The things you wish you could tell your teenage self

When you’re a grown up, you can leave your half-finished mug of tea out in the living room without a parent telling you to put it in the sink, but you’ll realize it’s better for everyone if you just put it in the sink.

You can be really successful (by whatever definition you choose) and still feel like a failure.

You will end a lot of friendships. I’m sorry. But know that it might just be what your life needs (or maybe not). Ultimately, whoever is meant to stay, will stay.

Glasses are the perfect accessory.

“You are exactly where you are meant to be” is something you’ll hear a lot, especially right after you graduate college, and it’s kinda bullshit. There’s a possibility you’re not where you’re meant to be. But also remember, most things are temporary, anyway.

The perfect women you see in magazines on your TV screen? They don’t look like that because they drink a lot of water. They look like that because they have personal trainers, chefs, and access to expensive procedures. So stop comparing yourself to them.

In fact, stop comparing yourself, period. It’s one of the most colossal wastes of time.

You might not ever be a morning person! There are worse things.

If you don’t get into that dreamy college, if you don’t walk away with mugs and crew neck sweaters that make you feel good to be an alumni, know that in your adult life no one really cares where you went, or what kind of grades you got. If you have smart ideas and you’re willing to work hard, that’s what’s actually valuable.

It’s not going to be like this forever.

When you walk down the hallway, no one is actually paying attention to how awkward your jeans fit, or how alien your limbs feel to you. Mostly, all those mean thoughts are coming from your brain, and your brain only. So, be nicer to yourself.

It’s actually not easy to be positive — but you should still try.

The people who bully you are projecting their own insecurities. All of us are haunted by something.

Don’t start drinking coffee if you don’t need to — you have plenty of time to develop that dependence later on in life.

Just because it’s expensive, doesn’t mean it’s worth it.

Don’t ever pretend you’re drunk (and if you don’t want to drink, then you really don’t have to).

People will make you question yourself, make you feel small and stupid. Don’t listen to them.

You might not ever have a perfect relationship with your parents.

You have no idea how far being kind will get you.

Embrace what makes you weird and different. People remember weird and different.

Pay more attention in History and Government class — that knowledge is invaluable and will be useful every single day of your life. Don’t sleep through it.

Conversely, if you don’t end up becoming a professional science or math person, you will most likely never use the science or math skills you accrued past 7th grade ever again. So, you know, don’t feel bad if your math SAT is shit.

Not everyone will like you. Don’t cater to what you think people expect or want.

You’ll hurt people, too. You’re not perfect. Muster up what it takes to say that you are so sorry.

If you feel guilty for being a “follower,” don’t. You’ll come into your own and realize you are more powerful than you ever imagined, and that it won’t feel uncomfortable sticking to your guns and making big decisions for yourself and for other people. Even if you will never feel like a natural leader, you’ll feel confident leading the way, someday.

“Be yourself” is easier said than done, since it will take years to figure that out — and that’s okay.

Read a lot. If you already read a lot, keeping reading a lot. Write down words you don’t know and look them up and then practice using them in a sentence. Communication is important, and so is having a smart vocab.

If you don’t feel like having sex, then say so. No one is allowed to lord over your body except for you.

The teenager who broke your heart in high school will grow up and become a boring adult with a boring job. And that’ll make you feel better one day.

You’re allowed to fail, and you probably will. A lot. Learn from those failures and do better next time, and the time after that, and then the time after that. Rinse, repeat.

It may SEEM very wrong, but you need to apply moisturizer to your face. Honestly.