15 Things That Every Teenager Needs to Know
We all know how difficult our teen years can be. Minor disputes can be blown out of all proportion and misunderstandings happen on the regular.
There are a lot of resources provided by schools, books and the internet to help our teenagers through their adolescence, covering topics like peer pressure, sex, drugs and alcohol, social media, and relationships. But there are some things that are just not taught.
Here are fifteen things that every teenager needs to know.
1. It really is okay to say no. “No” is a complete sentence and you don’t need to give anyone a reason for your boundary. Stick to your guns, say no and mean it. Don’t let anyone in your life guilt trip you into doing something you don’t want to do or are uncomfortable with.
2. Making a new friend often takes lots of time. Also, you don’t have to like all of the same things to become friends with someone. You can be friends with people who like lots of things you’ve never heard of before, or that you don’t like. And you can get along really well with someone with absolutely none of the same interests as you.
3. Start trying to save money now. Developing smart spending and saving habits is a skill you will always use, and you will definitely thank yourself later on. Even if it’s just $30 stashed away somewhere, and even if you don’t know yet what your saving for, get into the habit of saving money.
4. Checkout staff don’t care if you buy condoms. Or lube or pads or whipped cream. Nobody cares as much as you think they do. Buy the condoms. Use them.
5. If you don’t have a passion, learn new skills. You might find your passion or something you’re good at along the way. This could lead to a new career option you hadn’t thought of before.
6. Don’t put off dealing with mental health issues. Developing unhealthy coping mechanisms for emotional issues will mess you up big time later in life. If you have issues, deal with them head-on, right away. It can take time but start the work now if you can.
7. It is just as lame to not do something you want to do because it’s ‘too mainstream or popular’ as it is to do something only because it’s cool and the cool kids are doing it. Do what you want. Nobody cares, really.
8. ‘Don’t be a dick’ will get you further in life than you would expect, considering how easy it is. Be nice to people and they’ll be nice to you.
9. If you always respond to advice with “I know!”, it will take you longer to figure out your problems. Not all advice is good, but some could be helpful. Learn to listen even if you think you know how to do this particular thing already. You may learn a new way of doing things.
10. Failing is okay! The first step to being good at something is being bad at something. Keep going, you’ll get it.
11. Don’t waste your time trying to impress people that you won’t have anything to do with in ten years. Cherish your friends, but forget all the drama involved with other groups and people that will ultimately have nothing to do with your life after you graduate.
12. When you make a mistake, own it. People are more willing to help you when you admit you did a dumb thing. This is useful in all parts of life. Owning up to your mistakes instead of doubling down or running away will score you more forgiveness points and people will be more likely to help you if you say sorry and communicate with them.
13. When you’re learning to drive, slow down and don’t do anything stupid. You’re driving a very heavy machine at speeds we did not evolve to deal with. Also, never automatically take off when the lights go green. Always check that no one is running a red light before entering the intersection.
14. Learn to trust your gut when in strange situations. If something feels off or wrong, it probably is. Don’t go along with something if it feels wrong. Don’t feel bad for not going along with the rest of the group. Do what’s right for you. Trust your intuition.
15. Try not to add to, or detract from, your local population. And try not to end up on the news. Otherwise, enjoy yourself as much as you can. Adulthood is not far away and it lasts a long time. Have fun while you’re young!
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