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19 Life Lessons To Become Your Teenage Dream

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

When I was at the Olivia Rodrigo concert a few weeks ago in Austin, I couldn’t help but feel incredibly connected to her performance of “teenage dream.” As she sung about her guilt, sadness and questions surrounding growing up, I quickly realized that I’d be turning 19 soon. 

I never gave much thought to the age. The only thing I would hear were horror stories of how girls are cursed at that age, but besides that, what does 19 even bring? It’s a bland age to me right now, but it just seems like a limbo year between the ages of 18 and 20. 

A large majority of my teen years were spent in my head and secluded to what I thought I had to settle for. That all changed when I started being who I wanted to be and doing the things I never thought I’d have the liberty to do. The past three years of my life were truly the best and worst of times. I had never gone through such hardships while having immeasurable amounts of fun as well. I think that sentence alone defines what being a teenager is like. It’s definitely a rough time for sure, but I know I made lasting memories that I’m going to remember for a really long time. 

And while me finally mustering up the courage to go after things and make mistakes is awesome, I just want to share some notable lessons that my 19 years of life have taught me. 

  1. Don’t ever lower your standards for anybody. 

The people who deserve to be in your life will find you eventually. You shouldn’t be taking half-assed effort and actions from anyone. Don’t just let anyone into your life. 

  1. Don’t let someone wrong you twice. 

I’m all for second chances, but after that, those mistakes are choices. Learn to respect yourself and understand that you deserve better no matter what. 

  1. Friends come and go.

People are going to change and life definitely gets in the way, but everyone that is meant to stay in your life will stay. Just know that whatever leaves was always supposed to go. 

  1. If they like you, you’ll know it.

Don’t waste your time second guessing the smallest actions of your love interest. If there’s even a part of you that considers some of their actions to be questionable, there’s a high chance that they don’t like you. Remember that it should be easy, not stressful and anxiety inducing when you’re with them. 

  1. Negative thoughts aren’t real and ultimately lead to nothing.

Thinking horrible thoughts is inevitable, but you have to realize that they are completely untrue and made up by being in your own head. You’re going to drive yourself crazy if you keep at it. 

  1. Stop trying to grow up so fast. 

One day you’re going to wake up and wish that you could go back to the nostalgic times where your biggest worry was probably not getting to the swings first for recess. Cherish your youth and freedom of having minimal responsibilities and close proximity to the people you really care about. 

  1. Invest in experiences and your appearance.

I’ve always believed the best things to spend your money on are going to be lasting memories (like amusement parks, concerts, trips, etc.) and items that enhance your appearance (staple items in your closet, perfume, makeup, skincare, haircare, jewelry, all of that good stuff). 

  1. Get a job while in school.

It’s so beneficial to build your resume early on with starter jobs, plus you can start making your own money and spend it on the things you want. Eventually, you’ll also learn that what you spent your money on initially was kind of useless and you’ll manage your spending habits better. It also really boosts your time management skills and you get to meet a lot of cool, different people (like how I met my boyfriend !!!)

  1. Friendships are just as important as relationships

You have to learn how to balance your friends with your significant other. Don’t be that person that completely disappears once they’re in a relationship, that’s incredibly lame. Your best friends deserve time too, don’t ditch them or be any less of a friend to them.

  1. Your parent’s always mean well

All they want is what’s best for you, they were young once too and have most likely been through some of the same struggles you could be facing. Learn to look at things from their perspectives and understand that they are human too. Do your best to communicate and be honest with them, trust me. 

  1. Stop being afraid to be alone or do things alone

Being alone is pretty amazing and peaceful because you don’t have to expend energy to anyone else. Going to eat, taking a walk, shopping, even going to concerts or football games alone (like I have) feels really empowering once it’s all over. It just feels good and maybe you end up meeting cool people that you connect with (like I also have).

  1. Communicate honestly with those close to you.

I truly believe that honesty is always going to lead you to the place where you’re supposed to be. I’m honest with everyone in my life, even more so with my inner circle, and that’s how I know those are the people that are going to stick around and deserve to because we’ve built that trust and bond with open and honest communication. If you can’t communicate with someone honestly then something is wrong. At the end of the day, communication goes both ways and it’s all about respect. 

  1. Take pictures and save them.

I always really wish I hadn’t deleted my Snapchat account from middle school because I had so many memories on there, so I really urge you to take photos, print them, own a camera, start an album and just conserve as much of your life as possible. Also, save the photos associated with bad memories or even people too because in 30 years it’s going to be something nostalgic to look back on from your youth. 

  1. Take pride in the things that you love and enjoy.

There’s so many people out there just hating and thinking their tastes are superior which I find incredibly stupid and lame. Everyone likes different things and the things that you love make you who you are. It’s so fun to forget about what others say and just boast and fangirl to all of your fun little interests. Anyone who makes you feel otherwise, is not your type of person. 

  1. Have one consistent hobby.

You’re going to want something to do in your free time besides scrolling through your phone and wasting time. Find something that you enjoy and keep up with it. My thing is writing (shocker), but more specifically poetry. I have also been journaling since 2018 as an outlet and a form of memory keeping. 

  1. No one has to know your business. 

You don’t have to be friends with everyone, and even if you know a lot of people, not all of them need to know the gritty details of your life. I can assure you, you’re not that close with a majority of them. My inner circle consists of my family, guy best friends, two longest friendships and my boyfriend. Don’t feel forced or even bad to make people’s place in your life known. Everyone has their boundaries.

  1. Don’t be easily influenced by others. 

The word “no” is there for a reason, so use it. It’s scary at first, but you shouldn’t allow yourself to be used in any way, or influenced to do things that you don’t want to do. People who don’t respect that aren’t your people. You can always make your own choices, and like I said earlier, everyone has their boundaries, so have yours. 

  1. Stop stressing and worrying over your academics

It takes some understanding, but it usually all works out in the end. You’re going to find your way, people will be willing to help you, just reach out. It’s really not that serious at the end of the day. Just do your best, but don’t waste your life just stressing out over some insignificant assignment or a low grade. Trust me, you’ll be fine. 

  1. It gets better.

It honestly really does, you just have to live day by day and take your time. You will live and you will learn. There will be horrible moments, but they’ll just let you appreciate what you do have even more. Growing up and getting older is scary, but a blessing. You will feel free and happy with amazing people around you one day and you’re going to be so happy that you’re not some young, constricted kid anymore.

Hi everyone! I'm April and I'm a first-year advertising student. My love of writing stems all the way back to when I would write about my piping hot second grade drama in my One Direction diary. Since then, I've expressed myself through writing in hopes that others can relate to my experiences and find peace through that. Besides writing, I have incredibly unique interests like shopping, watching anything with a hint of romance in it, and listening to the same songs over and over again - with a HUGE emphasis on Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo! <3