What advice would you give to your teenage self?
I am not particularly interested in WordPress prompts and I actually have a “What Grinds My Gears” post ready to publish for today. But today’s WordPress prompt caught my attention. It asked, “What advice would you give to your teenage self?” The truth is this is a topic I already wanted to write a post about. So my other post will be saved for next week. Today, instead I will share some advice to my teenage self that I would give her.
Advice to My Teenage Self
Here is the main advice to my teenage self:
The very first advice I would give to my teenage self is to stop. I would tell myself to stop doing too much. Don’t sacrifice your mental and physical health for grades, popularity of anything. These things you’re crying and freaking out about right now are so insanely insignificant. It may seem like the end of the world but it’s really not even worth your time and energy.
The next thing I would say is, please set boundaries. With everyone. I have always been a bit of a pushover and a people pleaser. Setting boundaries is still really hard for me but I’m better at it. As a teenager, I was awful at boundaries. I would do things for people simply because they asked. And people would sometimes take advantage and use me because of this. I wish I had only spent my energy on those that deserved it. So, I would tell myself to set strong boundaries and save my time and energy for those people that deserved it. I think not having boundaries also made my depression and anxiety much worse. Like they were at their worst when I was a teenager.
Make Good Decisions
I made too many stupid decisions when I was a teenager. I’m sure most people can relate to that, lol. Teenagers are stupid most of the time. It is what it is. With the hormones, the physical and mental changes etc it’s hard to navigate your teen years. And I know that teenagers are actually very smart/intelligent especially these days. But it’s also insanely easy to make dumb decisions as a teenager that may ruin your life. So yes, younger Pooj, please make better decisions.
Cherish These Years
Lastly, I would say, cherish these years. Nothing is ever the same when you grow up. Your teenage years may seem like they’ll last forever. You may feel like you’ll always be this person. But you won’t and they certainly won’t. You grow up and you change. It is what it is. You’ll have less time for hobbies, friends, family and even your blog. So cherish this time. Make memories, do what you love and be happy instead of sulking in your room all day.
Conclusion And A Question For You
I have a very complicated relationship with my teenage self. A lot of it comes from who I was and who I am now. If you knew me as a high schooler you may not even recognise the person I’ve become now. A part of me feels like I sold out. I’m no longer the rebel with very specific causes. I’ve succumbed to many social norms I despised.
But at the same time I’m finally truly myself in so many ways. I think my teenage self would be so proud of this blog, of my writing endeavours and my eyebrows which are finally starting to grow back after I accidentally shaved them twice. Yes, that can happen…
Anyway, this was the advice I would give my teenage self. And now I have one question for you. What advice would you give your teenage self? Let me know in the comments below because I would absolutely love to hear your advice! Or simply stop by and say hi!
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167 thoughts on “Advice To My Teenage Self”
Make career choices based on your conviction and values, not likely remuneration and rewards – one message I usually incorporate when speaking to groups of young people.
That’s excellent advice for teenagers. Wish some had told me that.
Make business or job will kill your ideas and perspectives
Yeah I think a lot of people hate working for others.
I completely agree with the advice you’d give your teenage self and I feel like mine would be pretty much the same ahah! I would also tell myself to “think” a bit but apparently it’s normal to make dumb decisions when you’re a teenager because your brain is not fully formed yet… I guess I can use this as an excuse for my stupid choices back then ahah!
Thanks and I think many teens experience similar stuff so our advice is similar. Haha yes we were all making dumb decisions as teens!
I think people don’t emphasize with teens enough about setting boundaries, but also being kind about it. I really struggled because I never learned it. I hated every minute of my teen years and I wonder how much better it would have been if I had learned boundaries
I feel the same way, I wish I had know how to make boundaries back then.
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I like your blog much
Powerful write-up which should not be overlooked
Thank you so much.
Thank you so much.
The part about boundaries resonates particularly. Especially when it comes to taking ownership of others feelings or choices.
Thank you, that is exactly what I meant because I had a difficult time not blaming myself for things others did.
What would you advise your younger self on relationships
I think I would say “they don’t matter as much as you think they do, don’t settle for someone you don’t actually like.”
Also here is my advice to my teenage self
You don’t have to be perfect
Study in school to gain knowledge not only marks
It’s okay if you are not the coolest because when you will become adult you will realize how useless it was
Learn how to cook(atleast the basics)
Read books on finance
Learn as much skills as you can
Love your parents
Thanks and I really like the advice you shared too.
I am still technically a teenager but I would tell my younger self to slow down and just be happy. She’s never going to reach a place where everything is perfect and all the stars are aligned and she has no problems. She should enjoy her life now instead of romanticizing it when she looks back.
That’s good advice and I guess at least now you can do just that. I think that’s something I wish I could tell my teenage self too.
I would tell my younger self to follow my Grandpa Joe’s advice and become an actuary or an attorney.
Beautiful and honest
Thank you so much.
Pooja, this was very thorough and clearly stated. If “all time is now” I’m sure your Teenage Self heard every word and appreciated it! From my perspective trying to navigate my sixties as an Outrageous Older Woman, the advice I would give my own inner teen is to FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS. It sounds so cliche and of course when young you believe you will, and that you have all the time in the world. Well, I didn’t do it, and now I have less time left to get on with it! In youth and midlife I got very sidetracked with my own depression and anxiety but especially codependency–taking care of others. Some of it was a moral choice: I wasn’t going to abandon my special-needs daughter or my stroke-ridden husband. But a lot of it was and still is a mind-set, that somehow if only others will change or be happy, then I can be free, safe, and let loose to manifest those dreams into reality. Retired, I have so many more hours in a day now to contemplate my personal-spiritual growth and I can’t believe what a struggle it still is to be the real me. So…I wish I could access some of that teen gal’s verve and courage, her heart for the world and optimism for the future. I’ll keep trying. Bravo to you for answering this prompt, these are brave words we are all sharing!
Thank you so much. I do understand what you mean to an extent because I feel as though I have abandoned a few dreams as I grew up. I wish I had the courage of teenage me too. Thank you again for the comment and for sharing your story.
Why does it look like I wrote it? Hahaha. Kidding aside, this is pretty much what I like to tell my teenage self too.