This week, a Reddit thread asked parents, "What's something that you think teenagers need to hear?" The thread quickly went viral, as thousands and thousands of people started chiming in with their own wisdom to share.
And so, without further ado, here are some things that teenagers should probably hear right about now:
1. "Learn to say no. If a request makes you uncomfortable, you can always say no. Even if it's to family or friends. It's healthy to set boundaries — and learn to respect other people's, too."
2. "Don't let your emotions dictate your choices."
3. "If your parents are good people, you should try talking to them about your problems. Don't let embarassment get in the way."
4. "It's OK to take some time to take care of your mental health, nobody will hate you for it."
5. "Your parents are flawed people, too. They are trying their best, but will still make mistakes."
6. "Delete your internet profiles every few years. Your boss in five years does not want to see your shit from today, and we all post dumb shit."
7. "Cliques and high school mentality exist forever. Some people just never grow up."
8. "When they say don’t do drugs until your brain is fully developed, there’s a reason, and you should listen."
9. "A lot of people try to glamorize high school and make you think your high school years are the best years of your life. For a lot of people, this just isn't true. It's OK not to like high school or to feel like you don't belong. You are not alone. It gets better."
10. "Once you're 11 or 12 years old, you need to take daily showers, change your shirt, socks, and underwear, and wear deodorant every day."
11. "Build good health habits now. If you're not already active, find a simple active hobby you can do. The healthier you are as a teen, the easier it is to stay healthy as an adult."
12. "Don't emulate celebrities and 'influencers.' Be your own person."
13. "It's OK to not have a plan yet."
14. "There are lots of paths to a successful happy life, not just the one that involves straight A's and Ivy League or other top colleges."
15. "Procrastinating is like masturbating. You are only fucking yourself."
16. "WEAR SUNSCREEN. It’s crazy how my friends who didn’t wear sunscreen all have wrinkles and look much older than they are."
17. "There's nothing wrong with not liking to talk to people, as long as you're friendly. Don't force yourself to be talkative just because others want you to be."
18. "Your body parts won't all grow at the same speed. Don't panic — everything will probably even out."
19. "Go ahead and be rebellious, it's part of growing up. But please be safe while you are doing it! Use the condom, don't depend on your date for transportation until you know them, tell someone where you are so we know how to get to you in an emergency, keep your phone charged, and ask for help if needed."
20. "You can do the stupid stuff you WANT to do, IF you do the things you HAVE to do first. Wanna smoke joints under the bleachers? Cool, do your homework first."
21. "It's perfectly normal to be shit at something the first time you try it. No one is an expert at something without having put in the effort, time, and patience — despite what you might believe from social media."
22. "Sometimes life just sucks, and it feels like it will never get better, but the suckiness is temporary. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but maybe there is a bend in the path that is keeping the light from you."
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.