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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Only have sex when you’re ready to have sex, not before. And when you are ready: Use a condom. Every. Single. Time.
- 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.
- Don’t accept the bank overdraft or credit card till you’re earning twice the minimum wage.
- 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.
- Life after high school is nothing like life during high school.
- 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.
- 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!