Unsolicited Advice To A Teenager From A Twenty-Something

Thursday, April 5, 2018

As a former teenager, I've lived it!  I've lived through the agonizing prom dress shopping, the fights with friends, the frustration at not hearing back from a crush.  Now that I'm leaving my twenties behind, I think I'd like to toss some unsolicited advice out there to all you youngins.

I was really laid-back as a teenager.  I didn't get in trouble.  I kept to the rules. And I had a blast.  Were there things I wish I knew about the future?  Or do I wish there were moments I could go back and change the outcome?  Abso-friggin-lutely.  But that's not the point of your teenage years.  The point is to start a foundation were you can grow and thrive.  High school is not the "Best Four Years of Your Life", but they will certainly rank up there in the top greatest of your life.

Don't be afraid to watch. There's a lot you can learn from the sidelines.

Don't be afraid to jump in. There's a lot you can learn from experience.

Enjoy the drama, but just enough that it doesn't bring you down.

Use fun slang words because soon it'll be weird to hear the latest "cool" terms coming out of your mouth (and by soon, I mean super soon).

Surround yourself with a variety of people.  These people are going to grow (or not grow at all) in the next few years.

Time spent with friends is better than spent with a romantic interest whose face you won't be able to place in five years.

If your parents love you, you are so lucky and blessed.  Not everyone's parents care about them the way yours do.  Remember that when they're annoying you.  

Date who you like; but don't date someone because of their perceived social value.  Strip that currency away and make sure you like the person underneath.

A lot of the things that bother you are silly and stupid, even if you don't think they are silly and stupid.  Get upset about them, learn to handle it; there are far more difficult things on the horizon.  Be grateful for these tiny stupid things that blow up your world.

If something is truly stupid, don't do it.  Imagine a version of yourself at 28.  If they are shaking your head at you, it's stupid.

Don't try to be cool - try to be kind, try to be remembered as the person who strove to help other people.  Also, you will be surprised how fast the cool kids fall after high school. I mean it, it's creepy.

It all gets better.  Seriously.

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