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.
Apologizing is a sign of strength, not weakness. We all screw up, when you own up to it, you grow from it.
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.
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
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.
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.
If you are assaulted on campus, notify the police, not campus security.
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.
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.
Start trying to save money now. You will definitely thank yourself later on.
Learn how to cook. It’s way cheaper and usually faster than takeout.
People (employers, etc) will take advantage of your naivete. In many cases this will be illegal.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
If you don't have a passion, learn new skills. You might find your passion or something you're good at.
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.
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.
You're allowed to question authority. If an authority does/says something you think is wrong, you're allowed to question that.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Advice is free, and if you respond to it with "I know" then you're probably not gonna figure your problem out.
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.
Note: this post originally had 56 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.