20 Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self
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Adulting

20 Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self

Turn the angst down a notch - you're going to be okay.

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20 Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self
Melanie McBride

I turn 20 years old this Friday. T-W-E-N-T-Y… no more "teen" added onto the end. I am about to evolve into a legitimate adult.

The thought of growing up has always been so daunting to me- the very idea that there will be a point in my life where I have to figure things out for myself. In high school it was easy - there was a set schedule every day and the only expectation for me was to focus on school, get good grades, and not get into trouble. Every obstacle or obstacle seemed like it would be the end of the world, and I always thought there would be no one who would understand what I was going through.

For me, birthdays are always a good time to reflect on the knowledge and wisdom I've gained throughout my life. Sometimes I wish so badly to go into the past and tell myself it's going to be okay and nothing is final. Since time travel isn't possible yet, here are 20 things I wish I could tell my teenage self.

1. It’s okay to try new things

Adventure Going GIF Giphy

Don't be afraid to take that yearbook class! Explore photography more (you enjoy it so much!). Try cooking new foods and see that there's so much more than chicken tenders. You can't be restrained by the fear of the unknown and worrying if you'll be good or successful- that's what being a teenager is all about: trying new things.

2. You’re going to lose some friends along the way

Season 10 Hug GIF by Friends Giphy

People grow and change all the time- especially during high school. You'll lose some friends and sometimes you won't know why. It's going to hurt at first, but remember that everything happens for a reason, and you're going to make some even more amazing friends along the way.

3. The sizing of clothes is different for each store… don’t take it personally

Fashion Getting Ready GIF by Anja Kotar Giphy

One store's large will equal another store's XL; DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP ABOUT IT! Either way you look cute in those jeans and they make you feel good, and that's all that matters.

4. Your haircut will not look the same on you as it does on the Pinterest model

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Maybe don't get a bob AND bangs... that look only works for Russian spies and Edna Mode.

5. You don’t need social media to be happy

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The people who matter aren't going to care if you have an Instagram or not. Save yourself a bunch of time and instead of scrolling, study for the SAT (spoiler- math will not be your strong suit). You're going to unfollow most of the people you went to high school with once you get to college anyway.

6. Your chance at finding love will not end after high school

maika monroe kiss GIF by A24 Giphy

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS ARE DUMB. Please stop placing your worth in the hands of someone who thinks iFunny is the peak of comedy. You're going to find way more joy spending time with your friends than pining after that boy in your English class.

Besides, someone pretty special is going to come your way down the road ;)

7. Mom is right (most of the time)

excited lauren graham GIF by Gilmore Girls Giphy

I know you're rolling your eyes just reading this, but hear me out.

You need to cut her some slack- she's lived a whole lifetime and will give so much advice. Listen to her.

8. Play with your dogs more

dog fetch GIF by South Park Giphy

I know you're busy, but one day one of your sweet pups is going to have to say goodbye and you're going to wish you had spent more time with him before you left for college. Take him for walks, throw the ball around, go on drives... cherish your time with you furry best friend.

9. Other people’s success does not equal your failure

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Be a better hype man! Don't let jealousy cloud your ability to be genuinely happy for others. Let their success be a motivator for you to push yourself even more.

10. High school isn't as scary as you think it will be

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You won't get lost in the seemingly massive hallways that will shrink with time. It's not that different from middle school- people just aren't as awkward now. High school isn't like how you see it in the movies- there aren't special lunch tables, and the upperclassmen aren't going to pay any attention to you.

11. WASH YOUR FACE

beauty things GIF Giphy

But seriously, wash your face. Puberty + stress = the worst skin phase of your life.

Also- stop picking at your pimples. It only makes it worse.

12. The world is so much bigger than your high school

going there where am i GIF by SoulPancake Giphy

You are going to do amazing things later on in life! Don't stress if you don't get everything you try out for in high school. Stop treating high school as a resume builder an to-do list. Enjoy yourself and the time you spend there.

13. Stressing about prom is not worth it​

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Everyone is going to prom to have fun- don't get caught up in the details and stress yourself out. If you don't want to go, great. If you do, just find a dress you feel comfortable in and don't worry about the rest! It'll be okay.

14. Think before you react

think winnie the pooh GIF Giphy

One of the biggest lessons you will learn is that not everything is what it seems, so you need to learn to let things sink in before you decide to act. There is great value in pondering, so, take a breath, and really think about how you want to move forward and react to certain events.

15. Petty drama is not worth your time

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Do not stress yourself out over the drama in 4th period. You won't even remember what it was about a couple months from now. High school drama is so not worth ruining your day over.

16. Stop doing your eyeliner so thick

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It'll smudge throughout the day anyway! Don't feel like you have to compensate for something by drawing raccoon eyes. You'll start to learn that all you need is a little mascara to feel good about yourself.

17. Don’t bother with that advanced chemistry class

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You don't need the AP Chemistry credit- save yourself the tears and stress (and your GPA)

18. Go to more movies by yourself

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It's actually really fun! You get your own popcorn, you can get there as early as you want (which I know you like to get there early), and you can have time to reflect on your experience afterwards. It's not as scary as you think.

19. Please be nicer to yourself… you’re amazing and wonderful

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You have such a goofy side to yourself that you can't even explore because you're too busy being mean to yourself! Recognize that you are smart, talented, and BEAUTIFUL.

20. Despite everything- keep going. You’re doing so great.

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Regardless of the mistakes and mishaps during this time in your life, you're doing the best you can. You have such an amazing family and great friends who will help you throughout your journey. I can say with full confidence that you're exactly where you need to be.


What advice would you give to your teenage self?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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