20 Things I’d Tell My Teenage Self

Contrary to common perception that I’m Little Miss Goody Two-Shoes, I’m actually quite the opposite. I had my fair share of defiance when I was a teenager, and it’s an essential part of who and what I am today. My form of rebellion wasn’t all-hate-and-grunge type. I found liberty in going slightly against my parents’ rules, and basically learned the hard way. I did nothing too extreme (i.e., vices), but you can say that I was the problem child back in the day.

I’ve come up with a list of things I’d tell my teenage self (y’know, just in case I get the chance to meet her in another lifetime). I tried to limit myself to only 20 things, so I have more to tell my younger self in the coming years… Here you go; amuse yourselves:

  1. Stay the fudge away from razors. Mom didn’t warn you for no reason.
  2. Borrowing your friend’s extra mobile phone when yours is confiscated and you’re grounded. Who do you think you’re fooling?
  3. Don’t feel bad about not being able to go to any of your friends’ out-of-town trips. Your first time ever will be one epic experience.
  4. Take it easy on shopping for clothes and shoes you won’t probably even wear twice.
  5. You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully.
  6. Whoever introduced you to chemical hair straightening isn’t your friend (just kidding). Seriously, coloring your hair several shades lighter is already damaging enough.
  7. Don’t take your PT sessions for granted. This could’ve added an inch or two to your height.
  8. For heaven’s sake, go to all your ortho-dental appointments. You don’t just go whenever a bracket fell off. Wearing braces for 10 years isn’t normal.
  9. Be comfortable in your own skin, but learn to live an active lifestyle. Don’t stop swimming. Exercise, eat well, and live well. Your older self will thank you later.
  10. Your first, second, even third boyfriend won’t be your last. Don’t invest too much time and emotion in a relationship, especially when you tell yourself that school is your top priority. School and boyfriend don’t go well together. (Side Note: No offense to those who married their first love! You, two, are truly made for each other.)
  11. You’ll marry the person you and your family (particularly Mom) least expected.
  12. Cutting classes are only fun while it lasted. Was it cool adding an entire academic year to your presumed 5-year degree?
  13. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t dwell on them.
  14. Forgive others, but also learn to forgive yourself.
  15. Quit antagonizing your mother. Don’t wait until you’re married (and a mom yourself) to value her worth.
  16. Take every advice you’ll ever hear with a grain of salt.
  17. Technology is cool, but playing SCRABBLE with the family remains absolutely the best.
  18. Keep reading. Keep writing.
  19. You’re smarter than you think. Use your brain wisely.
  20. Just what benefit do you get from second-guessing yourself?

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