35 Things I Wish I Knew As A Teenager

 Seth Doyle
Seth Doyle

1. Always make it a priority to love and take care of yourself. You are your own number one priority. You should never value someone else’s needs or personal rights above your own.

2. Get to know your personal rights. Study them, memorize them, tattoo them on your forehead. These are your fundamental rights as a human being, and knowing them intimately could save you a lot of trouble further down the track.

3. Find out what you’re passionate about, and explore it. Chase your dreams and do what you love; there will always be people who have other plans for you, but your future belongs to you and you alone.

4. Always say please and thank you. It costs nothing to be polite and good manners will get you further than you think. They’re an invaluable habit to get into.

5. If you want a tattoo, know you get what you pay for. Never get a trendy-of-the-moment one, obey the laws and for the love of everything good, do your research on artists!

6. Ditto goes for piercings.

7. You are not a doormat, never act like one. Bending over backwards all the time, or letting someone walk all over you will never gain you true respect. It only teaches others that it’s okay to treat you like this.

8. Learn to love at least two different fruit and vegetables. Your body will love and thank you for it.

9. No matter how angry you are, take a deep breath, shut your eyes and count to ten. Do it slowly. Remember this before you scream at someone or have an outburst. You’ll be surprised how calm you feel afterwards.

10. Being a teenager is supposed to be shitty. Everything around you and inside of you is changing and growing, and it won’t always be sunshine and rainbows. But it won’t feel this way forever. It will get better.

11. Life is both hard and fun. But it’s fleeting. Enjoy it!

12. Look out for your siblings. They’re your partner in crime and a best friend for life. Take care of them.

13. Respect yourself.

14. Start saving money early. Seriously. You will never be poorer than you are when you’re in your early twenties.

15. Smile at strangers. You could potentially brighten up someone else’s day.

16. You are so beautiful.

17. And smart.

18. Stay humble. Don’t get a big head and don’t over-feed your ego.

19. Remember: You can never please everybody. Say it again for the people at the back. Repeat this as a mantra. It is the best advice I’ve ever gotten.

20. Family doesn’t always have to be blood. You’ll find and build a new family; your people are out there somewhere.

21. Get over having a curfew. There’s no good reason for persons under eighteen to be out all night. You are not adults; you need boundaries and a decent night’s sleep.

22. Heartbreak is one of the worst pains you can experience in life. You will literally feel like you are dying, but you’re not and you won’t.

23. With that being said, don’t lose faith in love. Love really is all around. You will find it when you least expect it, when you’re least prepared and when you’ve stopped looking for it. Love is powerful.

24. Call your grandparents. Or any other family you don’t see often. They’ll appreciate the time.

25. You really aren’t too cool for school. Stay in school as long as you can; extend your education as much as possible. There is no such thing as enough knowledge.

26. Stay up-to-date with news and current affairs.

27. Do your chores. You need to learn to pull your own weight now, instead of when you move into a share-house and don’t know how to turn on a dishwasher.

28. Travel as much as you can. Opportunities for travel are limited when you’re younger, grab them and see as much of the world or your own backyard as possible. You probably won’t have the money for it later.

29. Drink lots of water. At least eight cups a day. With the amount of crap you’re putting in your body every day, you really need something to flush it out.

30. ALWAYS use protection. Don’t be reckless, you’re not invincible. Please be responsible.

31. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it be in school, at home, at work or medically, there is always help available.

32. Laugh as often as possible. It really is the best medicine.

33. You are a complete and utterly worthwhile human being.

34. The world is constantly changing. The way things are now are not how they’ll be in five, even one years’ time. Appreciate your moment now.

35. Nothing you do as a teenager actually matters. Teenage you has no chill; your grades, popularity, acne, boyfriends and all the other life-consuming problems do not matter in the slightest once you graduate. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog