Teenagers may feel they have their lives figured out after getting into college. But adulthood is one of those things that doesn’t meet your expectations, no matter how much you prepare for it. Nonetheless, here are ten realities every teenager should know about.
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1. The “School of Life” Is More Important Than School Itself
Hey, don’t get me wrong. Acing those exams and getting good grades matters, but remember that life isn’t confined to your classroom walls. Embrace opportunities to learn from experiences, take risks, and make mistakes. “You learn from those mistakes,” says a contributor. Life’s most valuable lessons are often taught outside the curriculum.
2. Failure Is Not Your Arch-Nemesis; It’s Your Sidekick
Did you just fail that math test you studied so hard for? Welcome to the club! Failure is an inevitable part of life. Instead of sulking, learn from your mistakes, get back on your feet, and try again. According to a contributor, “…you can fail, and you will. Learn from it and do better.” The road to success is paved with potholes, so make friends with failure — it’s a great teacher.
3. You’re Not the Center of the Universe
The world doesn’t revolve around you alone. Teenagers often have a knack for thinking that everyone’s world revolves around them. Newsflash: it doesn’t. Show empathy, listen to others, and understand that the world is full of diverse perspectives. Don’t be a self-absorbed black hole — be a shining star that brightens the lives of those around you.
4. Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees
Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Forget about those fictional stories you might’ve been told about The Money Tree. Don’t think you can stretch your hands up to any money tree and pluck some of it. Learn about personal finance, budgeting, and saving. Being responsible with your money will prevent you from being a broke college student living on instant noodles.
5. Embrace Change Like It’s a Trendy Fashion Accessory
Life is a whirlwind of unexpected twists and turns. Even perfect things can become something else tomorrow. What makes you wiser is embracing change and adapting to new situations at all costs. It might be difficult at times, but it’s possible. Don’t fear the unknown; welcome it with open arms and a brave heart. Adaptability is critical to survival in the real world. So go on, be like a chameleon, and rock that ever-changing environment.
6. Relationships Come in All Shapes and Sizes
As a teenager, relationships may be a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Friendships, romantic relationships, and family dynamics can be complicated. Some contributors share their varying dynamics of family and romantic relationships, some seeming very rosy and beautiful, others like a regret.
As teens, you should be able to cherish the genuine connections you make but also remember that some friendships may fade away, and that’s okay. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you.
7. The Internet Never Forgets
Think twice before hitting that “post” button on social media. The internet has a memory longer than a mammoth’s tusks. Be mindful of your digital footprint because potential employers and colleges might lurk in the virtual shadows; you just don’t know it. Be kind, be responsible, and be aware that whatever you put out there may come back to haunt you much later.
8. Your Parents Are Humans Too
Believe it or not, your parents were once teenagers too. They may seem like superheroes or annoying overlords, but they’re just trying to figure things out like you are. Cut them some slack, communicate openly, and appreciate their guidance (even if it drives you nuts). They’ve been around the block a few more times than you have.
9. Self-Care Is Not Selfishness
You may think you’re invincible, but trust me, even superheroes need a break. Take care of your physical and mental well-being. Practice self-care by getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising, and nurturing your passions. Don’t be afraid to seek help when needed — taking care of yourself is not selfish; it’s essential.
Take it from a commenter: “Yes, when you are 20, you are bulletproof, you might as well be made of rubber with how you can shrug off injuries, but your 40-year-old self will hate your 20-year-old self if you screw up your knees or back.”
10. The World Is Your Oyster, but You Gotta Shuck It Yourself
In this vast and wondrous world, opportunities won’t just fall into your lap. You must be proactive, take initiative, and work hard to achieve your goals. Dream big, set ambitious goals, roll up your sleeves, and get to work. The world awaits your unique talents and contributions, so go out there and make your mark. Stop looking for excuses because you’ll always find them.
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