There’s nothing quite as powerful as getting some brutally honest advice that can greatly improve your quality of life. Redditor NotViperX asked the adults using the site to share something that every teenager needs to know. And you know what? Some of us might not be teenagers anymore (even though we act like them), but these pieces of advice are still useful to hear from time to time.

Upvote your favorite tips for teenagers as you scroll down and add any advice you’d give teenagers (or your past selves) in the comment section below, dear Pandas. However, there’s a small snag with great advice.

Bored Panda reached out to the author of the viral thread, NotViperX. They said that teenagers tend to ignore adults' advice because of puberty: it's a time when they explore and try out new things which leads to them having different opinions than their parents. Read on for the rest of our interview with the redditor.

#1

Apologizing is a sign of strength, not weakness. We all screw up, when you own up to it, you grow from it.

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Hello it Smee
Community Member
1 month ago

Owning your mistake builds trust and respect.

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#2

Learn to trust your gut when in strange situations. If something feels off / wrong, it probably is.

Don't go along with something if it feels wrong.

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kasa alex
Community Member
1 month ago

Oooh how many times in the past I wish I'd trusted my gut...still learning this one

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#3

It's ok to say no to anyone. Don't let anyone in your life guilt trip you into doing something you don't want to do or are uncomfortable with

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Kevin Donegan
Community Member
1 month ago

What's worse, saying "no" and maybe losing a friend (who wasn't one to begin with) or going along with something and then regretting it for the rest of your life? You'll soon forget "the friend" but you'll never forget that feeling of regret and remorse.

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NotViperX told Bored Panda about what drew them to create the thread in the first place: "I was thinking about a question that would be helpful and entertaining at once. When I came up with this one, I just posted, never expecting it to get so much attention! I posted it because I was interested in people's opinions and advice from all over the world," they said.

The redditor also had some advice for teenagers regarding health. According to them, it's incredibly important to keep an eye on what teenagers eat.

"The teenage body needs lots of minerals and vitamins to stay healthy and develop the body! And afterwards, always brush your teeth! You will thank yourself later," NotViperX said, adding that they're very grateful for all of the helpful comments, upvotes and awards their thread got.

#4

Advice-For-Teenagers I’ve said this before but it’s important. When someone says you can’t do something in life, it means they can’t do it, not that you can’t.

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JiminKimLip7
Community Member
1 month ago

I wish I knew that sooner

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#5

If you are assaulted on campus, notify the police, not campus security.

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M O'Connell
Community Member
1 month ago

At most universities, campus security has no authority to arrest anyone. They do not conduct criminal prosecutions. They are essentially security guards.

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#6

Advice-For-Teenagers Most of your friends are the product of geographic convenience. Just because you grew up being friends with a neighbour or a fellow student, doesn't mean you owe them your undying loyalty when they start treating you like sh*t.

221 , Riza Nugraha Report

Hello it Smee
Community Member
1 month ago

It important to know it is ok to out grow relationships. People change and grow apart.

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No matter how great your advice is, teenagers might not want to follow it. A lot of things can get in their way, from angst and hormones to wanting to rebel or feeling ‘weak’ if they listen to an adult. Fortunately, there are some ways around these obstacles that can help teenagers maintain their spirit of independence while helping them absorb useful info.

Teenagers are prone to ignoring their parents’ advice, writes Andy Earle, founder of the ‘Talking to Teens’ blog and podcast. According to Earle, teenagers tend to rebel against their parents because they want to be in charge of their own decisions, so parents ought to consider removing themselves from the equation.

Getting a mentor-figure or a friend to talk to your teenage kids about important life advice might just be the secret workaround that won’t make them feel like they’re being ‘told’ to do something. The more the teens trust the person, the more they’ll be willing to listen and think about what they have to say.

#7

Advice-For-Teenagers Start trying to save money now. You will definitely thank yourself later on.

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Farzana Essop
Community Member
1 month ago

This is the advice I'd give my teenage self

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#8

Advice-For-Teenagers Learn how to cook. It’s way cheaper and usually faster than takeout.

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Piet Puk
Community Member
1 month ago

And much, much healthier.

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#9

Advice-For-Teenagers People (employers, etc) will take advantage of your naivete. In many cases this will be illegal.

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Bob Belcher
Community Member
1 month ago

HR is only there to protect the company, no matter how much they smile at you.

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Another way to subtly dodge your teens’ willingness to run away from sound advice is to embrace their independence: help them discover the solution to their problems all by themselves.

Give them a few tips on where to find the info they might need. Then sit back and watch as they research everything for themselves. This way, they’ll feel self-reliant and won’t be prone to throwing advice in the bin just because it was said by their parents. While this hands-off approach might not make some parents happy, at least consider giving this a try if everything else keeps backfiring.

#10

Learn the signs and signals of toxic relationships. All too often these can start as early as high school and before you know it you've wasted years of your life being someone's victim.

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Kevin Donegan
Community Member
1 month ago

If a friend or boyfriend/girlfriend doesn't treat you with respect, cut your loses early because five years from now you'll still be treated poorly by them ...

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#11

Advice-For-Teenagers Failing is okay.

2Graves1Ashe , Fachdozent Report

Aski Markup
Community Member
1 month ago

Just dust yourself off and try again.

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#12

Advice-For-Teenagers Everyone is smart, just at different things. People can be book smart or people smart or machine smart etc.

But the difference between successful people and not so much is the application and dedication you give.

(My nephew is 9 and his dad is already calling him dumb, which is insane because that kid is sooooo quick. He understands things rapidly. But he doesn't like school right now. This is something I just told him)

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Daria B
Community Member
1 month ago

Kids really do believe it when they're told they're dumb. When I was part timing as a teacher at a small private facility, there was a kid who displayed low self-confidence when it comes to studying. I once "proved him wrong" by showing him how well he was actually doing. That really encouraged him to do even better, and next day he happily told me he passed that one exam he was so worried about. Such a sweet kid.

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Lastly, if your teenagers keep making the same mistakes over and over again (and keep pestering you about the same problems over and over again, too), it’s time to have an honest chat.

Tell them upfront that they’re ignoring the advice you’ve already given them and it’s time to change something, otherwise, they’ll keep making the same painful mistakes. This way, they might be more willing to actually solve their problems instead of just talking about them and relying on others to do the thinking while they ignore potential solutions.

#13

It really doesn’t matter what others think of you. It only matters what you think of yourself. Live your life such that you can look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and be proud of what you’ve done.

Also, “likes” from social media don’t mean a thing. If you post something that gets zero likes or upvotes, you will still wake up tomorrow ready to go.

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magnadar
Community Member
1 month ago

Is it bad if i give this one a like? Likes are not important after all...

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#14

Advice-For-Teenagers If you don't have a passion, learn new skills. You might find your passion or something you're good at.

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Daria B
Community Member
1 month ago

This one is not only for teenagers, really. And that fact alone is also encouraging, I mean, it would be to me, if I heard it as a teen. Anyway, it's a generally good and practical advice.

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#15

You're responsible for your own education and have absolutely no one to blame if you don't take school seriously. And be nice to your teachers. They're trying to gift you a future.

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Kevin Donegan
Community Member
1 month ago

Practically every person that has ever dropped out of high school has said that if they had to do it over again, they would want to complete their HS education. As a 16 or 17 year old, what else do you have to do? Focus on your education ... you'll never regret that decision.

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#16

Advice-For-Teenagers Cashiers don't care if you buy condoms.

induceddaftfan , Adam Report

Hello it Smee
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

I had to go buy a condom when I was in high school as part of my sex ed class. It was weird we had to bring them to school to prove we bought them. Nothing embarrassing about a bunch of teens pulling condoms from their backpacks to show we did the assessment.

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#17

Advice-For-Teenagers When you get to driving you need to realize that the laws of physics apply to you. They aren't out to get you, they're just indifferent. Slow the [heck] down and don't horse around, you're driving a very heavy machine at speeds we did not evolve to deal with. Be safe.

faceeatingleopard , Brian Burger Report

M O'Connell
Community Member
1 month ago

Also all-wheel drive does not improve braking or handling overall. I have seen far too many winter accidents involving people driving recklessly in all-wheel drive and 4x4 vehicles. If you end up driving a larger vehicle, a truck or an SUV, please remember that you are much heavier than a typical car. You are piloting a much deadlier weapon than they are. Drive conservatively.

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#18

You're allowed to question authority. If an authority does/says something you think is wrong, you're allowed to question that.

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Robin DJW
Community Member
1 month ago

Question authority all you like, but screaming "You're a liar" into their faces is not the way to do it. Get your facts straight and document them.

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#19

Don't put off dealing with mental health issues. Developing unhealthy coping mechanisms for emotional issues will [screw] you up big time down the road. If you have issues, deal with it head on, right away. It can take time, but start the work now.

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Kevin Donegan
Community Member
1 month ago

Easier said than done. Usually, if you have a mental health issue ... you don't know you have a mental health issue.

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#20

Enjoy the small stuff like your back not hurting.

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ADHORTATOR
Community Member
1 month ago

Because one day. it will hurt

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#21

When you make a mistake, own up to it. People are more willing to help you when you admit you did a dumb thing. This goes for school, work, and personal life. Forget to make a payment on a loan? Call and talk to the finance company. Mess something up on a school project? Tell your teacher and ask for a bit of leeway. Etc. People will be more likely to help you if you communicate.

Start your retirement fund as early as possible. Doesn’t matter if you can only afford $5 a week, it’s still $5 more than you would have had otherwise. It WILL add up and you’ll thank yourself later.

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Bob Belcher
Community Member
1 month ago

As someone who works in a financial institution now, yes! If you think you can't make a payment on time, call us! It's ok, a lot of times we'll see if we can help out. If you call and they're rude, take your business elsewhere. Credit Unions are far more friendlier than banks.

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#22

Advice-For-Teenagers While you shoudn't believe those who say these gonna be the best years of your life, try to make the most of it, to enjoy the ride. Don't be ashamed of your hobbies and passions ; those who make fun of that can go f**k themselves. Every feeling you have deserves to be expressed in any constructive manner. Don't fear rejection from those you like/love. Tell them and come what may.

drDjausdr , woodleywonderworks Report

No you didn't
Community Member
1 month ago

The best years of your life are anywhere between your birth and your death.

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#23

The things your parents are trying to keep you from doing are more than likely the mistakes of their youth that they wish they could do differently.

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Markus Holstein
Community Member
1 month ago

Unless, of course, your parents are anti-vaxxers, fundamentalist christians, conspiracy theorists, Trumpies, ...

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#24

After high school, life gets a whole lot better.

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tuzdayschild
Community Member
1 month ago

Soooo true. High school stops being important almost immediately after you graduate.

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#25

Don’t compare your life to influencers, or anyone else for that matter. Even with the “#nofilter,” it’s normally a façade. Live your life for you, not for the likes.

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Robin DJW
Community Member
1 month ago

I have long believed that the real influencers aren't what they are because they want to be influencers. Mostly they are influencers because they believe in what they are doing and want to do it well.

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#26

Advice-For-Teenagers Learn a second language. It's good for your brain, and it's a lot easier when you're young.

Get active and fit; make it a habit. This is one of the most important ways to stave off cognitive decline as you get older. Plus, it's great for managing mental health during the transition to adulthood.

HappyHappyKidney , Kara Report

Kevin Donegan
Community Member
1 month ago

YES!!!!!! As an adult I have been trying to learn Spanish for the past 30 years ... it's much easier when you're exposed to a new language in childhood. Parents ... take note ... encourage your children to take a foreign language in school.

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#27

Avoid debt if possible.

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Bob Belcher
Community Member
1 month ago

This is easier said than done especially when college cost 50k+. You start adulthood with a huge amount of debt and not everyone can work and go to school at the same time. If you can, get a government job and apply for PSLF. You'll find government jobs are easier to break into than private sector and most have good benefits too. Plus, after working there for a while, it's easier to get into private sector. Find jobs at USAJOBS.gov. also look at your local government jobs.

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#28

It's exactly as lame to not do something you want to do because it's too mainstream or popular as it is to do something only because it's cool and the cool kids are doing it

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Bob Belcher
Community Member
1 month ago

What's popular isn't always right and what's right isn't always popular.

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#29

Advice-For-Teenagers Advice is free, and if you respond to it with "I know" then you're probably not gonna figure your problem out.

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No you didn't
Community Member
1 month ago

Advice is free, but it's best received when asked for and not volunteered.

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#30

Advice-For-Teenagers The measure of whether someone has the potential to be a new friend of yours is NOT whether they like a bunch of things you like. It is entirely possible to become friends with people who like a ton of things you’ve never heard of, or even already decided you dislike. You are at a spot in life where a lot of your likes and dislikes are subject to change anyway.

Biggest thing: making a new friend often takes time. Lots of time. Much longer than movies and shows make it look like. Find things to do, groups to join, city league sports to play (pandemic permitting, or after) and keep learning about the people you see repeatedly. Far too many early twenties people who report having no friends made a premature judgment that one or more prospective friends were off the list, when it just needed a lot more time.

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Joey Marlin
Community Member
1 month ago

Also, don't become so busy with your family that you neglect your friends so much that when you raise your head at the other end you suddenly find they've gone.

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