What I Would Tell My Teenage Self
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What I Would Tell My Teenage Self

I wished I would have...

What I Would Tell My Teenage Self
Peter Truong, Instagram

For many of us, we have the tendency to look back on the past. We often reflect on past memories, good and bad. Sometimes we think, "Wow, I wished I would have done this," "I wished I would have done that." I thought about that recently while trying to write an article. There are so many things I wished I would have known as a teenager, but that is okay because you live and you learn. Here are ten things that I would say to my teenage self if he were to appear right in front of my face. If you know anyone who is in middle school, high school, or college, feel free to share this article with them. It may just help them later on.


Stop Listening to "Noise"

Stop listening to people who are going to bring you down. They do not know who you are, they do not know what you have been through, they are not your ruler, so why is it important to listen to lies? Honestly, I feel bad for those people who have all the time in the world to waste their energy to bring you down. They could have used it to deal with their own problems, work on their side-hustle, get better at school, etc. Don't feel bad that they are just plain evil. Do not even bother listening to anybody who is going to bring you down. True or not, walk away and let it go. It is not worth your time. You are not going to see these people ten years down the road, let alone after graduation.

Do Not Follow The Crowd

Do something that you truly want to do, not because XYZ is doing it. Wear something you truly want to wear, not because there is a trend going on. Do you know how boring the world would be if everyone wore the same clothes, liked the same activities, or even physically looked the same? It would be terrible. Similar if salt and pepper were the only spices available. That is not fine, that is a nightmare. Do what you want to do. If someone wants to make fun of you, fine, because it is going to be cool to someone else.

Be Grateful With Everything

Enjoy every single moment you got because everything can vanish within a blink of an eye. Enjoy those Halo Reach lobbies before the next generation of consoles comes out, enjoy not paying rent, and especially enjoy the fact that you can spend time with your family before "life" arrives. You might think that you need space from your family, but the moment you get a job or live out of state, you are going to wish that you could see your family every second you could get.

A lot of people forget about being grateful because they forget to be grateful for the small things in life: Clean water, functional body parts, a roof over their head, technology, I could go on. Be grateful for the things you have because again, anything can vanish at any time.

Trust The Process

The world is going to push you down and kick you while you are on the ground. However, it is not the end of the world. The sun will always rise no matter what happens. There will always be more no's than yes's. That college you dreamt of going to denied you, the major you applied for denied you, the job you originally wanted denied you, it is perfectly fine. Why is it perfectly fine? Because down the road, it can get better. I say "it can" versus "it will" because it is on you for how you want to approach things. Are you willing to move on and see what else is out there? Or, stay put knowing you could have something better down the road? Trust whatever is happening because anything can happen and I mean anything. It can seem cliché to say "trust the process," but it is cliché because it is true. The world may seem like it is going after you, it is really not. Each of us has different obstacles in life at certain points, but it is up to you on how you want to handle those obstacles.

Cut People Off When Needed

People will take advantage of you, push you around, and use you. Do not let them. The moment someone takes advantage of you, cut them off immediately. People come and go. I know that sounds harsh, but it is true. I look at things like the stock market. Why would I hold onto something that is declining and continuously making me lose money? That is not logical by any means. I would want to invest in something that is going to have growth. Put it in perspective with people for a second. Why would you want to be friends with someone who is going to take advantage of you, pressure you, beat you or drain you mentally? Understand that you can do better and that people come and go. If anybody does anything that brings you down constantly or changes you into how they want you to be, they are not your friend. You are not their toy, you are not one to begin with. I know some people are worried to be alone. Stop worrying about being alone because you might not be as alone as you think. Remember, quality is better than quantity.

Love Your Identity

I tried so hard to push away my identity as an Asian person. I hated being Asian because people around me shamed my culture: music, food, clothing, etc. I even made jokes about my race just so people could accept me. What is sad is that people now, especially social media, will make jokes about their own race or culture for "clout." Is it worth it? Why is it worth it? What people do not realize is that it is shaming the race or culture. It is not "dark humor," it is shaming. Think whatever you want about that, but think about this. Would you like it if someone that is not Asian squints their eyes in front of your mother or mocks the language? It is just reinforcing racism. It is not worth giving up your identity because of someone "liking" you. Embrace who you are and where your roots are from because that makes you, you. Again, why follow being "the same?"

Do Not Be Afraid

Do not be afraid of taking chances and do not doubt yourself. Someone can offer you the best opportunity of your life. Take that chance because that offer is not forever and it might not appear ever again.

Do not be afraid of the future because no one knows what will happen tomorrow. Anything can happen tomorrow.

Do not be afraid of the past because being afraid of the past will damage you in the long term and will cost you.

Take a Step Back

I wished my former self would have thought things through. I was always in the moment and never thought about my actions later on. We can all relate to this. Have you ever looked back on something you posted on social media as a teenager and thought to yourself, "Why didn't anyone stop me?" We had people trying to stop us, we just never listened. At the time, we thought it was the most mind-blowing piece of writing ever. Looking back, it is now the most hideous thing we have ever written. How about this? Have you ever wanted to take back something you did or said? We never think about the consequences because taking a step back while in the moment is difficult. A lot of people I have met along the way wished they could take back what they did or said, but it is too late. Whenever something is difficult, irritating, or you feel as though the world is out to get you, take a step back. Do not overthink it, just take a step back. Take a deep breath, settle down, and give yourself a talk. Even ask yourself, "Is it worth it to hold on to this feeling?" I am not saying repress your emotions, I am saying is it worth being mad over something that will not be relevant three years down the road?

Do Not Be Comfortable

There will be times where we are scared and think "this is the best we can do." Nope. There is something better only if you get out of your shell. To me, sticking with something because it is familiar to us shows fear. I would not want fear or doubt to hold me back on something that would greatly benefit me. For instance, I know some people who stay in terrible relationships because they think it is the best they can do. Another thing to consider is if it is all they know. Once you get out of that shell and out of the loop, you will start to realize that there is always something more. However, when that "new thing" comes, we get scared because it is something that has not yet been explored. Do not let it scare you, explore it because it might just change the rest of your life.

Buy The PS4 Instead of The Xbox One

This might be silly, but yes, buy the PS4 instead of the Xbox One. I could have received better free games from "PS Plus" than "Xbox Games With Gold." Not only that, but my progress with certain games would be different. People will say one console is better than the other. Quite frankly, I do not care about the specifications, I care about the games that I could be playing. They both feel the same, it is just the experience you are getting that truly matters. Personally, for me, the only games I liked from Xbox were Halo and Gears of War. PlayStation offered games that I was very interested in: Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank, Spider-Man, Ghost of Tsushima, inFAMOUS, Sly Cooper, and many more I could easily list.

Here is a task. Ask anybody that is older than you and ask what they wished they did. I can guarantee you, it is a long list. My challenge to you is to reduce the "I wish" and to hopefully say "I did." Even help those that are younger than you. Teach them to avoid "I wish."

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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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