I woke up one day and realized that what happened to me during my younger years, particularly the lessons learned from my teenage self, have been instrumental in shaping the person that I have become today. Teenage years were awkward and marred with various personal and social issues, but it was also during this life stage that I became stronger. Here are seven of the lessons learned from my teenage self and why I am more than thankful that I survived that difficult stage:
1. First Love Dies
If I come face-to-face with my 15-year-old self, I'll surely slap her for almost giving up honor roll for that guy who can't even write a good sentence in English. Okay, I'm too harsh. But does anyone out there get what I mean? One of the lessons learned from my teenage self is to accept the fact that your first love may not be your last. It's painful in the short term but if it does you more harm than good, then let go.
2. Pimples Come and Go; so do Friends
Most of them leave scars when they go, especially the ones that have stayed longer. Scars aren't beautiful but they serve as reminders of those people and events that you encountered that contributed to your personal and professional development. Life is tough but that's life; either you wallow in self pity or face each new day on a fresh, clean slate.
3. Good Grades Pay off
At some point in my high school life, I thought that getting good grades was preventing me from having cool friends. Good thing I did not fall into the trap of giving up the good grades in exchange for fame and popularity. Trust me, it's easier to transition from high school to college when you have good grades. If people don't want to be your friend because you are smart, then something is fundamentally wrong with them.
4. Mean Girls Are Everywhere
And there are mean boys too. Generally, they are called bullies. They are unkind, nasty, and insensitive. They make teenage life harder. They make life miserable. So, buckle up, toughen up, woman up. It's going to be a long ride.
5. Good Music Makes the World Go round
My high school days happened in the '90s, back when boy bands were the "in" thing. My classmates had cassette tapes of the Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, Westlife, and A1 to name a few. While I had a couple of CDs of the Backstreet Boys because my father was a big fan of the group, I was mostly exposed to the music of The Carpenters, ABBA, England Dan and John Ford Coley, a couple of Filipino songs, Bread, and Air Supply. While I wasn't the coolest kid, I am now thankful of that exposure. The songs I was exposed to spoke of love, survival, and friendship, all written with great lyrics and wonderful melodies.
6. I'm Not JUST My Hair
India Arie's song came to mind when I wrote this point. I had messy hair in high school. I envied my classmates who had shiny black hair. Mine was like barbed wire and it didn't help that I had classmates who teased me because of my hair. So instead of minding them all the time, I focused my attention on studying. I got really good grades and made it on top.
7. You Can't Please Everybody
There will always be people who talk ill about you. In fact, there are many of them. They multiply especially when you become more successful. Do not try to please everybody. You are not their court jester. As long as you are not hurting anyone, feel free to go on with life with a smile on your face.
How about you? Any lessons you learned from your teenage self?