I’m 19 in a few weeks, my final year as a teenager. Going back to when I turned 13, I was completely terrified about adolescence and growing up. Being a teen has certainly had it’s up and down’s, but it’s also such an amazing and important time in someone’s life. So I thought the best way to mark becoming 19 is by sharing 19 life lessons I’ve learnt during my teenage years:

1.Confidence is Not the Same as Arrogance. 

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Believing in your ability and actually liking things about yourself doesn’t make you arrogant. Self-confidence is such an important character trait.  As the saying goes, ‘once find love for yourself love will find you’.

2.Trust your Gut

You can bring out all the pros and cons lists in the world, but at the end of the day, you’ve just got to go with what feels right. You only live once so why waste time thinking of ‘what if’. Live life with no regrets and start taking chances!

3.Don’t be Embarrassed by Your Music Taste

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Never apologize for liking something that nobody else does. Life’s too short to spend it listening to music you hate! The world would be boring if everyone liked everything the same. Embrace your own interests!

4.Being Cool isn’t Important, Being Yourself is.

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Wanting to be cool is like wanting to be popular – it’s just a waste of time. Be you. You aren’t going to be with the same people all your life. You will always be with you, so why change yourself? Stay true to yourself.

5.Exercise more 

As much as I hate to say it, it really does make you happier. Although it takes a lot of motivation and effort to go, you will really see the difference in makes on your mood and life.

6.Eat Better

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Fruit and veg actually taste really good. Who knew? Although pizzas, burgers etc all taste so much better. If you eat more of a balanced diet with smoothies, veg, fruit and real fresh food you will see a huge difference. You will have so much more motivation. Give it a try!

7.Never Silence Yourself

People will always want to silence your voice and opinion. Don’t let them. Stand up for yourself, why keep quiet. You were given a brain and mouth why not use them. Who knows where your opinion could take you?!

8.Feminism is Not a Dirty Word

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Being a feminist means wanting equal rights. Fighting for equality is one of the most important things we can do. Following the footsteps of Emily Davison  (killed herself by throwing herself under horse), we should not forget their fight and the change they made. Today we still face gender inequality.

9.Sweet potato chips are AMAZING

This is by far the most important life lesson on this list. Scrap those normal bland tasting potatoes and switch them with these beauties.A  Lot more tastier and healthier for you!

10.Remind your Mum How Much you Love Her

She’s done so much, remember to say thank you once in a while. As you focus living your life and focusing on having a good time you forget about all your Mum does. She’s always there as a shoulder to cry on as well as the victim of your hormonal kick offs.As your growing up, she is also growing older. Do not forget to tell her how much you appreciate her.

11.Sometimes Things End, and That’s Okay

Friends who thought you’d have for life aren’t always going to stick around. Relationships that you had your heart set on that would last forever don’t work out.But it’s much healthier to accept that than cling onto the past.Everything happens for a reason. Who knows what the future holds. You could meet a friend or partner who will change your total view on life!

12.Don’t Rush Relationships

Everyone may seem like they’re having first kisses, first relationships, having sex for the first time waaay before you. Chill. We all go at our own pace.  I know there is a lot of pressure as a teen to have sex etc but just wait for the right person.

13.Never Stop Dancing

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If in doubt, dance it out. Whenever you are feeling stressed out or depressed, blast some music and bust some moves. It’s an instant mood booster! When you face obstacles in life, never let them take over. Just carry on smiling and dancing through life, everything will sort itself out!

14.It’s Fun to Try New Things

Life is full of adventures. Take them. Never say no to any opportunity that pops up in your life. Yes you might be scared of the unknown, but what have you got to loose?!

15.Get a Skincare Routine

Hormones are going to mess up your skin for a bit. Try and take better care of it! Make sure you wipe off all your makeup and then moisturize. Don’t just  suffer with spots, do something about them!

16.Hang Out With your Friends More

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When school ends you won’t get to see your friends everyday as you scatter across the country (and beyond), so make the most of the time you do have. Growing up does mean that you aren’t free to go out every night with a pound in your pocket like the old days. You should have nights in or even a walk to the beach. Being with friends is a perfect way to destress and just have fun!

17.Let Yourself Change

You’ll change who you are all the time. New experiences and people will constantly shape you. It doesn’t mean you’ve lost yourself, you’re just finding the person you’re supposed to be.

18.You Can’t Win at Everything

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Failure is part of life. Never give up, but also don’t beat yourself up when you don’t succeed. You should see every failure as a lesson and become stronger from it. From this strength gained due to failure soon you will be more motivated to succeed and prove people wrong!

19.Depression Doesn’t Define You 

If you have mental or just health problems, sometimes it seems like the only thing that matters. It may be part of your identity, but it’s not your sole identity, as long as you don’t let it be. Everyone has problems in their lives, even if you can’t see them. Who knows what happens behind closed doors. You have to live your life and gain strength  to help overcome any problems in your life.

I wonder what my last teenage year has in store; I’m looking forward to finding out

Article by Jennifer Richards.