winners or something to help fund college, but I can’t really imagine being THAT much happier if I were wealthy. For me it would be about reaching my full potential.

I picked “No, with hesitation”

Your chance to avert tragedies tempts me awfully. My first thought was maybe I could avert my brother’s suicide (it only happened three years ago). First, just by being a nice big sister rather than an average one (meaning sometimes I was horrible to him, like your average sibling).

but Shagnasty points out that you might not even get the same younger siblings, and even if I did, might my hovering and anxiety for him ALL HIS LIFE (because it’s not like I could breathe a sigh of relief once he gets to age 36) have negative effects?

To many what ifs to give up my three children. I’m sure I could manage to snag the same husband, but the butterfly effect would seem to eliminate the possibility of the same eggs and sperm meeting. If I could somehow get a guarantee of the same kids I would go for it.

Unlike many posters I am not put off by having to spend all that time as a kid. I was always the kind of kid who sought out the companionship of adults. A second time around I would just be better at camouflaging myself as a kid.

Nah. There are moments I wish I could do over, but it’s not worth it to go through that awkward stage of adolescence again. And as much as I’d love to relive the fun parts of college & grad school, I’m very grateful that studying and attending class is behind me.