10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self

When I turned 20 last year, someone commented on twitter saying that I could now use the phrase “during my time..” in conversations. Being officially on the ‘other side’ for more than a year, I don’t quite remember my teenage years as well as I thought I would. Surprisingly, for me, the times filled with sadness and depression are more clear in my mind than the happy times.

I cannot label my teenage self. I guess I was a little bit of everything. I was very average, normal and somehow just ‘fit-in’. If I had a chance to go back in time and fix things – like broken friendships – I probably would. But sadly, I can’t. I’ve gotten past the stage to even feel miserable about these things now. One major advice I would have given my teenage self was to be confident of who I was. As a young girl, I wasn’t very outstanding and confident. I admired other girls who were “out there” – grabbing opportunities and achieving things. I was always the second option at most of these things. A replacement for another artist at representing my school at a painting competition. I was a good artist – but not the best. I never got selected for any major event – I desperately wanted to be a part of the MUN and debate team. Sadly the teachers thought I wasn’t worthy of this. School was sometimes very demeaning for me. Anyway, all this changed in college and I can’t be more happy about it. The thing is, in college, we get to take decisions for ourselves, teachers don’t.

10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self –

1. Be confident about who you are. You are no less or greater than anyone else. Don’t be afraid to present yourself to others. Be proud of your accomplishments, however small or insignificant they seem to be. They are going to boost your confidence for bigger things in life later on. There is absolutely no use in comparing yourself to your peers.

2. Don’t be afraid to fall in love. Accept love as any other human feeling and be okay with it. Love isn’t a magical fantasied experience as how Disney shows it to be. It is beautiful and great, yes, but don’t exaggerate the boundaries of the feeling.

3. Talk to your parents more often. Get to know them. Be open and honest with them. The bond that you form now will determine the one that you have in the future. Make it easier at this age, so that it doesn’t have to be awkward and odd later in life.

4. Build your stamina, exercise regularly, take care of your body. Make it a practice. We tend to realize the importance of being healthy only later in life. It’s not really about having a good physique. It’s about being healthy and active. Learn what’s good for your body and how you react to different situations.

5. Hang on to close friends. True friendship is hard to find and it takes efforts from both sides. Have friends who like you for who you are. That being said, know that it is okay to drift apart… What matters is that you both acknowledge your friendship even after many years. They are truly your friends.

6. You can be anyone you want to be. It may seem like you have very limited options in front of you for your future. But really, there are going to be many many more options ahead of you. Choose wisely.

7. Talk to more people, all kinds of people. Make connections. Build bonds. Every person has something to offer that you can learn from. This is going to open your mind to many new possibilities. Know their stories, it will help you in creating your own. You will learn more from other people than from books and lectures. Have your own opinions in conversations. Have plenty conversations.

8. Do the things that you love more often. Interests may change frequently, but stick to one thing and excel at it. It may take you a lifetime, and that’s okay.

9. Be Proactive. I cannot stress upon this more. Take decisions – even if they fail – and make things happen by yourself. Learning to be independent and responsible is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

10. Don’t worry, just be happy! Things may seem confusing and bitter now. It won’t get any better later (sometimes it may), so learn to cherish what you have and just enjoy the days! :)

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19 thoughts on “10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self

  1. This is a beautiful post. Every point has weight and there is optimism in your tone. Glad you’ve thought of these things and articulated them. :)

  2. Very well compiled, Priya! I think we can very well tell this to just about anyone till the age of 30 or so. I am seeing more and more bloggers writing self introspection blog posts these days! :)

    Oh btw, I finally visited Bangalore for the first time ever last weekend ;)

    • Thank You! You’re right. This would hold good for even the post 20 age.
      Many bloggers are writing self introspection posts is it? I didn’t know that! Good for them :D

      How did you like Bangalore?! What did you see and do?! Hope you had a nice time.

      • Oh Bangalore is a really nice place, and has gifted weather! Had to meet 3 different groups of friends and family, so was busy with them. Could not explore the city as such! Hopefully will be able to do that and maybe also catch up with you the next time.

    • Thanks Rahul. Well, to an extent I was pretty outgoing. I was the captain of my house and everything. But these weren’t the only things I wanted at that time. I don’t know. When I look back, I only see what I didn’t do, than what I did!

  3. Nice one Priya .. I still feel the effects of a Teenage hangover .. never really came out of it :P :P

    But yeah .. I have started using the phrase “Those were the days” and “In our times” .. :P :P

  4. You seem to have a great drive towards wanting and achieving. Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ6eTcL4iGg

    If I were to make such a list: I’ll tell myself that my academics will only keep plummeting until I remain a student, and really there was no need to work at it. Reading novels and watching movies would come in more handy. I’ll also tell myself to keep quiet and observe instead of letting my energy out doing a very despise worthy form of comedy. I did not want to achieve things then and I don’t want to achieve things now. (Not in the societal sense, at least.) As far as love is concerned, I’d ask myself to open my eyes to the whole class and not just one or two good looking ones.

    Anyway, good to see you back to blogging.

  5. Words of wisdom that I fully agree with. And FYI, the quality of your posts has increased phenomenally over the years. Love what you write even more now.

  6. Oh, teenage is an interesting time, isn’t it? Somehow even the smallest things just bother you so much when you’re a teenager. A friend who ditched, an argument with parents, and what not.

    Having been on the other side of things for about 2 years now, I guess I can say I wish I was more chilled out when I was a teenager. I was sad, always worried. There was so much I wanted to do, but never could. I guess that’s something I would tell my teenaged self – Regret is a bitch, so do what you really want to do, because later, that chance would probably never come back.

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