Advice I Would Like To Give To Teenagers

Hi teenagers,

Don’t roll your eyes at me. This is serious. I’m here to give you some helpful advice and it will only take a second. Then you can go to In N’ Out and eat your animal fries, drink Smirnoff, sulk in your bedroom, or whatever it is you kids do these days.

First and foremost, I want you to know that what your feeling right now is 90% bogus. Like it’s just not real. Your brain is just freaking out and doing somersaults right now. It’s not your fault. You’re actually mentally deficient. When you go to college, it will start to even itself out and you’ll settle into who you are. When you’re in high school, it’s like you’re going personality shopping. You’re browsing through the racks wondering, “Do these straightedge pants fit? How about these druggie ones? What you’ll learn later on (like three years max after you graduate) is that you can be lots of different things. When you’re a teenager, you’re constantly searching for things that can tell you who you are. “Does this Smiths record adequately explain who I am? What about this Who poster?” Sadly, some people never grow out of this. They’re always looking to the external to define the internal and it’s super sad. What most people learn however, is that music, clothes, books, are like added seasonings to an already flavorful personality. They don’t make up the inner core but they certainly make for nice dressing.

Everything you’re crying about will make you laugh in about five years. Every meltdown you’ve ever had will bring you immense joy later on. You don’t have the beauty of hindsight when you’re in the throes of teenage grief but you do in your twenties! And, boy, is it a wonderful thing to know that most of the melancholy you experienced ultimately didn’t matter. Your parents were right about that one. Your parents are right about 60% of the time. The other 40% are lies that are meant to scare you straight. Or because they’ve actually forgotten what it’s like to be a teenager.

Oh, your parents! Unless they’re actually terrible people and you are the child called It, you’ll like them again. Honestly, you’ll like them the second you move out. As you get older, you begin to see your parents as real people (“Oh, weird, I think my mom is the black sheep of her family. That must really hurt her feelings.” Or “My dad worked really hard to keep us above the poverty line. How did he do it? I can barely write a ten-page paper on gender politics.”) Distancing yourself from “Mom” and “Dad” and embracing then as flawed individuals will humanize them, and then you’ll feel like a total jerk for all those years of hell you put then through.

You know your best friend? The one you call your “wifey” or “twin” and spend literally all of your waking hours with? The one who, like, really knows you? Yeah, they might not be your best friends in a few years. You might get into a major fight and never speak again or, worse, slowly drift apart like a needle being pricked on your skin over and over again. Your goals might change, they might move far away and build a different life for themselves. It sucks but it’s what happens when you have days, months, and years working against you. So cherish the moments you have now. There is no friendship quite as electric as the best friend you have in high school.

Don’t do anything harder than weed. Your brain is not fully formed yet and you will be forever altered if you mess with the serious stuff. Save it for your twenties.

A lot of the things you’re learning in school won’t matter BUT it does teach you how to do things you don’t want to do, which is a valuable lesson.

Have sex but not with too many people. Your body might be saying “Let’s go” but your heart is whispering “No!”

Lastly, get ready to feel intense nostalgia for this period of your life for, like, ever.

Signed,

A psycho 25-year-old Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – marlon.net

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

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