When you’re young, you feel like you’re going to be young forever. That’s how I felt when I was a teen. I was young, and I couldn’t imagine being any older.
Then — in a blink of an eye — I woke up one morning and found myself turning 30.
Bam! Now here I am, 30 years old, and still getting over the shock of how fast life flies by.
If you’re young right now (in your teens), you probably feel like you’ll be young forever too. Time might even seem to stand still for you.
I remember those days. But trust me, they don’t last. You’ll wake up really soon and discover that you’re over a decade older too.
So why does this matter?
Well…what I didn’t fully realize then and do now, is that the choices I’d make as a teen would still be impacting me today.
The habits I formed, the patterns I set, the worldview I developed, would follow me into the future.
If I could zoom back in time, there are definitely some things I would change. If you’re still young, take this as an inside peek into how you can make your future better.
Here are 8 things I wish I knew when I was a teen.
1. I don’t have to have my entire life plan together by the time I turn 18.
The pressure to have your entire life planned out by 18 is so intense that a lot of girls rush into things without carefully praying it through.
Instead of rushing this vitally important step, take lots of time to pray and seek God about your future. In some cases, the best option might be to stay right where you are.
2. Obsessing over guys got me nowhere.
Now that I’m happily married to my amazing husband Zack, I look back on my track record of guy obsessions and realize how pointless it all was.
Instead of wasting your time and emotional energy obsessing over guys, choose to take your thoughts captive, trust God’s timing, and instead use that energy to pray for your future husband.
3. I am worth so much more than my outward appearance.
There were many days I judged my worth and value based on how pretty I felt that day. If guys thought I was attractive, I felt really valuable.
The truth is, we are already extremely valuable because God made us (Psalm 139:13-15). He defines our worth, not our outward appearance. You will gain immense security in the Lord if you embrace this truth now.
4. Life is so much better if I stop worrying about what “everyone” is thinking about me.
I used to walk into a room and wonder what everyone was thinking about me. Well, newsflash! I’m now realizing that everyone isn’t hyper attentive to my presence. Other people aren’t thinking about me as much as I think they are.
Relax. Be yourself. Don’t worry about what everyone is “thinking” about you. Instead, focus on serving and loving others.
5. Hanging out with friends is great, but investing in family is even more valuable.
I spent the majority of my time with friends. This is great, except that I was totally neglecting my siblings as a result. And guess who I want to hang out with now (as an adult)? Yep – my siblings.
Build solid relationships with your siblings when you’re young because they’re most likely the people you’ll want to hang out with 10 years down the road.
6. Cellulite is a normal part of womanhood.
And I thought my cellulite was bad as a teen. I should have been grateful then! *Wink* In all seriousness, almost ALL women have cellulite and it’s not the end of the world.
I used to obsess over having a “perfect” rear (even though nobody saw it but me) and it caused me a lot of discontentment. If you can learn to accept cellulite as a natural part of being a woman (even when you’re skinny), you’ll save yourself a lot of anxiety and worry.
7. Cooking isn’t just a good skill to have, it makes adult life so much easier.
I invested very little time into cooking when I was young. I really didn’t like being in the kitchen at all. Well…guess what happened? I got married, got a house, enjoy entertaining, and want to do hospitality.
Cooking has become an essential part of my adult life.
I’m learning new cooking skills everyday now, but it would have made the transition a LOT easier if I had developed better kitchen skills before I got married.
8. Saving money is actually a good thing to do.
I used to spend money like there was no tomorrow. In high school, I had a part time job and loved spending my money. It was fun then…but now I’m wishing I had saved a little. Or a lot.
Entering marriage with a savings account would have been a huge blessing to those frugal days of early married life. It would have also trained me to be on a budget which would have been a great habit to build.
So there ya go!
Those are honestly just a few of the things I wish I knew as a teen. It would have been really nice if a 30 year old had told me those things when I was your age.
Being wise as a young person is so rare today, but so beneficial for your future. I want to challenge you to think ahead. Plan ahead. Like me, you’ll be 30 years old before you know it.
Now I want to hear from you!
- If you’re older than 19, what advice would you give to a teen? What do you wish you knew as a teen?
- If you’re a teen right now, did anything from my list inspire or challenge you?