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Living my Teenage Years: 9 life-changing things I wish I could have heard


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The teenage years are one of the roughest stages you’ll go through in life. Not only is your body going through an endless amount of hormonal changes, but you’re also beginning to discover what the world means to you. These years truly make you who you are, but don’t you wish that you could say just a few things to your teenage self?

Living My Teenage Years: 9 Life-changing Things I Wish I Could Have Eard

When you first become a teenager, that is when the world completely changes. Up until then a lot of things have been handed to you or done for you. But now you have to find your voice, and oftentimes that voice doesn’t understand what it wants or how to fit into the world. That voice is scared and will go through so many things that she could use help with, but help sometimes just won’t be there.

As an adult looking back, there are so many things I want to say to that little girl who doesn’t understand what she’ll go through to become the strong adult she is today. The girl who is stuck in those teenage years needs to hear so many things, here are a few things I wish I could say.

Table of Contents

That boy isn’t worth it

Oh honey, the likelihood of you meeting your soulmate in your teenage years is not high, but there is still a chance. That boy you’re putting so much emotion and effort into is not worth it. He puts you down at every chance he gets and spends all his time talking bad about others instead of talking about the positive things in life.

That boy isn’t worth it, but don’t worry. You will meet the love of your life someday soon, but it’ll come after the biggest heartbreak of letting this boy go. Have strength, and once you let go there will be someone you never thought of by your side to help you through it. He will take your hand and guide you through life in a way that you had always wanted. But first, it’s time to give up on the boy who isn’t worth the majority of your teenage years.

Read More: How to help your teenager deal with setbacks in life

Imagination is beautiful, don’t let people tell you otherwise

Living My Teenage Years: 9 Life-changing Things I Wish I Could Have Heard

Bullies are the worst part of your teenage years, but they know nothing. They make you think you’re silly for having your head in a book all the time. They’ll make fun of you for reading fantasy and writing a million different stories, but they don’t matter – your imagination does.

The imagination you have in your teenage years will bloom beyond your wildest dreams. You’ll learn to embrace the thoughts of traveling outside of your own world, and you’ll do it in real life. You’ll realize those bullies can take nothing from you but your time, so don’t give it to them.

Don’t eat at the sushi restaurant that just opened in the mall

Please, please, please do not eat that sushi from the restaurant that just opened in the mall. Food poisoning is the worst and it’s not worth it, save us both the trouble. I’m begging you.

You won’t feel “trapped” forever

Living My Teenage Years: 9 Life-changing Things I Wish I Could Have Heard

The teenage years are hard enough, and going through them with overbearing parents or never being able to go anywhere will make it harder. I know you’re sitting on the edge of the driveway and wondering what the outside world is like. You’re dreaming of the day you turn eighteen and can finally experience it for yourself, and you’ll get there.

You’ll feel trapped in that house for what seems to be an eternity and it’ll seem as though you’ll never be able to escape, but you will, and oh the places you will go! The world is full of wonder and you’ll go on to travel the world just like you’ve always imagined, all because it is a dream that you wanted to see happen. You’ll have the determination to make all things possible. And once you get there, you’ll realize that the “trapped” feeling was just a yearning to experience something bigger. So it’s okay to cry on the edge of your driveway wanting to see the world, those tears will motivate you to make those dreams possible.

Stand up for yourself

When you’re an adult, there will be so many moments where you’ll have to stand up for yourself. But those moments are even more important in your teenage years. Stand up to your parents, and push for what you want. You may not get it, and you may be grounded, but those moments show them how strong you are. Standing up for yourself is the only way to be heard, so don’t lock your door and cry, shout for what you need so they hear your voice.

Stand up for your beliefs. When you see someone being bullied, or when you hear someone saying racist things in front of you – stand up for what is right. Racism is NOT okay. Bullying is NOT okay. When you stand up and fight against the people who are making it seem normal, you show them the right way to do things. If you don’t take a stand, the people who are left in the dirt remain there. It’s our job to help lift them up and take care of them. You’ll realize just how important it is to stand up for those things as an adult.

Read More: How to help kids manage bullying in schools

That haircut isn’t as bad as they’re saying

Haircuts in your teenage years are going to be awful. You’ll understand later how many people simply cannot pull off bangs, but it’s really not as bad as you think. Your brothers will say you look like a boy, and your friends will tell you it looks bad, but it’s okay. It’s just hair, and it’ll grow back.

Plus, when you’re an adult you may even dye your hair pink in rebellion to all those bad haircuts. Vivid hair and shaving your head is going to be a huge trend, and you’ll absolutely love it.

Don’t be afraid of therapy

Living My Teenage Years: 9 Life-changing Things I Wish I Could Have Eard

Everyone will tell you that people who go to therapy are crazy. That the only people who need therapy are alcoholics and mentally insane people – but they couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, later on, you may wish you had more therapy in your teenage years to help you get through everything.

Therapy is the doctor for your mind. Your brain processes so much, especially in the teenage years, that sometimes you don’t know what direction to take. There are doctors who have studied the mind and are there to help you understand what you are thinking. They’ll help you guide yourself in the ways that you never knew you could. 

So don’t be afraid when you first walk into your first therapy appointment. You’re smart, brave, and going through things that nobody should have to go through in their teenage years.

Take school seriously

In your later teenage years, you’ll feel like you’re too good for school and give up on making good grades. If you had cared about your grades as much as you did that boy who isn’t worth it, you would have done really well. But instead, you spent your teenage years sneaking your phone and texting him when the teacher wasn’t looking.

As an adult, you’ll need basic math and English skills that you would have learned. You’ll have to start all over again and go back to the basics that you thought you “didn’t need”. It doesn’t matter what career you choose, having those basic skills will help. So please pay attention.

Don’t worry, you’re going to be a great mother some day

daily-mom-parent-portal-Living My Teenage Years: 9 Life-changing Things I Wish I Could Have Heard

All those worries about turning out like your mother can go down the drain where they belong. Let go of those worries you’ve built up in your teenage years about not being good enough. One day you’ll stress your entire pregnancy and wonder “Will I ever be good enough for her?”. You will be.

The moment you hold your daughter in your arms, your mama bear senses will take over. You will make sure that she is cared for both physically and emotionally. You’ll be there every step of the way and make sure that her voice is heard. And you’ll have a partner and tribe to help you through all the times you feel like the worst parent in the world.

Your daughter is going to love you in the ways you have always wanted. 

So to the little girl I know living through those teenage years, listen to me when I say that you’re going to be okay. Even if you eat that sushi and cry for weeks about your haircut, you’ll get through it. Your teenage years are only the beginning of your life, but remember you’re the main character in your story. You have strength and every obstacle that comes your way will make you into the person you’re proud to be today.


There are a thousand things you needed to hear as a teenager, especially when you hit roadblocks. If you’re having trouble helping your own teens through their troubled times, make sure to read How to Help your Teenager Deal with Setbacks in Life.

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Photo Credits: Lauren Benson Photography | Darya Skuratovich | Priscilla Du Preez | Taylor Smith

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I am a father of three and my wife is a registered nurse specialized in children.

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