10 Things I Wish I'd Known As A Teen

Teenagers.

5. Those ‘mean girls’ will be envious of you years later.

Being a teen in the '90s conjures up some fond memories (Fresh Prince, Sony Discman, Jerry Springer...other memories, less fond (bad skin, bad hair, bad moods). Just the typical angst of being a teenager. But don't you wish you could go back in time and advise a young, rather naive you about some hard truths? 

Here are some of the things I’d be preaching:

1. Don’t Agonize Over Your Looks. Those magazines you bought to idolize those beautiful and stylish girls were designed to make you feel unpretty and kill your self-esteem. Remember, those girls on the covers are carefully airbrushed. Every frown line, pimple, blemish, tooth, hair, you name it are Photoshopped to perfection! Nobody gets out of bed looking that beautiful (unless you’re Angelina Jolie-Pitt). 

2. The Really Cool Guys Aren't Always Looking At The "Prettiest" Girls. There was no need to invest in a Wonderbra, apply more makeup (badly), or put on a fake persona to try and impress them. Most good guys just like someone who can make them laugh, are down-to-earth and who won’t empty their bank accounts. 

3. You Were Not Born With Blond Hair.  It may suit Beyonce and Lil' Kim, but they have a team of professional stylists. Applying an entire bottle of Sun-In hair lightener at home to afro hair was a travesty. Not only will you get permanently orange hair, but you also will end up resembling a scarecrow. Don’t do it. Straw hair is not cool.

4. Don’t Rush To Lose Your Virginity. Contrary to popular belief, not all your friends were ‘having it off’ like they’d boasted, so don’t feel pressured to give yourself a deadline to lose your virginity. It’s a big deal. It isn’t some initiation into the cool-chick club, nor is it a romantic love scene like in the movies — it won’t even be remotely orgasmic or enjoyable. In fact, it will be a quick fumble, some words of passion, ‘is it in yet?’, a likely bit of discomfort and then all over. And you WILL regret the person who you lost it to. Wait until you’re ready with that special someone who you feel comfortable with. It would be far more memorable!

5. Those ‘Mean Girls’ Will Be Envious Of You, Years Later. Yes, there will be a clique of girls who think they are the prettiest, sassiest, and most popular girls in town. You will aspire to be them, but of course...you just don't ‘fit in’ with the cool crew. Those same girls will be begging for your friendship when they see you in your glamorous and successful career (with a hot man by your side). Karma is a bitch in kiss-ass heels.

6. Don’t Be In A Hurry To Grow Up. There will be days when you will memorize a fake birthday just to get into the trendiest clubs or paste on the makeup to make you look older. Don't. Enjoy your youth while it lasts, as it won’t be long before you start lying about how young you are!

7. Don’t Give Yourself A Brazilian Wax With A Razor. It doesn't look sexy at all and more importantly, you could do some serious damage to your lady parts. Ouch! Seek professional help. Or skip it entirely.

8. Don’t Rely On Your Friend To Be The ‘Middle-Man’ In Your Teenage Crushes. It will seem really easy to get your friend to be matchmaker or get the inside gossip on how he feels about you because you don’t have the confidence. But listen: guys admire confidence and would much prefer to get to know you rather than your friend — whom he will inevitably fall in love with!

9. It’s Not Cool For You And Your Girlfriend/s To All Wear Similar Outfits To A Party. It’s great to offer fashion tips, but not to match styles and colors. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but the photos will look like a scantily-dressed bridal party!

10. Be Yourself! Don’t imitate anyone else just because you think they’re more likeable or attractive than you. You’ll only be miserable in the long run, and people can spot a fake from a mile away! Just do you and the rest will follow…   

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