Advice To My Teenage Self

Advice To My Teenage Self

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.

Set Boundaries

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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175 thoughts on “Advice To My Teenage Self

  1. All good points, Pooja. I would advise my teenage self to not drink as much as I did and more. Nobody can change time so we must move on. Great post. ❤️

  2. Those years can be so bittersweet, right? 🥹🥰 That’s a big question for me, but simply I would say “find a good mentor” and “get a math tutor, you can do this!” I hope you have some great memories from your teenage years, even though it can be a difficult time!

  3. Smile, don’t be so depressed all the time, think of these years as something special and wonderful, do more dumb things and go to church less LOL – this is what I would advice to my younger self.

  4. All these are good pieces of advice and worthy of serious consideration. Stopping oneself from being a part of a mad race, and setting up clear boundaries are essential to lead a normal, healthy life. Life is very precious and must not be squandered for the sake of fleeting fame or recognition. We must not let others to dictate our lives.
    Since all these points resonate with me, so my advice will almost be the same to my younger self.

  5. Yup, I can definitely relate to your advice. 😅

    I didn’t like who I was as a teenager. My main one would be respect my parents and don’t give them such a hard time. Specifically my mother. Secondly, would be don’t be involved doing things you shouldn’t be doing. Back then, what I saw as “fun & thrilling” was really toxic and not life giving. I’m glad God had mercy on me, because whew. 😭

  6. Ok, I must ask the obvious question first…how do you accidentally shave off your eyebrows once, much less twice?!! Mind boggling! For my teenage self, I would say, embrace who you are. You are so awesome, and if others don’t see that, that’s their issue, not yours. Also, I am very proud of you for being you in your later high school years. Those who truly knew you knew that you were sure of yourself and awesome to boot! I would say, I wish you had held onto more of that identity when you met and fell in love with your husband. Now that he is past, you are finally getting it back. Keep going!

    1. Lol it can happen. Eyebrows are tricky 😂

      That’s great advice and I am very happy to hear you’re finding yourself again. Be careful to protect the real you now and don’t let anyone make you feel like you need to change!

  7. Making good decisions decide your life path. I regret that if I was more mature I could have made better decisions in life.

    The other thing I learnt is that all you have is yourself. No one cares. There’s nothing in being selfish for yourself. Just try to be independent early in life so you can fulfill your dreams and you don’t have to be dependent on others.

    Also, peace of mind is important in life so distance yourself from people who are not good for your mental health.

  8. Great advise to yourself, Pooja.
    I always think it’s a pity we can not go back and do stuff differently.

    Never lose your identity as an individual. Once done, it’s almost impossible to find again.

    1. Very true, it’s important to be yourself no matter what.

      I wish, it would be so nice to be able to go back and make better decisions. Unfortunately, life isn’t that simple lol.

  9. I was also a pushover who struggled to set boundaries (did I even know what boundaries were?🤔) And I also spent way too much time worrying about the insignificant stuff so I can relate so much to your post. I think I’d also add: don’t let your shyness hold you back from trying new things and having fun.

  10. My advice to my teenage self: The world will not end due to an ice age, overpopulation, shortage of drinking water, or nuclear war by 2000. Get married, have kids, and save for retirement, plus all that Pooja G said.

  11. One advice that I would love to give my teenage self is beware of fake and manipulative people. They have sneaky ways to let down hard working people to gain favour for themselves. Everyone wants to progress in life but its just wrong to push other people down to rise up in rank.

  12. this post made me to come out with my own. not sure where the WordPress popping this prompt tho. i think I’m becoming rebel now than my teenage years. i could’ve been a rebel earlier.

      1. Sometimes I have nothing to say!!
        Also, my mood was off then 😝. I just wanted to participate.

        What you have become is a confident and inspiring woman. You have talked about your past in few other blogs of yours, but you overcome that with your determination.
        This is not just an advice by your to your younger self( not saying you are old now, Ms Gen Z), but this is an advice for every teenager. People get confused a lot about life and everything and they don’t even know what’s happening with them. This blog will guide them. 😁
        I love the idea, I would love to write a blog on this if you allow. 🙂

        1. Thanks! Hope you’re in a better mood now although it seems you are haha.
          I appreciate your kind words and yes definitely write a blog post on this topic if you feel like it. I would love to read yours as well.

          1. My mood fluctuates, but I am lifesfinewhiner for life, so let’s say your blog is a good healer.
            I won’t say what will I say to my teenage self, but if I see your teenage self, I would say to that girl that :
            “One day you will become the best blogger, so keep pushing hard”.

  13. It’s funny how as adults we think we know what is best for our teenage selves. It was my adult self which needed the help. So I would keep my mouth shut and let my teenage self experience her life as it was meant to unfold. I would tell her it’s going to be a wild ride and to embrace each moment.

    1. I definitely understand what you mean. But personally the things I hate about myself as an adult are usually the consequence of bad choices as a teen.

  14. I Like that Pooj.
    My advice to myself would be – do the same but more! Chances only come once – seize them all! Don’t allow fear of failure to hold you back. Go for it!

  15. This is an awesome idea, to see where the missteps happened and what we learn from them. Perspective is everything when dealing with our pasts.

    I might have to steal the idea from you 😉 is that cool?

  16. Your list of advice seems pretty complete to me, Pooja. I suppose I’d add that if I couldn’t cherish those teenage years, then making it through them was worth it to get to what comes next (which was true!).

  17. I would tell myself: Chioma, it gets better. Believe in yourself and have fun. I might sound crazy now but you will miss these crazy years soon.

  18. Dear teen Ib,
    Please be more confident in yourself. People think you’re snobby and proud because you don’t talk to them but they don’t know it’s really because you’re insecure and shy. Believe me, there’s nothing to be shy about. You have an amazing personality and the more you became confident in yourself, the more people saw that. You might no one wants to talk to you but they do, they’re also just shy😂 so GO FIRST
    And even if things don’t work out, it won’t even matter in a few days.
    Also, love yourself more girl. Stop waiting for people to love you.

      1. Like I wish I knew earlier 🥺
        I was so misunderstood 😭 people really thought I was proud when I was just shit scared

  19. You have provided great advice all of us would have loved to knew in our teenage years, I struggled with anxiety in my teenage years, so if I had it all to do again I would reach out for help instead of staying quiet as I did the first time

    1. Thank you. Yes, as someone who also has anxiety and struggled with it as a teen I think that’s would be good. If only we knew earlier to reach out.

  20. Forget about going to college: it might never happen. Forget about what others think about you: it doesn’t matter. Take care of yourself; stop neglecting yourself, your hygiene, overall needs, and mental health. Keep doing what you love and focusing on the things you care about. GET OFF KEPPRA! (seriously, it would change everything!) Maybe work on looking a bit more presentable.

  21. Really great post as always Pooja. Funnily enough my daughters asked me the same question just recently I said I would tell my younger self to invest in myself a lot more and never give up no matter what detractors may have to say you and I 100% agree we all need to cherish those years as they come and go so quickly. Also I think teenage you would be very proud of what you are achieving today.

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  23. I really feel that “setting boundaries” is not an easy thing to do. I have experienced being ridiculed for being too easy on something and too obtuse on something else; too soft to be taken advantage of or too tough to be frightening. Anyway, growing up in a narcissistic family has made it very difficult for me to understand the boundary issues. Also how to manage time and how to make good decisions. They are all uneasy questions and have no easy answers in my life. LOL. It is like a life time learning just try to be a little bit better one step at a time.

    1. True, setting boundaries is so complicated and quite difficult. Even after years of trying, I’m still not very good at it. Better than before but not great.

  24. Those are some good tips that you gave yourself. And it’s true, as a teenager we all thought we knew everything and the adult didn’t. As for me, I would tell my teenager self to be who you want to be but be respectful. Feel good about who you are and don’t feel that you need to please everyone. Love yourself and live a life without expectations.

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

    1. Thanks and I think many teens experience similar stuff so our advice is similar. Haha yes we were all making dumb decisions as teens!

  27. 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

    1. 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.”

  28. Great post

    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)

    Learn Coding

    Read books on finance

    Learn as much skills as you can

    Love your parents

  29. 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.

    1. 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.

  30. 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!

    1. 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.

  31. Good question!
    First I would tell myself to stop trying to prove anything to anyone. I too was a people pleaser in high school and was constantly trying to prove I belonged or was good enough. I would reassure myself of my worth and to not let anyone diminish my bright light. Also, speak up and don’t let people take advantage of you. Lastly, I would remind myself of the dangers of bad association. The girls I hung out with did nothing but get me in trouble. My mom used to read a scripture that spoke about that at Proverbs 13:20 “The one walking with the wise will become wise, But the one who has dealings with the stupid will fare badly.”
    That’s still good advice today!

  32. Oh. I finally found you! I wanted to thank you for posting the first like on my blog. So thank you for posting the first like on my blog!

    I like you would have set boundaries. It spilled into most of my adult life as well. I chose the wrong people to hang with and let them take advantage of me. Now that my life is nearing a close, I’m left alone with only regrets. Sorry. I wish I had something more upbeat to say. That’s another thing. I’m too honest.

    Great post! Lots of valuable advice here.

    1. You’re totally welcome and thank you for looking for my blog too!

      It’s not upbeat but it’s your experience in life and I appreciate you sharing it. I think I’m still a bit of a pushover but have gotten better at it.


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