Being a teenager is pretty tricky, whether you’re 13 and only just settling into high school, 16 and leaving high school or 19, like myself, working full time or in university. However old you are and no matter what you’re doing, being a teenager is pretty tough. So here is my A-Z guided of how to survive your teenage years.
A – Always be yourself. I know it’s pretty cliche but never try to be someone else. You might not be the most popular person, but never change who you are for someone else. If someone doesn’t like you for who you are then that’s their loss.
B – Be ready for the unexpected. Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs some of which are unexpected, but be ready for them. Know that whatever happens you can bounce back one way or another.
C – Caring. Always be caring. Whether it’s towards your family, your friends or even a stranger, being a caring person costs nothing. If you see someone crying in school, ask them if they need any help, if your mom seems down, ask her if she needs to talk.
D – Driven and determined. Stay driven always. Make yourself a goal and stick to it. Don’t give up, no matter how hard it may seem to reach, one day you’ll reach your goal because you were driven and determined to get there.
E –Enjoy every moment. Life is way too short to not enjoy it. It might not seem like it now because when my parents said it to me I laughed too, but your school years are the best years of your life. Spending every day with your friends, not worrying about paying bills and the money ins and outs, no full time work to contend with and honestly if I could, I’d love to live my school years again because they’re so much easier than now.
F –Friendships. Making friendships is a key part in anyone’s life. Remember those friends you make now are the group you’re associated with. If they misbehave you could be tarnished with the same brush and be looked down upon all because you got into a bad group. Yes, be friends with those people you like but also remember, they won’t be the people writing your references from school, they won’t be the ones paying you when you find a job. Don’t be a teachers pet, but remember teachers will see who you’re with and what you get up to, so choose a good bunch of friends who you can get on well with and have a laugh with but know where the limits are. If you choose a good group of friends, you could find yourself with friends for life.
G – Get prepared. Your teenage years are fun and you should enjoy them, however sometimes you need to prepare yourself for certain obstacles and situations. I know it’s boring, but revise for your exams, once you pass them and leave education whether it be at school, college or university level you probably won’t waste your time again on revision, but being prepared for an exam is important, don’t go in there knowing nothing, you’re not letting anyone down apart from yourself.
H – Honesty. Being honest is a key personality trait that people look for. Don’t lie to people, tell them the truth no matter what the consequence may be. Don’t tell a lie then have it on your conscience, this will probably lead to you stressing out and even not sleeping if the lie leads to other things regarding those involved.
I – Inspire others. Inspire younger people who look up to you to enjoy themselves and succeed in life. Don’t forget somewhere in this world someone looks up to you, whether it be a sibling, a distant relative or even people in school in years below you, set a good example and strive to succeed. If you fail, get back up and try again.
J – Join in and participate. You might not like sport or be very energetic, but why not join a sports club or a dance club or even a revision class? You might meet new friends, have time out of the house and who knows, you might even enjoy it!
K – Know your worth and don’t let your standards drop. You’re worth so much more than some people will try and tell you. Know your worth and don’t let anyone treat you worse than what you deserve. You’ve been put on this planet for a purpose, know your worth, know your purpose and don’t let your standards slip, not even slightly.
L –Loyalty. Be loyal. Be loyal to your friends, your family and those important to you. The person you are now is the person people will judge you by in the future. Loyalty is a key trait that many look for including future universities and employers.
M – Make memories. Life is all about memories. Don’t waste time sitting alone, go out, make friends, enjoy yourself and don’t waste any time doing nothing. You’re young, you have energy so go out and use it before you’re in a full time job and have no time to actually do the things you want to do.
N – Never give up. Another cliche one, however it’s important to remember. Things will be hard, things will stress you out and make you want to quit, however, keep going. Be positive and persevere because sooner or later you’ll succeed and it’ll feel even sweeter knowing you were challenged but never gave up.
O – Own up to your mistakes. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Don’t lie or try and blame it on someone else. You’ll gain a lot more respect from people if you can realise you’ve made a mistake and own up to it rather than lying to get yourself out of it. Everybody makes mistakes, we’re all human and nobody will expect you not to, so own up to it, make it right if you can and move on.
P – Plan ahead. In one respect you want to enjoy the moment you’re in, however sometimes you need to think ahead. No you probably won’t know what you want to do in 20 years time, but have some sort of idea so you can work towards it. Make a plan and even if you don’t stick to it at least you can gain experience. For example, if you plan to go to university, write down your achievements as and when they happen, so when it comes to your application you have it all there, even if you choose not to apply, at least you have your achievements for a CV for a job.
Q – Question things. Don’t sit in class not understanding something without asking questions, don’t be afraid of looking dumb, ask the questions you need to ask. The chances are if you don’t understand something then at least one other person in your class is probably in the same position.
R – Remain hopeful. Things will be tough, I won’t say they won’t, but smile and remain hopeful. One day things will work out exactly how they’re supposed to, just wait for it.
S – Say what you feel. I don’t mean tell your teachers you hate them at all, I mean if you like someone, tell them, yes they might not feel the same way, but at the same time they might and if you don’t tell them how you feel, they might never say how they feel and you could miss an opportunity to be happy.
T – Talking. I know this sounds like a silly idea, but a lot of teenagers shut themselves off from the outside world, don’t do that. Talk to your friends whenever you can. Leave your bedroom, go downstairs and talk to your family. Don’t lock yourself away, life is too short and by the time you realise that, it could be too late.
U – Understanding. If your parents say they can’t give you money to go shopping this week, be understanding. Realise that they work hard for their money but on payday probably 50% or more will have already been spent on bills to keep a roof over your head, heat in the house, running water and electricity to keep your phone charged. They love you but sometimes a little bit of understanding doesn’t go a miss.
V –Vigilant. There will always be people in this world who don’t want to see you succeed, be vigilant of those people and stay well clear. Don’t let those people come too close because life is hard enough without those kind of people surrounding you.
W – Work hard. I don’t want to sound like a nagging parent, but when you’re in school, yes enjoy yourself, yes mess around a little, but at the end of it all knuckle down and focus. The results you get in school will be carried with you for the rest of your life. And in today’s day and age, exam results are becoming more important if you plan to make something out of yourself.
X –Xenodochial. A strange word, however it means to be kind to strangers. If you see a little old lady struggling with her shopping bag, ask her if she’d like any help. If you see someone drop something, pick it up and give it back to them or something simple like if someone holds a door open for you smile and say thank you. It doesn’t take a lot to be kind, but you could make someone’s day better, simply by being a nice person.
Y –Your actions now shape your life forever. Make wise choices and don’t be led astray, the things you do and say now could change your future forever, good or bad. Make a better future for yourself by making the right choices now.
Z – Zero second chances. You only get one chance at life, don’t waste it. Enjoy it and never take your life for granted. Being a teenager is an enjoyable part of anyone’s life, it might not seem like it now, but if you don’t live it to the full whilst you can, it’ll be too late and you’ll regret wasting the best days off your life.
I would like to thank my boyfriend Ash for helping me think of some of these ideas. Some of these ideas are not only aimed at teenagers, probably anyone can relate to them. I really hope one or more of these ideas help you in some way because life is not easy but it definitely is worth it when you succeed and enjoy yourself.
Thank you for reading!