10 things teenagers need to know

After watching a few “It Gets Better” clips, and seeing “Dear 16-year-old Me” I’ve been inspired to share my own list of things I think teenagers should know.

  1. You are young, so enjoy it: Make mistakes. Work hard. Party hard. Have fun. Study. You’re probably full of energy; You won’t always be, so take advantage now.
  2. Be proud of who you are, and don’t let other people put you down. If they do, it’s probably because they’re not feeling so good about themselves. Don’t be mean back. You’re better than that.
  3. Sunscreen is your friend. Use it liberally all over your body, every day. Wrinkle-and-melanoma-free 30-year-old you will thank you for it.
  4. Only have sex when you’re ready to have sex, not before. And when you are ready: Use a condom. Every. Single. Time.
  5. Life is not always good times and happy-clappy. You may have to battle depression, you may have financial struggles, you may have trouble finding a good flat, you may lay awake at night because you can’t shut your brain down. All these things are normal. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in whatever way you may need it.
  6. Don’t accept the bank overdraft or credit card till you’re earning twice the minimum wage.
  7. The world is a big place full of amazing people, exotic places, insider knowledge, and lifetimes of stories. You don’t know it all. Neither do I. No one does. Keep that in mind.
  8. Life after high school is nothing like life during high school.
  9. On that note: Soap operas are nothing like real life. Don’t try to mimic what you see on them, just enjoy them for what they are… Entertainment purposes only. See point four. And point two. And reality.
  10. You are beautiful and precious, even if no one’s told you that – even if no one treats you that way. You have something valuable to contribute to the world, and you owe it to yourself to be; to do; to share.

So that’s my list: Some things I wish I’d known and some things I think the teenagers in my life need to know. 

I’ll leave you to wonder which point is which!

5 Replies to “10 things teenagers need to know”

  1. One more thing teenagers need to know:

    You’re not actually as sane as you think you are, and neither is anyone else. You will do things that make no sense, and then you will look back at them, sometimes as little as moments later, and think “Why the hell did I do that?”.

    Much like the blind spot in your retina that your brain does an incredible job of hiding, your brain is awash in chemicals that do all kinds of funny things to your thinking. If you let it, your brain will come up with some twisted logic to justify whatever daft thing it just got you to do or say.

    Next time you see someone say one thing, then act in a completely different fashion, this is why. They don’t know they’re a hypocrite because their brain has fooled them.

    When you realise that everyone else but you seems to do this, you’re almost there.

    You’ll never avoid it completely, but the first step is to understand your brain would rather lie to you than admit it isn’t consistent. The next step is to stop it making you angry whenever anyone calls it out.

  2. My only addition would be: “You have plenty of time to build a “career.” Have fun now, the rest will come later

  3. Study! You wont ever look back on your teen years and regret getting great grades.

    That guy that is pressuring you into sex. I know you think it’ll boost your popularity if you do sleep with him, that he’ll date you and not ever break up with you.. he probably will. And if you do decide to have sex, PLEASE use at least two forms of birth control, one of which being a condom. It is free to go to family planning and your parents will not know. Trust me, even getting caught by your parents with birth control is better than being a teen parent, or getting herpes. You will be stuck with both of those for life, and neither of those are easy going.

    Don’t EVER let anyone pressure you into sex, drinking, drugs, or other stuff that gives you that heavy ill feeling in the pit of your stomach. Make sure you’re the one choosing for you.

    Stand up to the bullies. If you see someone getting bullied, you stand by their side. Always. Pick them up and look after them. Be their friend, even if it ruins your street cred. Be a rock to someone who will truly appreciate you. Notice how that makes you feel.
    If you’re getting bullied, ask for help. Reach out somewhere, to teachers, to counsellors, even twitter. Don’t ever let it go unnoticed. You and anyone else that lives with the torment of bullies is worth far more than that. You are valuable. You are worth it.

  4. the only thing which u should be aware about is that u should keep urself calm and dnt go in deppresion .And u should have sex when u r ready 4 it

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