There’s this crazy notion that teenagers are too young to have any real life experiences. Its believed that most of the major life milestones occur after the age of 20. But I think there are 5 huge, and extremely valuable milestones that happen way before this age:

1.Your First Crush

Ah, the butterflies! The first time you experience a crush is such an amazing feeling! Even though it happens young (mine was when I was 5 at a ‘Where’s Wally?’ party), you suddenly get exposed to this whole new emotion. Then, once you’ve experienced a crush, you never quite stop.

2.Getting Your Heart Broken

The inevitable follow up to your first crush is your first heart break. This is a massive emotional milestone in your life. As even though it the worst feeling in the world, you realise you can survive it. You come to understand that you don’t need a relationship to feel complete, though sometimes it takes us a while to realise. This milestone helps you find your own worth and what you want from future relationships.

3.Failing a Test

Why didn’t I choose passing a test? Well, I felt it was more of a challenging milestone faced when when you fail one. As someone who has a fear of failing, finding out I hadn’t passed a class chemistry test in year 9 was horrendous- I cried. But it turned out failing didn’t mean it was the end of the world. I was once told failing at something was the first step to being really good at something, and I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever been given. As Rihanna quotes “Never a failure, always a lesson”.

4.First Fashion Disaster

We’ve all faced this embarrassing milestone! You turn up to a non-school uniform day wearing a new jumper you’ve been wanting to to show off.. only to find people snigger at it. Turns out, lemon yellow and puffy sleeves really don’t suit you. But if you hadn’t made these fashion errors, you’d never find your own style and personality. And hey, at least you have a good memory to laugh at.

5.Forming Friendships… and Losing Them

The first true friendships in your life are with the best friends you make when you’re young. Though you form friendships throughout your life, it is an important milestone through your teen years. At this age, friends are the central people in your lives, instead of partners, children etc. But losing friends is also just as important a milestone as making friends.When you argue with a childhood friend, you realise that sometimes in life things will fall apart and change.That you will have to accept change and carry on living. Don’t just hold on to something as its reassuring and a comfort, it’s better to let go sometimes.

So, there you go! Definitely lots of life experiences before 20- the good, bad and the ugly. But here’s to the next major milestone- whatever it may be.

Article Written by Jennifer Richards