If there were a teenage survival guide, high school would be a lot easier for a lot of teenage girls! But I figure it’s never too late to make one! This is what I would put in a teenage survival guide, if I could go back in time and give myself a copy!
1. Besties before Boys
Boys fade away, betray you, and hurt you, but girl friends? They never fail! No teenage survival guide could be complete without this golden rule! True best friends will always have your back and want the best for you. Even when you think your bestie is fighting for the wrong team, know that she loves you! Likewise, never ditch a best friend for a boy. Unless you’re the lucky one who marries her high school sweetheart, boys don’t matter half as much as your friends do.
2. Forgive and Forget
You’re bound to run into some bullies and backstabbers during your teenage years. You’ll want to retaliate, and you’ll seek revenge but here’s the truth: it’s better to just forgive and forget. When you fight fire with fire, everyone gets burned. There’s nothing easy about this, but whoever said being a teenager was easy? When people hurt you, be like Elsa and just Let it Go!
3. Plan Ahead
Your teenage years are like the warm up before a marathon. They’re a preview of what lies ahead, which prepare you so that you can make it to the finish line, victorious. But you need to work hard in the warm up too, not just the race, to mentally and physically prepare yourself for what’s to come. Teens can do this by planning for the future and studying hard in school, making meaningful relationships, and learning important life lessons. If you forget to plan ahead, your adult life will be a lot more difficult than it needs to be.
4. Be Yourself
You’ll be one miserable teenager if you’re not yourself as much as possible. Not being yourself when you’re young is like putting a tiger in a cage; it just isn’t right! You need to figure out who you are when you’re a teenager, and the best way to do that is by being yourself. You’ll make the greatest friends this way too, and never feel trapped inside your own body.
5. Think before You Speak
A major sin committed by every teen is speaking without thinking. It isn’t necessarily your fault; after all, your hormones are all out of whack and you’re facing more difficult problems than ever before. But if you want to survive the teenage years, you need to think before you speak. Doing so will save you from countless lectures, fights, breakups and misunderstandings. Plus, this is a great skill to develop before you enter the workforce later in life.
6. Mean Girls Are Just Jealous
We’ve already established that mean girls exist, and they come in every shape and size, attacking you from every angle possible, but their motive is always the same; they’re jealous. You may find this hard to believe if your “mean girl” is a 5’9” blonde bombshell with money pouring out of her ears and an army of hot guys with her at all times. But when any girl - even a “perfect” girl - is mean to you, she’s jealous of something. So instead of hating your mean girl right back, take her cruelty as a compliment! Greet her with a smile and a wave, then move on with your day.
7. Stranger Danger
Stranger danger is no joke, and it’s an important rule to remember during your teenage years. The world is full of twisted, evil people who could harm you if they got the chance. And you’ll never know who they are until it’s too late! That’s why you should never accept rides from strangers, nor drinks, nor candy; just keep walking! Also, have a friend or family member with you whenever possible, because there’s strength in numbers.
8. You Won’t Die Alone
We’ve all had this thought run through our heads. “I’m going to die alone.” “I should just buy fifty cats already, guys aren’t interested” and more thoughts just like these. But the truth is, teenage relationships, or a lack thereof, don’t determine the future of your love life! There are 7 billion people on this planet! Everywhere you go from here on out you’ll find potential suitors, and you’ll date plenty of great people until you find the right person for you!
9. Your Parents Love You
Even when they scold you, ground you, ignore you and shout at you, your parents love you. If you feel like you’re fighting with your parents more than ever now, it’s probably because you are. You’re a mini adult now and you think you know everything, just like your parents think they know everything. That’s a recipe for disaster, so you’ll argue a lot and get in trouble even more often than when you ran around in a diaper drawing on the walls! But despite all this, it’s important to remember that your parents love you; they always will.
10. The Internet is Forever
Everything you post, tweet, share and re-tweet lasts forever. Even if you delete your account, someone may have saved an embarrassing picture or post to their phone or computer. Plus, some employers now look at prospective employees’ social media history. So be careful what you post, because the internet is forever, and it may catch up to you some day!
11. It’s Okay to Say No
In a world full of yeses, it’s okay to say no sometimes, in fact, it’s smart to! You shouldn’t feel obligated to say yes to everyone who applies a little bit of peer pressure to you, because that can lead to huge mistakes, like experimenting with drugs or having sex before you’re ready to. You, your parents, and of course the law determine what is okay for you to do at your age. But ultimately, you’re the one who determines what you actually do when your parents and the police are nowhere to be found. And most often, it comes down to a simple question yes or no? To survive your teenage years, you need to know that it’s okay to say no sometimes.
12. Speak up
The world is full of injustice, which you don't really start to notice until you're a teen. When you see mean or suspicious things going on, it's your duty as a citizen of the world to speak up. If anyone does anything morally wrong to you or someone else, always speak up. Staying quiet is exactly what bad people want you to do, and if you make a habit if it now, odds are you'll be a silent observer for the rest of your life.
13. It’s Okay to Rock the Boat
You won’t have much fun as a teen if you settle into one identity and stick with it until you’re 18. You should try to rock the boat, shake things up and try new things to reinvent yourself daily! Listen to music your friends would cringe at, dye your hair, and join as many clubs as you can! There’s no point in sticking to your clique’s identity when adolescence is all about figuring out who you are!
14. Grades Matter
Everyone slacks off every once in a while, it’s human nature. But grades in high school really do matter, so you can’t neglect your studies year after year. How you perform in high school will determine where you go to college after graduation, and if you go to college at all. That’s why you should do your best to earn respectable grades each semester!
15. Your Body is Beautiful
Every teenager ought to know this if she wants to be happy and confident. It isn’t an opinion, it isn’t a perception, it’s a fact. Your body is beautiful. Yours is the only one exactly like it, crafted to be perfect in its own unique way. So stop listening to what your peers and the media have to say about your body “type”, and don’t insult yourself! The body you have is a perfect machine that is beautiful and magnificent beyond compare!
16. Your Health Matters
One of the best benefits of being young is having a stellar metabolism. You can eat pizza and ice cream every day and not have nearly as extreme consequences as your mom would. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Your health matters, even when you’re young, and you need to give your body fuel it can use to grow and develop into a mature adult body. Other health concerns some teens face are STDs, drug and alcohol abuse, and eating disorders. Bring up these topics with your parents or other trusted adult before they become an actual issue in your life, so you can receive personalized advice on how to be the healthiest teen you can be!
17. Ask for Help
There’s never any shame in asking for help, not when you’re 5, 15 or 55 years old. And since you’re young, people practically expect that you’ll be brimming with questions! If you are, speak your mind, ask for help with your problems and troubles. People are placed in your life for a reason, and sometimes that reason is to pass their wisdom onto you.
18. Put Yourself First
During my teenage years was when I first began to realize that this was “real life”. It seemed like such a simple concept, but it was really quite layered. This is real life, my only life, and I’m the only “me” that has ever existed. I’ve got one shot at taking myself as far as possible, and achieving greatness. To do that, I figured out that I need to put myself first. Of course, I try to help and love others whenever possible, but at the end of the day I put my needs first and do whatever I can to reach my goals. If you want to survive your teenage years as well as be a success later in your life, you need to learn how to put yourself first now, before you make a habit of letting others walk all over you.
19. Don’t Give into Peer Pressure
Peer pressure is probably the biggest threat you’ll face between ages 13 to 18. It seems like everyone wants something from you, or wants you to do something with them. But no matter what angle people come at you from, or what sort of power they try to assert over you, don’t give in. Know when to say yes and when to say no, but more importantly know who your real friends are. Because true friends will care about you too much to pressure you into doing anything you’re uncomfortable with.
There you have it! Your ultimate teenage survival guide! Without these tips, I know I’d struggle to make it through this few, but long and tumultuous years of adolescence! Which of these tips did you need the most? What other things do you think every teenager must know?