Recently, I met a teenager, 18-year-old precisely at an audition and I was amazed. She walked in with so much confidence looking all gorgeous and was very social. We quickly mixed up as expected for social interaction and before you know it, exchanged numbers. At the point of meeting and introduction, I never knew she is a teenager until it was time for the pre-audition process and I couldn’t believe my ears.
Fast-forward to post-audition, I followed her on Instagram and was more amazed – Dai is a radio presenter already, an events host and a YouTuber. Then it brings me to the reality of life – you don’t have to wait to be a graduate or about 24 before you start plying your life paths, and subsequently brings me to 10 things every teenager must focus on.
Growing up, we were stereotyped to believing that when you finish secondary school, the next thing in your life is gaining admission to study then graduating, getting a good job, becoming what you need to become (career), get married, have children, take care of your kids, keep a home and many more. We were even made to believe it is only those who get educated, especially academically that do well in life – what a catastrophe!
In as much as yes, you should be a graduate and all, your 20s or 30s are not the ages you should start planning life and figuring things out – you should begin from your teenage years. Dai just clocked 19 (a few days ago) and she’s a presenter already, a good one at that. This doesn’t mean she’s fashioned life all out already but hey, her teenage years are motivational! So in the stead of focusing just on the stereotyped ways of becoming an adult, here are top 10 things you should focus on and master at your teen age(s) 1. Your emotions: control how you react so others’ actions don’t control you. In life, there are a lot of funny things and people, and so for your own good, you need to be the comptroller-general of your emotions. There are some people in life (narcissist) who derive pleasure in torturing their victims with emotional instability, who knows one may come across them, as a college mate, a friend or maybe in the search for a life partner. Guard your emotions and be in control! 2. Your mental health: While the terms mental health and emotional health are sometimes used interchangeably, they are distinctly different – mental health refers to your ability to process information while emotional health refers to your ability to express feelings which are based upon the information you have processed. Adulthood is full of drama and happenings, some you see your parents battle, glaringly even when they try to hide them from you. So, guard your mental health right from your teenage and build how you want to take life, see situations and strategies to doing/handling things. Although, life will throw somethings that will hit you unawares, but then, this won’t happen every time. With this, work on your self-esteem.There are so many situations in life that will want to pull you down (eg, people teasing you about your big head, big nose, fat legs, and many more!). Believe in your self that you are good as you are and walk in that confidence of being yourself. Accept yourself already – this is who you are – and raise your head high, guarding your heart that nothing will make you feel bad about you. 3. Your capacity, abilities, talents and skills: from now, look within you and see the unique thing that different you from your 13-year-old age mate and classmate. Do you want to be better at it, start now and groom yourself. Develop some soft skills (traits and attributes, including emotional intelligence, time management, organisation and orderliness, good communication skills, social skills, career attributes and many more that will enable you navigate your environment, work well with others, perform well and achieve your goals ) and hard skills (these are technical skills you can do with your hands, e.g building things, operating the computer, excellence in coding and computing and many more.) Most times, you need to know something about everything in life but at other times, you need to know some things specific or peculiar to the line you are walking, so, if you have a career or trade you want to venture into, start gaining skills about it now!
For your talents, such as singing, drawing and art, dancing and many more, enroll in classes and be better at them, you will be surprised at how proud you will be of yourself, likewise, your parents and friends will take delight in you! 4. Your life principles and standards: what do you want to take and what not? Form them, build them and walk in them consistently, this will guard the way you relate with people and tackle life issues. If you want to be the organised, neat employee, start now and master it. If you want to be the cool headed one that listens well to others and think deep about things, start now. 5. Networking: Human beings are social animals, no one can live alone or get things done alone. Even Superman cannot beat the Flash in speed, meaning no one has all the knowledge and power in the world. Having known this, you need to build a network of people who will make your life great. Move with people with more positivity, more intelligence and more knowledge than you do, who can be there for you when you need them. Some will only advise you on the path to go, some will be there physically to help, some will be the shoulders you can cry on, just find the good great ones. There are a lot out there though, that will know too much and pose you at risk of being evil and terrible, study the signs to know what’s healthy for you and what’s not. Here, you also look at mentors and models, people you respect and will love to be like. You can ask that they mentor you or you model them from afar. This helps to be better at whatever you want to do and when you need help, you can always turn to them! Read also: Diary Of A Naija Teen: 5 Things You Must Do As You Stay At Home This Period 6. Intentionality about growing: while you are surrounded by a great network of people, ensure you are intentional about your own growth too. Yearn to know more and be one of the great people others want to network with. Don’t be that girl or boy who doesn’t know what is happening in the world or is too busy playing games and cannot learn. Make research of things that are strange to you, ask intelligent questions, engage in knowledgable conversations and yearn to learn more. You want to become great, so be intentional about your growth and the greatness you envisage. 7. Money management, financial independence and accountability: you may not be making money yet or having a job to do in your teen age years, but from the little you get from your parents, master accountability, money management and financial independence. You will not get money every time, life will not always be rosy, so from the little you can get, always devise means to make the most out of it. Then when you become an adult and you see more life experiences, then you know the reality and won’t be caught unawares. 8. Your Health: that this is the 8th on the list doesn’t make it the last thing you should focus on – the list is in no particular order. Health is wealth and most importantly, the foundation of 1-9. Health is all encompassing, comprising your mental, physical, social, emotional and medical well-being. As we’ve touched the other parts of health in the course of this reading, we will be looking more at the medical health here. If one doesn’t have good health, fulfilling other aspects of life will, not may, be difficult. So as a teenager, be focused and concerned about your health. It is very paramount! Know what and what to avoid if you do not want to develop certain medical conditions. Be sure that you practice healthy eating and good personal hygiene, eat when you’re supposed to, sleep and rest as at when due and generally, study your body signs to know when you feel good or not. When you don’t, don’t hesitate to speak up and get the necessary attention. 9. Happiness: in life, all that matters is your happiness and that of others. So, in whatever you do, focus on what joy, happiness, satisfaction, pleasure and fulfillment you get or will get from them. Let no one kill your happiness, that is why you need 1 and 2 above, likewise, anything that is making you sad and unhappy, you really need to check and make your decision on stopping. In your life, you come first… If you are not well, you can’t show love to others. if you are unhappy, you won’t be motivated, so stay happy! 10. Impact: where ever you go, in what ever you do, you should make impact. Starting from your home, have a tangible thing you do that impact the lives of those around you positively. Maybe from the way you speak and carry yourself, how you care for your friends and look out for your siblings, even your parents – just be impactful!
Now, many would be expecting to see having a boyfriend or girlfriend on the list, or how to kiss, if it is good or not to have sex! Hey yo teen, know this… YOU CANNOT BE A BETTER BOYFRIEND OR GIRLFRIEND IF YOU ARE NOT A BETTER PERSON! As a matter of fact, you will hurt yourself and your boo if you are not better. Also, having a oo without setting your own life in order is catastrophic – you may be heading for nowhere good. So, work on being a better person then when you eventually have or become a boyfriend or girlfriend, you will be good to them! See you, next week 😘 😘 ♥♥!Photos Credit: Getty