Two girls

Tackling Your Twenties with Wisdom from Your Teens

As I crept into the last month or so of being a teenager, I did begin to have a mid-midlife crisis. I might just be overthinking by a tad, yet I couldn’t help but feel sort of terrified, deeply reflective, and a bit nostalgic. Sometimes I still feel like a little girl, like I’m still sixteen, and scared of the future and failure to achieve the goals I’ve set for life. I began to think about everything that’s happened in my life, and in doing so, I realized that I shouldn’t be having a mid-midlife crisis. I’ve learned so much over my teen years, especially the last couple years, from leaving for college to living away from home. It’s definitely been a rollercoaster, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything that happened taught me more and more about people and about life. Your teens morph you into who you are. So, as the wise old woman I am (kind of... not really) here are some words of wisdom I’ve learned from these past 20 years. 

Realize your mistakes but don’t let them define you. 

We all are going to mess up and fall down and hurt people we don’t mean to hurt. It’s just the way it is, and realizing your mistakes is necessary to grow and become better and better. But, letting your mistakes cloud the rest of you is a mistake. Don’t fall into that trap and don’t let anyone guilt you. They’ve probably made some mistakes too. 

Heed the red flags. 

If something feels not right, it’s probably not right. Your instincts are usually right! Experiences will show you what the red flags are in people and situations. From there you’ve got to trust yourself and your decisions. 

It’s okay to be a bit chubbier, and it’s okay to be a little skinnier.

My weight has fluctuated over my teen years, and it probably will continue to do so.  Like most girls my age, I’ve always had some sort of problem with my body. I wish I could just snap my fingers and we’d all love our bodies, but alas, I don’t have that power. That being said, it always helps me to remember that it matters more what’s going on on the inside than the outside, being healthy is the most important thing. 

Outdoors Taking A Deep Breath Arianna Tucker / Her Campus

Listen more than you talk.

As my dad always said: "God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. You can learn a lot from shutting up and just listening." I really used to be a huge blabbermouth (especially at the beginning of college, you couldn’t get me to shut up!), but now I find that listening means more than talking. There’s always something to gain and something to learn. 

Be forgiving. 

We’ve all been in situations where we feel that others have wronged us. I think the most important thing to remember is, usually it’s not about you, it’s their own insecurities or self interest. It’s important to try and understand why people do certain things because at the end of the day we’ve all made mistakes. And, just because you forgave them, doesn’t mean you have to let anyone back into your life.

two different people's arms reach out in front of the St. Louis arch, their pointer finger and middle fingers coming together to make a heart Jennifer Burk | Unsplash