While many people hope to learn from other people’s mistakes so as not to make same, some do not think it nice to use other’s as a yardstick for their actions. But whichever way, life, they say, is based on principles which when applied will aid better living. Over my years of growing (and still growing), I have seen so many advices given to and experiences shared with me that have helped me shape my life and self into whom I am, and look forward to be.
Looking through again, there are some things I wish I was told, some I wish I listened to when told and yet, some I wished I never listened to. All of these put together are what make me, and from my experiences and those of people around me, I have promised to shed light, especially for teenagers.I’m sure you might have made your mistakes too, or fall into the categories I divided myself to – you may not even know you are making a mistake yet until you get hinted. So today, I did a compilation of 15 things many teenagers get involved in which are mistakes, an should stop making! 1. Not discovering yourself: if there is one thing I preach over and over to teenagers, it is self-discovery, and why?… because it is a basic thing to do, SIMPLE! If you actually do not know WHO YOU ARE, you only will be following the crowd which is not good for your life. So, discover you and live you! Make amendments about you where necessary, give yourself credit where needed.
2. Shaming yourself and others: every teenager or say person have at one point or the other shamed himself/herself (my statistics though). I said this because no matter how good we are as humans, there will still be at least one thing that we do not like about ourselves or people complain about in us. But the truth is, everyone has his/her flaws, so why beat yourself up? The most amazing thing you can do in this scenario is try to make your flaws better, but if it not workable, accept you for you – stop shaming yourself! Likewise, shaming others is not a good idea – you do not know what they are going through, and you shaming them may push them to the dead limit of depression or suicide. Be nice! 3. Crashing under bullies/bullying: this is another thing that is common to teenagers – bullies. They make you feel powerless, useless, dull, unable to fight, like a coward and overall, less of yourself. Stop crashing under their weight, find your confidence to report to a trusted adult or any other way that can save you, instead of keeping it all in. You’re too young to carry unhappiness and fear, Dear. if you are a bully, stop being one either – you are not superior to anyone, they are just probably better than you academically and you are jealous. Rather, work on yourself. When you eventually grow, you will discover there is no point or gain being the bully – you don’t need it. 4. Making comparisons and beating yourself up: here comes another common issue, one which affected me a lot while growing. I never had the fancy clothes and all the nice stuffs growing up and so when I see other kids, I compare myself with them and would have a bad low self-esteem. It worried me so much that I wouldn’t talk when friends are talking or go out with them. You see in life, there will always be people ahead of you (having and knowing more than you do) and there will be those behind you (who do not even have or know the little you know). Healthy comparison (aimed at making you better) can be good but unhealthy one’s are mistakes and a sheer waste of time. 5. Taking decisions based on friends: Many times, we tend to make our decisions based on our friends’. I have myself done it and regret now. We should think on our own level and discuss with parents and elders who of course have more experience. This doesn’t invalidate your friends but then, your best interest matters, and you still need guidance. No matter how much your friends know, it still trails elders who know better. You should not do something because everyone else is doing so but do what is good for you. 6. Not listening to parents enough: This is the most common mistake teens make. Truth be told, our parents most times seem outdated, over-sensitive and forceful – they don’t even put one’s feelings into consideration. But then, every parent always want their children to do well in life and not to repeat the mistakes they have made. So, they guide us, or tell us the things which should be done and should be not. So as much as the parents seem too troublesome and problematic, be calm to get their stance, and let them understand yours, then you reach a conclusion. By the way, parents these days seem to be doing better than they used to be. 7. Leaving long term and life goals for distractions: postponing things you should do (your life goals, purpose and steps) or digressing from them completely to attend to distractions is a decision and mistake one will forever regret. The worst thing is, getting back on track may not be possible ever again, and if it will, it will take so much time and pains and consequences. DON’T allow distractions or temporary events ruin you! 8. Not differentiating feelings/being insensitive: like, love, infatuation are all different – a fact I didn’t realise as a teenager that got me into a serious mess. Understand when people want to use you – all and just for their own interest – and when they genuinely have your interest at heart. This way, you will save yourself from a lot of dramas and trauma. 9.Following religion: oh, this controversial one! Permit me to reference a passage in the Bible, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. Religion is characterised by people’s beliefs and perspectives which are MOST TIMES, not TRUE to the real gospel. Simply, find your truth in the Holy Books and let divinity guide you on them. You can take for mentors, people will deep knowledge of the Holy books to keep you more grounded and rooted in the stead of being blown aimlessly, caged and thrown in confusion by religion. 10. Engaging in underage/unprotected sex: I might be wrong here, but I feel that girls suffer the most in this – they many times do it against their wish. This is also the most common mistake. First I’m still going to maintain that sex outside the confines of marriage are still very very dangerous! That being said, you should stop involving in under age sex and that too without protection. As a teenager, you should be careful about this and control the urges. Sex, is actually overrated! Read also: New Year New Resolutions: Don’t Apply Pressure On Yourself 11. Wasting time on social media: It should be noted here that I don’t mean that people only ‘waste’ their time on internet or mobile – I spend a large part of my day on social media – thanks to my career path. But, what the time is spent on is what explains if it is a waste or not. While it is good to unwind, have fun, catch cruise, it is also important to know that moderation is key. Internet/Mobiles can be used for learning stuffs. One can do whatever they like to using these.12. Staying committed/ being in a serious relationship: this right here again is so much tilted towards teenage girls. Why start being in a SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP at teenage (a period of 7 years) when you have the whole of other years as adult to date and be committed? Personally, I understand that yes, teenagers have feelings too but I encourage friendship. If you want to date, okay, 18 is an adult, yeah, but staying so committed? You’re sleeping over at his place already, washing clothes, doing the wifely duties, really girl? You are simply just making yourself a wife when you should be enjoying as a teenager. Life will happen, you will learn to be wifely as you grow but now, Babes, be the teenager that you are. I am not saying teenagers should be unfaithful and not loyal or jumping from a relationship to another. I also understand some teenage lovers eventually get married but I’m saying TAKE IT SLOW, things will happen in due course, Thank you! 13. Depending solely on schooling: okay this is another controversial point. As children and teenagers, we were made to believe making it in life is go to school, become a doctor, work in a hospital and live happily. When we eventually grew and finished schooling, employees ask for our skills and other advantages we can offer aside the school certificate. But nobody told us these, how do we do? Ouch, e choke! Many of us were good dancers and have other talents we wanted to put our energy in but we’re not allowed. Now we’re here, wishing we had when we realised going to school is not all our lives are about. Schooling is very key, YES, but while you school, think of other things from within you (that you can build) or outside (that you can learn) and leverage on for value. There are so many soft skills required even for the career you desire to venture into, likewise there are also some other skills you can make money and derive fulfilment from either full time or aside. See 5 Skills That Can Fetch You Cool Money 14. Caring so much about popularity than integrity: popularity many times, does not pay the bills neither does it guarantee success. If you think so, ask celebrities. Rather, work on your values, principles and goodwill, they may not be getting you all the attention in the world but these things are noted and watched. As a matter of fact, your values and integrity is about you – they define you and you live your life through them – and not what people think. 15. Wanting to be grown up as soon as possible: finally, many teenagers wish for this phase of their lives to end quickly. “I can’t wait to get into school”, “I can’t wait to have my own business”, this, that and those. The shocker is many adults wish they go back to kids and be cared for again by their parents. You see this life, is jot balanced. Each stage has its process and uniqueness. Enjoy them, grow through them and you will have wisdom upon wisdom. Don’t rush, slow touch!
I can add up more to these – I actually planned to do 10, then I ended up on 15 and still thinking to add bonuses lol. Above all, mistakes are important in life. If you’ve made some of the above, there’s no need beating yourself up, you still have breathe in you to learn from them and restructure. Sharing your experiences can save some other people. If you have not, you should be very much careful.
Don’t forget if you have any stories to share, you can reach out to me at [email protected] com. See you, next Tuesday.Photos Credit: Getty