Is it better to go through high school as something of a social outcast, having a life where you have a very small circle of friend and are as far from popular as possible, only to later find that people held you in pretty high regard? Or would it be better to experience high school knowing that people valued those positive traits you have?
I went through life as the former. It shaped who I am, and I think it made me a very empathetic person. However, the more people I reconnect with from my youth, the more I hear those positive comments that would have made a world of difference to me back then. Ones that would have removed a lot of that need to seek approval.
That said, it shaped who I am now, so maybe it's better that I didn't know that the peripheral connections back then actually liked what I had to say or what I did.