Advice for my teenage self

9:39 PM

1) You know all of those strangers whose opinions you obsess over and you want to impress? Stop that. They don't matter.

As a teenager, I was OBSESSED with what people thought of me (both in real life and online - I was a Myspace addict). I still do care about people's opinions, but not nearly as much as I did in jr. high and high school. I was in a constant state of self-awareness, worrying about how I looked and talked.  I wanted to fit in so badly. 

Now, I look back and shake my head. I should have spent more time worrying about what my close friends and family thought of me. They are the only people I still see and talk to.

2) As much as school sucks sometimes, appreciate the time that you get to spend with your friends - all living in the same place. That doesn't happen as an adult. Same goes for your family.

I definitely didn't appreciate getting to spend all day, every day, with my friends. Adults tell you that "things change" when you graduate high school - that people move away, friendships dissipate - but I never took these warnings seriously. Well, the adults were right. Nothing will ever be as simple as the routine of: waking up, going to school, hanging out with your friends, doing your homework, sleeping - repeat. I wish I had treasured this time more.

3) Appreciate the unlimited kitchen full of food and the health insurance that your parents provide you with.

Pretty simple. Buying groceries sucks. The dentist surprisingly isn't free.

4) Stop obsessing over finding "your true love" in jr high and high school. It's a waste of time and energy that could be spent having fun with your friends and building strong friendships.

I was annoyingly "boy crazy" as a teenager. I dove head first into every new crush and love interest. I really thought that I would want to spend the rest of my life with each new dude. I wish I hadn't taken everything so seriously. Fifteen is a loooooot younger than it feels at the time.

5) Have more confidence in yourself. Stop thinking of yourself as the "ugly duckling."

Still working on this!

6) Your obsessive thinking and anxiety is not normal. Go talk to your doctor about it. You can get some help that will make your life easier!

Getting help for my anxiety problems has changed my life in a very positive way. I wish I had realized 10 years ago that I could talk to my doctor about more than just physical ailments.

7) Be more rebellious and say "yes" more often. Taking risks always makes for better stories.

Again, still working on this!

8) The crushes who friend-zoned you and broke your heart - they will probably show interest in you later in life (ironically, when you're not interested anymore), so don't feel too bad about their initial rejection.

This speaks to number 4. Up until the recent past, I took every romantic rejection as a life-shattering event. I wish I had been more light hearted when it came to romance.

9) It's okay to let go of friendships that are unhealthy or are naturally fading. Don't try to force friendships with people just to be "cool."

It's hard, but sometimes it's for the best.

10) Sometimes you're going to mess up and things will be your fault. You'll hurt people, do things you never thought you would do, and make mistakes. Try to take ownership of it and apologize. It's okay. You're human. Just try to learn from your mistakes.

We all make mistakes and surprise ourselves in both positive and negative ways. In the end, it's better to say sorry and learn from your errors than try to blame them on everything and everyone else. Another thing I'm still working on!

As a bonus, here are some photos from my less-than-graceful, more-than-fun teenager years!

What would you tell your younger self?

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  1. Great tips! I really think pointing out that you can ask for help for mental health issues is a really important one for lots of teens. Also, some of those pictures are great, and I love your prom dress! :P