I've learned a lot in my late teens and early twenties about life, here are five life-changing concepts I wish I had known as a teenager.
I remember being thirteen, listening to Taylor Swift’s song Fifteen and thinking fifteen was so old. I thought that in two years I’d have everything figured out; I’d be so much smarter and would barely have anything to worry about.
When I turned fifteen, I still felt like I was struggling at life. I felt uninformed and ill prepared to tackle this new year of teenhood. What I failed to recognize was that even though I hadn’t mastered being fifteen yet, I had gained the tools to succeed at being thirteen.
At twenty-two years old, I still have a lot to figure out, but I now know every piece of knowledge I needed at fifteen. While I can’t go back in time to help myself, I can write this to help you.
1. It's Your Life
You’re so used to other people making decisions for you that you don’t realize you can call the shots now. This isn’t about disrespecting your parents, but about making calculated decisions that will better your own future.
If you really want to make honor roll, no one is going to come to your rescue. You have to find study groups, hire a tutor, and work hard. It’s up to you to make your own decisions and to craft a plan to make them happen.
2. You Have Time
You’re so young, stop stressing about what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. I know you’re guidance counselors make you feel like you need to choose a college major, but you don’t. Your parents want you to start on your career path, but you can taste different jobs for years before committing.
The golden years of finding yourself don’t expire with your teendom. When you turn twenty, you begin a new phase of life experimentation. There’s no need to stress about not knowing your passion, you have time to explore.
3. No One Cares
Everyone is so obsessed with their own lives that they really aren’t paying attention to you. They don’t care when you trip in class or when your voice cracks or when your hair looks weird. If they make a comment, they’ve already moved on in the next moment.
No one is secretly making fun of you in their head, they have other things to worry about. Stop worrying about what others are thinking about you because they’re not thinking about you.
4. Change Is Good
You’re not always going to be who you are now. You’re going to change this year, and the next, and the next; that’s a good thing. Your paradigm will shift. You won’t always believe what you do now.
You may experience some really hard times, but they won’t last forever. You’ll learn and you’ll become a better person. Embrace change, it’s good for you.
5. You Can
There’s a little voice deep inside your head that keeps trying to tell you that you’re special. You hear it whisper that you can make a real change in the world. Listen to that voice more and less of those around you.
You know you’re capable of success, stop telling yourself you’re not. Embrace that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Work hard and the world can be yours.