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8 Lessons a Teenager Must Learn

Updated on March 13, 2018
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He is a junior high school teacher. He hopes to inspire young hearts. He wants them to be at their best.

A Stage of Critical Changes

I have nothing against the teenagers. Besides, I have been a teenager once. As I remember, it was fun to be one. It was the time we thought we knew everything. We imposed the things we wanted even our parents or elders did not approve it. Also, it was the time we were attracted to the opposite sex. We started to like someone. Moreover, it was the time when we were conscious of our appearance. The time we spent in front of the mirror was getting longer. We also become more hygienic and cosmetic. Lastly, it was the time when we started to form groups. As the old saying goes: birds of the same feathers flock together. So, expect a group of bullies, a group of socialites, a group of smarts, a group of nerds, and many more. Indeed, being a teenager was considered the most vibrant and colorful part of our lives.

Teenage life is what we call adolescent stage. It is the stage of our lives we experience many changes physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Here are apparent changes at this stage for girls and boys:

Changes
Boys
Girls
Physical
Shoulder broadens, Appearance of Adam's Apple, Growth of pubic hair, Hair under the arms and on the face, Testicles and penis enlargement
Development of breast, Menstrual cycle, Growth of pubic hair, Hair under the arms
Emotional
Feels attraction to opposite sex, Able to express and control various emotions
Feels attraction to opposite sex, Able to express and control various emotions
Psychological
Able to think abstractly, Set goals, Concerned with some social issues
AAble to think abstractly, Set goals, Concerned with some social issues

Impact to Adulthood

According to Bo Sanchez, your past does not define your future. Indeed, it is true because you always have the chance to change your life at any moment you want. But, the adolescent stage is crucial in the formation of our identity. It is considered the foundation of adulthood since it is at this stage we choose the values we want to keep; we formulate affirmations we want to believe; we decide the role we want to play; and, we aspire to be someone we want to become someday. So, it is necessary for a teenager to be guided and reminded regularly.

With it, I come up with a short list of lessons a teenager must learn.

To the Teenagers and Alike

1. You are special.

God beautifully created you as you are. Embrace it. Be happy with it. The following is the way how:

  • DO NOT COMPARE. There is no use of comparing yourself to others. Surely, you will see differences. You will see others are better than you physically, socially, or financially. As a result, insecurity and inferiority will strike you. Not only that, it will destroy you. You tend to lose your self-image with the aim of becoming someone you are not. When you are insecure, you want to be like others whom you think have better status than you. You tried to follow them even if it was not meant to be yours. To tell you, it is frustrating; so, STOP. Meanwhile, when you become inferior, you will be a silent killer of your confidence. Indeed, you will be silent when there is a need for you to speak. Why? It is because you thought others have better ideas than yours. You are afraid of rejection. So, you keep quiet. You suppress your potentials which could have been your strength. You will become underdeveloped then. So, STOP! Never compare! Know yourself. Accept it. You have what it takes. Believe it. Yes, insecurity is for aggressive and inferiority is for passive. But, you are NEITHER the two. You are SPECIAL.
  • LOVE YOURSELF. Loving yourself is not bad at all; but, only being selfish. It means doing something not to impress others but to improve yourself. It is not to gain the interest of others but to enhance yourself. It is not to seek approval from others but to accept yourself. In short, it is not about compromising the rights and convenience of others for own sake and development. Instead, it is improving yourself so that you can help others.
  • CELEBRATE WHO YOU ARE. I have nothing more to say. You are wonderful. You are great. You are awesome. You are beautiful. You are brilliant. You are talented. You are good. You are amazing. You are a champion. Most of all, you are LOVED. Say it. Believe it because YOU ARE.

2. There is nothing wrong with you.

You are not an accident. You are a gift. So, there is nothing wrong with you. It is just your perception based on what the world tells you. But the world may be shallow and may lie. So, you have to be wary. You have to be selective. Use your mind and consult your heart. Just go on. Find your purpose and passion. Do it to prove them wrong.

3. It is not LOVE yet. It is just HORMONES.

At this stage, your estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are very active. So, do not be surprised that a simple touch would ignite you. Do not confuse this with LOVE because it goes more than emotion. It is a commitment, responsibility, and accountability. At your age, are you ready to raise a child? Can you find a living not only for yourself but also for your family? Can you give them a decent house? Are all these your dreams? Think twice, thrice, and million times before you unzip. Fun is superficial. But, you need to get ready for what is underneath. There is a right time for it. Wait until you are ripe and married. It will be more fun and binding. So, THINK BEFORE YOU UNZIP. After all, curiosity kills the cat.

4. If others are doing it, it does not follow you also have to do it.

Why do you need to do it? Is it because a lot are doing it? Or, is it because you want to belong to them? Why do you want to be part of them? Are they popular? But, are they good?

As a teenager, you need to ask yourself those questions. Do not be blinded by trends. I know, it has a sweet prize. But in the long term, it slowly kills you inside. Peer pressure is present. It is strong. But, you have to be stronger to resist. You have to be vigilant of your actions. Be back to the basic. Never lose the goodness in you.

Engaging in gangs, using cigarettes, and getting drunk is not cool. It is destructive. You might be hungry for belongingness. But, it is not the only way for you to be accepted. There are other good ways. You can also look for another good group of friends. Choose wisely. Choose to do good. Be good.

How to know good? It does not harm you and the people around you. It can benefit you and them. Think of it.

5. Be independent. But, do not forget to heed.

At this stage, you are resistant to reprimands. You do not like being told. You think you know everything. You aim for control about everything around you. But, hey! Take it slowly. Remember your parents and elders have been living years ahead of you. They have formed patterns of events which would lead to something unpleasant. They have seen it during their times long before yours. So, you need to understand why they are futuristic when they reprimand you. It is because they have seen that pattern of behaviors from you. I know you would deny. But, in the long run, you would then realize that you are already in the situation your parents do not want you to be. So as the fourth commandment says, "Honor your father and mother." Honor and LISTEN to them at any age you are.

6. Value time.

Time is gold. It is the most valuable resource freely given to you. Use it wisely and do not waste it. Use it to broaden your knowledge instead of scrolling your newsfeed. Use it to hone your skills instead of pressing the like button. Use it to share your talents instead of posting non-senses status. My dear teenager, do not be consumed by the technology. Do not let it steal your dreams away from your hands. Wake up. Take action. Reach your real goals and not the game levels.

7. Don't forget your manners.

Where is your manner? Haven't you taught and trained about it when you were graders? Where are the magic words? When was the last time you said sorry, thank you, please, I love you, and good morning?

Please do not let it fade away. Do not be shy telling it to the people around you. If others think it is not cool, then they are wrong. It is the coolest. So, say it before it is too late.

For I know the plan I have for you, declares the Lord, plan to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

— Jeremiah 29:11

8. Dream big.

Aim high and even higher. Set goals. Feel what you want to achieve. Believe that you can have it. You are a champion.

Your aspirations in life will be your inspiration to live. It will be the fuel that will drive you to go forward.Let it be one of the reasons to wake up every morning. Let it be your hope for a better future. Let it be the trail as walk through your journey. Remember the plans of your creator. It is to prosper you and not to harm you. Pray for it. Have faith in it. Claim it. Take action to achieve it.

I know there are lots to be learned by the teenagers. I know how much guidance, understanding, and patience they need. I know how much difficult it is to meet all the expectations around them. I know how much adjustment they need in such transition. So, never get tired of guiding and inspiring the young people. Let us mold them into better individuals. Let us be their hard floor so they could bounce back higher when they fall like a ball. Let us make them the hopes and leaders of the future.

To the youth: Do not hurry. Enjoy the ride. Savor every moment. Learn from every mistake. Love every person you meet. LIVE WELL.

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© 2018 Jason M Quinapondan

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