Adults Shared More Things They Think Every Teen Should Know, And TBH, It's Incredible
"College isn’t for everyone..."
So with that in mind, here are EVEN MORE genuine nuggets of wisdom that can truly benefit teens (and, also, adults):
1. "Not everybody has a 'passion,' and that’s okay. It’s okay to have a job that you like just enough to keep you paid, and have things you enjoy doing outside of it and people that you like."
2. "Try not to deal with all of your problems on your own. Sometimes it's hard opening up to friends or family about what is going on with you, and you might feel like nobody cares, but people DO care, and just talking about it can help a lot!"
3. "If you fall down, loudly pass gas, snort while you're laughing, or do anything else you consider mortifying — just laugh it off. It's not like other people don't sometimes do those things too, and it's no reason to get upset!"
5. "Foster parent here. I have had several teens over the years who were kicked out of their family of origin because of sexual or gender identity. Having seen firsthand how painful that is for teens, I would say this:
"Who you are is not only okay but amazing and exactly who you were meant to be — whether you're gay, straight, bi, pan, trans, or anywhere else on the LGBTQ spectrum. You should surround yourself with as many people as you can who support and embrace who you are and make you feel loved, even if you have to look around to find them.
"Also, if it's not safe or healthy for you to be out and proud at home right now, know that you are doing what you have to do to get by in the situation, and that's NOT your fault. When you get older and have more freedom to be yourself and express yourself independently, it gets so much better, so don't give up, and don't let ANYBODY make you feel less than!"
6. "College isn’t for everyone. It’s so emphasized as being 'the next step' in American culture, but that doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY step. Community colleges are a great option if you're not sure what you want to pursue yet; if you don’t like academia at all, trades are also a great option."
7. "We all have our own timeline. It’s fine to set dates to complete tasks, but don’t worry about completing college, getting married, and buying a house all by a certain age because you’ve been told that’s what you’re 'supposed' to do. There is no expiration date to find love or change your career."
8. "If you create something that you think is amazing but it doesn’t win a contest or receive the recognition you know it should have — don’t destroy it. Box it up, label it, and put it away.
"The only thing I regret in my life is destroying the blueprints I created for a drama-club homecoming float after the cheerleaders-standing-on-someone’s-sailboat won the float contest instead. Twenty-five years later, it bothers me all the time."
9. "You WILL get over that person who doesn't love you back. It might not feel like it right now, but one day they'll be a distant memory and you'll be happy without them."
10. "Getting a pet is not 'practice' for — or anything remotely like — having a baby. Just...remember that. "
11. "Everyone gets asked at one point or another, 'If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?' Well, I use this as a litmus test for everything in my life, from people to decision-making to conflict. Basically, only you can decide for you. Never give someone else that power, but also, never try to take that power from them."
12. "As you get older, don't take your parents for granted. Answer their calls — you'll miss them when they are gone."
14. "If your vehicle doesn't automatically lock its doors when it shuts, lock the doors the SECOND you close the door. That way, no one can get into your vehicle while you're distracted. Same with your home — as soon as you are inside, lock the door behind you."
15. "Take care of your teeth! Dental insurance sucks, and it only really covers preventive things."
16. "My dad always told us this: 'If you hate your job, it’s easier to find a job when you have a job.' So basically, don't quit a job without another one lined up — even if you hate it. This way, you can still pay your bills AND it affords you the chance to be able to wait until something really good comes along."
17. "It’s great to have a plan, but it's even better to have a plan (or plans) for when that initial plan doesn’t work out."
18. "It might take some time to find real friends who actually 'get' you. Just because that hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean you are weird or unworthy of friendship. Keep looking, and don’t settle for a fair-weather friendship!"
19. "Take photos. Lots of them. And no, I don’t mean just selfies. Take photos of your friends, of the people you love, and of the places that are important to you. Even little things that might not seem that important now (like your favorite stuffed animal or T-shirt) — if you love it, document it. You’ll be glad you did."
20. "Struggling to learn something doesn't mean you're stupid. Struggle means you're learning. And alternatively, if everything is coming too easy, you're not a super genius, you're just not being challenged in line with your capacity to learn."
21. "Learn to use 'I' statements in arguments or difficult conversations. Say things like, 'When X-Y-Z happened, I felt X-Y-Z way,' or 'I am worried about X-Y-Z, so I hope we can work on a solution together.' Avoid blaming other people, even if they're in the wrong. When you blame people, they tend to just shut down."
22. "I didn't come up with this, but I loved it so much when I heard it that I now share it with everyone I meet: 'Don't take criticism from someone you wouldn't take advice from.'"
23. "If you go on a date with someone you met on an app, please be sure to share your location with someone you trust who can bail you out or come pick you up at the drop of a hat if things go south."
24. "ASK QUESTIONS! Especially of people older than you. Your experiences and theirs may seem different, but it can't hurt to get another perspective. Ask. Learn. Pass it on."
25. "It's absolutely OKAY to be a virgin. Seriously. Do not have sex until you're ready. Alternatively, it's also okay to be sexually active, as long as YOU'RE READY. Whatever you choose to do, just be safe."
26. "Failing isn't just 'okay,' it's necessary. Failure is the biggest teacher, and the first step toward learning and growing."