People Shared The One Piece of Advice They Wish They’d Had As a Teenager

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Studies show that the rational part of the human brain isn’t completely developed until the age of 25. That means until your mid-twenties, you’re basically doing the best you can by making decisions based on emotions, impulses, and whatever cocktail of hormones your body has decided on for the day. It’s really no wonder kids make so many mistakes—I mean, we’re allowed to drink, smoke, and join the military roughly half a decade before our brains have even reached adulthood.

Life is hard during those teenage years for lots of reasons. You’re expected to make decisions that will affect your entire life—where you’ll go to college, what kind of work you want to do, and more—with zero life experience and, likely, a ton of self-doubt.

Hindsight is 20/20, and once you get past your teens there’s a good chance you’ll have a long list of things you wish you’d done differently. But what if you could go back in time and share those life lessons with your teenage self? These are some of the most important pieces of advice people said they’d give themselves as teenagers. As if teens care about anything adults have to say anyway.

It’s practically impossible to get through your teens without a few mistakes.

With the benefit of experience, it’s easy to look back and see how you could’ve done things differently for a better outcome.

What if you could go back and actually give your teen self all the lessons you’ve learned since then?

Like how to manage money for the future instead of spending it on frivolous, forgettable purchases.

Or the importance of skincare.

Not just those hydrating masks and expensive face oils either. Good old fashioned sunscreen will do more good than you know and it’s totally worth the weird smell.

The last thing most teens want to do is hang out with their parents.

Even though they may not realize it, those relationships are probably the ones they’ll treasure the most when they get past all that hormonal rebellion.

Without the benefit of experience, distinguishing right from wrong is a little more complicated.

But making sure to never take the easy way out is a solid ethical code to live by.

Some advice is… very specific…

It feels like this is related to something very particular, but you never know who might need to hear it!

Other insights are universal.

Especially with the rise of websites hungry for personal user data, checking the fine print is one way to ensure you don’t get taken advantage of.

Then there are the classics.

If the grammar in this tweet isn’t meant to be tongue-in-cheek, I understand why they wish they’d done their homework.

School is important, but it doesn’t define you.

Taking education seriously will set you up for success, but don’t drive yourself crazy over a grade point average.

Plus, some classes are useless anyway.

Really hope my Algebra teacher doesn’t see this. I don’t miss polynomials, sorry not sorry!

Because even though it might seem like everything in your teens, high school is temporary.

A lot of the moments that seemed absolutely crucial will soon be a distant memory.

Even though it’s, like, totally uncool to show emotion in your teens, it might actually make you feel great.

The sooner you’re comfortable expressing love, the happier and healthier your relationships will be.

Look, there might be some fashion casualties.

If only I could go back in time to tell myself skirts don’t belong over bell bottom jeans…

But don’t let anyone stop you from living your truth.

Even if your “truth” includes knee-high Converse sneakers and glitter temporary tattoos… anyone else?

No fashion faux pas is worse than this mistake.

Counterpoint, every party is a costume party if you’re not afraid to have some fun.

No matter what happens, you are not your mistakes.

It can be harder to be proud of our good moments than to forgive ourselves for the not-so-good ones, but those missteps don’t last forever.

Every mistake is an opportunity to grow.

Even the worst moments of your life are ultimately temporary. Taking things in stride and moving on makes life that much easier.

It’s okay if you need time to figure things out.

Remember that whole thing about your brain not being done until you’re 25? Take your time, and give yourself a break.

Being cool might be priority #1 in your teen years.

But your social standing in high school stops being important as soon as you graduate. In fact, it was never really that important at all.

You should be your only real priority.

The path to success and growth begins with accepting yourself where you are.

That means loving yourself through the tough times, too.

Unfortunately, life isn’t always fair. Knowing how to handle disappointment makes everything a lot easier.

Moving on confidently can save you a lot of heartache.

Knowing your worth makes it pretty much impossible to accept anything else.

Sure, actually moving on may not always be easy.

But your teens and young adult years are all about meeting new people, and deciding what you are and are not willing to compromise on in a relationship.

Ultimately, everything will turn out okay.

Life is full of both beauty and tragedy, good and bad, easy and hard moments. Figuring out how to roll with the punches is the secret to maintaining through it all.

Finding the things that bring you joy is key to developing that inner peace.

Living to work is hardly living at all.

You decide your value.

And it’s not based on how other people treat you. Your personal worth is all about the way that you see yourself.

There’s strength in being vulnerable.

Honoring your emotions by feeling them without shame isn’t embarrassing, it’s key to your mental health.

Yeah, those teen years are undeniably rough.

But looking back as an adult, you realize things weren’t nearly as bad as you thought. No rent, bills, crucial responsibilities, or a crushing sense daunting mortality? Being a teen’s not all bad!

Make the most of those years while you can.

Stay up late, try everything, make a fool of yourself, and eat pizza whenever it’s available.

Because you won’t be a teen forever.

Ultimately, gaining the life experience that comes from working through mistakes is what the teenage years are for. How else do you think these guys learned all this advice?