What I Wish Someone Told My Teenaged Self

Here are 25 things I wish someone had told me in high school that would have made me happier, and my life much easier.

  1. It’s ok to feel feelings. Find the balance between ice queen and drama queen.
  2. Don’t pop your pimples. Acne goes away, but scarring doesn’t.
  3. Trust and forgive — enough that you have peace of mind and a clear conscience, but not so much that people will keep taking advantage of your good nature.
  4. Don’t feel so bad about your awkward romantic encounters. More now, less later.
  5. Speak up for yourself. Don’t commit to things you don’t want to do. Confront people who bad-mouth you. When you disagree with someone, say so, and explain why.
  6. College isn’t going to fix all your problems, even though it will definitely help with a lot of them.
  7. Life does get better.
  8. Don’t assume everyone is essentially good. That’s how you end up in dangerous situations.
  9. Don’t be afraid to be funny. It makes it easier for other people to like you.
  10. Make sure to keep up your hobbies. That’s how you end up with a job you love that’s also lucrative.
  11. It’s ok to “break up” with a friend, but learn how to be more graceful about it.
  12. When you’re in a fight with your parents, remember that their anger is probably coming from a place of fear.
  13. There’s a difference between being loved and feeling loved, and both are important.
  14. When a friend stops talking to you, it doesn’t always mean you did something wrong.
  15. It’s ok to ask people for closure. Do it now, so you’re not thinking about it still 10 years later.
  16. Keep saving your money, it will be worth it.
  17. Going to community college during high school can help you a lot if you take it seriously.
  18. It’s ok to be scared, but don’t let fear keep you from making life exciting. Take every opportunity that presents itself.
  19. You won’t get things right the first time. Find the happy medium between kicking yourself and making excuses for yourself.
  20. Follow your gut instinct.
  21. Keep going to church and trust in God — and if you can’t trust, pray for the ability to trust.
  22. Network, ask questions, and stop worrying that you’re annoying. Walk into a room and fill it with your confidence.
  23. Eventually you’ll stop feeling so insecure. Fake it til you make it, but don’t put others down in the process.
  24. People made fun of you for being conservative, but keeping your values kept you out of a lot of trouble… even when it was really embarrassing.
  25. Form good habits now, especially study habits. They will help you maintain a good work/life balance later.
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