It doesn’t matter what part of the world you live in – being a teenager is tough everywhere. It’s that murky transition between being a child and a grown up and as someone who’s been there, I can tell you it’s not easy. But it’s not impossible either. And if you try and remember these little bits of wisdom (some of which I learnt the hard way), I’m sure you’ll find the teenage years a little more bearable and a lot more fun.
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1 Don’t Be in a Rush to Grow up – There’s Loads of Time for That
It might seem that grown-ups have all the fun, but we don’t really. Enjoy your teenage years, free from the worries and responsibilities of adulthood. You’ll have plenty of time for that later.
2 Hold out against Peer Pressure
It’s tough to fight peer pressure, but you have to try and do it. It never helps to do something just because everyone else is doing it. Have your own opinions and ideas and believe in them.
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3 Do What You Love and Not What Others Love
Don’t stop doing what you love just because others don’t feel the same way or because you think it’s better to just do what others love. Be it watching foreign language films or playing the harmonica. If you love it, do it.
4 Don’t Stress out Too Much about How You Look
I can’t tell you not to think about how you look at all – that won’t be realistic, you know. But don’t stress out too much about it either. Stress just aggravates bad skin and unhealthy eating habits – both of which aren’t desirable!
5 Avoid Food Fads – Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy
Trying out different diets and experimenting with food fads might be the latest thing that is cool but it’s really not healthy. Stick to eating fresh foods and minimize packaged and processed instant meals.
6 Do NOT Make Your Life All about a Boy (or a Girl)
I cannot emphasize this enough. Nobody, boy or girl, is more important than you are. Do not spend these crucial teenage years trying to impress someone who probably doesn’t even appreciate how awesome you are!
7 A Broken Heart is Not the End of Life
It’s true. It might seem like a breakup is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you and that you’ll never love again, but you will. Love will find you and it’ll mean so much more then. So don’t waste away because one relationship didn’t work out. Pull yourself together and face life head on, I say!
8 Be Nice to People. Being Mean is Not Cool
This is very important. You may be one of the popular kids or one of the quiet and shy ones but what you have to remember is to be a nice kid. You do not want to be remembered as one of the ‘mean’ ones. In the long run, being a nice person always pays off.
9 Read. and then Read More
Be a voracious reader. From the classics to modern authors, fiction and non-fiction, read as much as you can. You’ll be amazed at how broad your worldview will open up and how much you’ll gain by reading.
10 Don’t Change Yourself to Fit in. Ever
It’s easy to blend in and be a part of the crowd. But it takes a special something to stand out and be different. It might not seem like a good thing to be different right now but, believe me, it is. You want to be different from everyone else. Don’t change who you are just because you want to fit in.
11 Get a Job, However Small
You may or may not need the money, but you could do with the experience. Get a job, an internship even, and spend some part of time in the real world. It’s a good way to learn new things, meet new people and develop a strong, confident and self-sufficient personality.
12 Start Saving. It’s a Good Habit
It doesn’t have to be much, but if you start saving a little money right from your teenage years, you won’t find it impossible to do as an adult. It’ll be a matter of habit and you’ll be the better for it. And, of course, knowing you have some money kept aside is always reassuring.
13 Appreciate Your Parents. Even when You Don’t Want to
I know parents don’t seem to be on your side when you’re a teenager and they definitely don’t seem to understand what you’re going through but cut them some slack, will you? They only want what’s best for you and you’ll understand this in a few years. Nobody loves you as unconditionally as your parents. Appreciate them and love them back even when they annoy you, okay?
14 Find Reasons to Laugh
Life can be tough and challenging but never forget it can also be fun. Oh so much fun! Look for reasons to laugh – friends, family, a new funky flavor of ice cream – anything that makes you happy is perfect!
15 Take the Time to Know Who You Are
Make time to get to know your own self better – your own likes and dislikes, opinions on important matters, interests and passions. The more you know who you are and what you want, the more confident you will be in whatever you do.
16 Stand up for Yourself
Don’t let people take you for granted. Be confident about who you are and stand up for yourself.
17 Get off Social Media for a Bit
Too much of anything isn’t healthy and the same holds true for social media. All of us get addicted. Get off the Internet every once in a while and enjoy the feeling of being free. You’ll enjoy it, believe me.
18 Develop a Hobby IRL
Try and actively keep up a hobby in your free time. This will not only help develop any interests and passions you may have, but also help you unwind and relax by doing something you enjoy.
19 Try New Things but Be Responsible
It’s always good to try out new things and experiment. But do so responsibly and thinking of the consequences of your actions. Avoid things and situations that will be harmful to yourself or anyone else.
20 Personality Does Matter No Matter How You Look
It may seem like stuff that self help books and life coaches tell you, but it is true. At the end of the day, what matters is your personality. If you’re a strong, confident person who is kind and polite and ready to face life positively, you’ll be a winner in everything you do!
21 Always Remember You’re Not Alone
No matter how tough things get and how overwhelmed and helpless you might feel, always remember that you aren’t alone. There are so many other teenagers experiencing the same things and feelings you are. Talk to your friends, talk to a sibling or a cousin. Talk about what you’re feeling. Just never feel alone.
Teenage years are often described as turbulent. And they can be - just like any period of transition is. However, keep in mind these little pieces of wisdom and you’ll find that your teenage years are those of self-discovery, learning and joy. Do you have anything to add to this list that could help teenagers everywhere?
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