9 Tips for Surviving Your Teen Years

A young woman sitting on a desk with an apple and a skateboard in front of a chalkboard.

Published by Dr. Charles Gemmi

A Board Certified Orthodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Charles Gemmi has been a practicing orthodontist with Orthodontics Limited since 2000 and is a member of the teaching staff at Einstein Medical Center. Orthodontics Limited is a Diamond+ Provider of Invisalign in Philadelphia and Hatboro, PA.

It is the Best of Times. It Was the Worst of Times. Charles Dickens certainly could have been talking about the teen years when he wrote this. They are the years you will remember all the rest of your life but they can have a lot of ups and downs.

The teen years can be a lot easier thought if you keep a few things in mind. Here are 9 tips for surviving your teen years:

1. Choose Friends over Romance

This is the time for crushes and first kisses, but if you get caught too caught up in being someone’s girlfriend or boyfriend, it is going to keep you from focusing on your friendships and having fun. While you might not stay life-long friends with all your high school friends, most likely you will have a few friendships that withstands the test of time and you will get to create a lifetime of memories together.

On the contrary except for the very few cases of high school sweethearts being married for fifty years, most of us don’t stay with our high school boyfriend or girlfriend, so it not worth it to dump your friends over them.

2. Learn to Forgive and Forget

Forgiveness is not easy even for us adults, but it is an essential skill that we all need in life so it is good to start when you are younger. Don’t let the petty little stuff keep you from genuine relationships, but also don’t let anyone bully you. Revenge isn’t the answer either because all that negative energy isn’t good for your health. Forgive and let go of the hurt, but that doesn’t mean you have to remain friends or let them hurt you again. Remove yourself from any toxic situation, but don’t hold on to the bad feelings. Remember that forgiveness is more for you than the other person.

3. Have Goals for the Future

While your teen years should be filled with dances, concerts and dinner and movies with friends, you always need to be looking ahead to the future. Don’t get so caught up in having fun that you don’t think about what you’d like to do once you graduate.

These years are a great time to get part-time and summer jobs in areas that you are interested in. For example if you love animals and you think you might like to be a veterinarian, then get a job working in the kennel or volunteer at the zoo. Also join school activities that you find too. All this will help you decide what your next steps will be and will look good on all those college applications.

4. Stay True to Yourself

Peer pressure can be rough, but don’t pretend to be something you are not just to please either your parents or friends. You are a perfect just the way you are. We all have strengths and weaknesses, which is how we learn and grow. Perfection is not what you should be aiming for. Instead, aim for being your true, authentic self.

5. Think Before You Speak

Again here is another tip that you probably see some adults still struggling with too. When your emotions are high, whether hurt or angry, it is natural to be tempted to lash out and say something you know you will regret later. If you can learn to control this now when you are young and edit yourself when you know you might hurt someone’s feelings or be disrespectful to an authority figure, you will have such an important tool for being successful as you forge you way in life.

6. Mean Kids Are Just Jealous

It is never easy dealing with the mean kids in school. You probably ask yourself every day, what did I do to deserve this kind of hatred? It might help to realize that their actions really have nothing to do with you. Most bullies’ actions stem from them being jealous of you and your accomplishments or from bad things that have happened to them. Often bullies were bullied by someone in their lives. While this doesn’t excuse the behavior, it should help you understand where it is all coming from so you don’t blame yourself or feel guilty in any way.

Also remember that if you have a lot of problems with a bully, get the adults in your life involved. Abuse of any kind should never be tolerated. You deserve to feel safe.

7. Always Be Wary of Strangers

In your teens you feel like an adult and want to be treated as one. And you should be but you still need to remember that as an adult you still need to be wary of strangers. Adults with bad intent try to take advantage of younger teens and kids so you should never trust a stranger who tells you that they need your help or that your parents told them to come pick you up.

Today with everyone having cell phones, it is a lot easier to check with your parents if you are unsure of what the stranger is saying to you. Never ever go off alone with a stranger. If you get scare, go right to an authority figure for help.

8. Even When You Argue, Your Parents Are Always There For You

It is an accepted reality that teens are going to fight with their parents. It is inevitable as you stretch your wings and fight for more independence and your parents pull back in an effort to keep you safe from big mistakes. You are going to argue and disagree with your parents, but never forget that they do love you and will always be there for you. They are just trying to do their best to guide you correctly into adulthood and it is hard for them to watch you stumble. Don’t be afraid to lean on them when you need it. You are not alone.

9. What You Put on the Internet Stays There Forever

The Internet and social media can be so much fun and amazing, but there is a dark side to it that you must always remember. Besides the risk of feeling bullied over social media, what you put on the internet will stay there forever.

You need to be careful about what pictures you post and what you say either on posts or in any articles you may write or articles you may be interviewed in. Something that makes you look bad or cause you embarrassment can rear its ugly head twenty, thirty years later and you will have to damage control.

The teen years can be such an amazing time. Use these tips to help you navigate any of the ups and downs you may face.

Get Teeth Tips

Leave a Reply