Free Teen-Life Advice
Teen Life is Tough
Even though it was almost a decade ago, I was a teen once. I know it is tough.
As a teen, I went through it all: I was on both sides of bullying; I had friends at times and I didn't have friends; I drank; I tried smoking; I had troubles with females; and when I started puberty before other males, I was made fun of constantly for being "hairy". Funny huh? Well, I didn't think so at the time.
I know now that I made many mistakes as a teen. As such, I have some advice to teenagers I wish to pass along.
If you don't want to read the entire lens, just remember this: people will say and do anything to get them to feel better about themselves. Just don't let it bother you and live your own life. Oh, and study! You might hate it now, but you will regret it later in life if you don't.
Image source: Creative Commons on Flickr
Dealing with Puberty
The changes we go through
I know this is a touchy subject. It's embarrassing and blah, blah, blah. But you know what? Everyone goes through it! Sure, I was embarrassed too, especially since I started to show changes before other guys. I started to wear deodorant sooner, I started to shave sooner, and I started to perspire more than others quicker. That's just how it was. I couldn't change it, I just lived it.
If you are having troubles with bullies, check out the lower section. Otherwise, keep reading and I'll talk more about puberty.
You've probably learned about puberty in school. You know the basics about the changes your body is going through, but many schools and parents don't wish to tell teens everything. Not only do they think it is embarrassing for themselves, but it is embarrassing for the teens as well.
For men, you know about hair growing in places it wasn't before, the growth spurt, and you've most likely experienced the ever dreaded erection in public places. You aren't alone. Is it embarrassing? Sure! Why wouldn't it be? Nonetheless, every man has been through it. You just have to know how to deal with it.
Here are some tips for men to help cover up:
1. Use whatever you are carrying to cover it. Your backpack or schoolbooks act as great camouflage.
2. If you don't have anything in your hands, either A) bring your shirt down over it and hope it looks like a fold in the shirt or B) cross your hands over it if you are standing still. No one will notice unless you are acting funny.
3. This one probably sounds silly to those who haven't been there, but it works! Go to the bathroom and flip it upward. It helps relieve the pain and takes away the bulge.
For women, you know about the extra hair and the other growing areas. Although some females look forward to this, it can also bring hard-times by other females, especially if you are one of the first ones to grow or if you are bigger than others. It is tough, and even though I haven't been through this, I have read much about the troubles females go through.
The main thing you need to remember is that just because you are first, doesn't mean you are last. Being made fun of can mean many things, including jealousy. As for being bigger, it still isn't abnormal. People come in all shapes and sizes. Even though you are a unique person, there is someone out there who is going through the same thing you are. Just remember, love your body for what it is.
Image source: Creative Commons on Flickr
Books for Teens
The Temptation of Sex
Giving in has consequences
You're a teen with hormones blazing. You probably have a girlfriend, boyfriend, or even a friend you like. Most likely, you've thought about sex. That's human nature.
However, just because you've thought about it doesn't mean you are ready. Actually, you probably aren't, especially if you are reading this. Nonetheless, if you are 100% set on having sex, use a condom. It doesn't matter what your religious beliefs say about them, because frankly, your religion most likely says sex before marriage is forbidden anyway. So be safe! Just about every convenient store has them.
Anyway, this isn't about having sex; this is about waiting to have sex. Your first time will be something you remember for the rest of your life, so why mess it up? Wait until the time is right, the place is right, and the relationship means something. You really, really don't want to do it with someone who will just dump you in a week and move on to the next relationship. That's how most high school relationships are.
Don't give into the pressure of sex. It isn't something to take lightly, the results can change your life. Even if you do use a condom, they still fail. For example, the first time I had sex, the condom broke. I freaked out! I waited several days to find out if my girlfriend was pregnant or not, and I was lucky she wasn't. That isn't true for everyone; look around you. How many are your friends and schoolmates are pregnant? How many have children? You don't want to make that mistake. The large majority of teen moms don't finish college.
It's easy to give into the temptation, but the easy choice isn't always the best.
Image source: Creative Commons on Flickr
Teens and School Life Advice
What being a teen means
The teenage years are both the toughest and the best times in our life. It is the toughest because of the changes our bodies go through, the decisions we are forced to make, and the ever growing responsibilities we are confronted with. However, it is the best because it is when our true abilities start to show, our friends become closer, and we find out who we are going to be for the rest of our life (or at least, that's what we think at the time).
Nonetheless, there is much more to being a teen. Being a teen isn't just about decisions and hormones. It is about spending the (possible) last moments with our current friends and experimentations we go through. Yes, experimentation. No, I'm not talking about just sexual tendencies and drugs, I'm talking about finding the type of people you like (both friends and partners), the true things you enjoy (sports and leisure), and what subjects in school you enjoy. All of these are important and will play a factor in the remainder of your life.
Yes, school plays an extremely important part of your life--whether you want to believe it or not. It's where we find the majority of our friends, where we learn, and of course, where we spend a third of our life for 9 months out of the year. If you are like me at your age, you might not take it seriously. Now that I am older, I know this was an incredible mistake; it is the biggest part of my life I wish I could change. No, I didn't receive bad grades. Actually, I was above average--I just never tried. I hated school. I'd fake being sick just to stay home. I would never study and I'd "forget" to do homework. And with me being me, I didn't even study for the SAT or ACT. I just didn't care. Where did that leave me? It left me attending a worse school than I was capable of and without a scholastic scholarship. With parents not swimming in money, that hurt and it is still hurting me years later. Learn from my mistakes. Try, even if you hate school (and chances are, you do). You'll be better off in 10 years. Do it for your future self, don't just do it because you were told to.
All of this probably sounds cheesy, but it works. There are hundreds, thousands, even millions of people which will tell you the same thing I have. It's because we have been there. We have all been made fun of when we were younger and there are many of us who didn't try in class. There are many of us who couldn't get a girlfriend or boyfriend if we paid them. We know, but we lived through it and we are better for it. We just hope to spread our knowledge to the younger generation so you are better off as well.
Image source: Creative commons on Flickr
Advice on Bullies
Bullies are at schools and on the net; they are everywhere.
Let's be 100% serious here for a second. You're made fun of in school. Everyone is, even the "cool kids." You're told your fat, skinny, stinky, hairy, nerdy, deformed, ugly, slutty, and have a tail. That's normal. How you respond to the criticism is what sets you apart from everyone else.
There are many ways to respond. You can cry, you can curse, you can even try to fight, but the best way to confront negative criticism is by laughing at yourself and the situation. You don't have to believe what is being said about you, but don't show a negative response. It is truly the best way to respond to bullying. Today, there are still many who believe fighting is the answer, but really it only leads to more fights and suspension (if not expulsion). Laughing only gains you friends.
If the circumstance is too hard to laugh at, ignore it. This also works best online. I've read way too many problems with teens (especially females) who are harassed online, even by their friends. Facebook is becoming more and more known for its cyber-bullying. The way to deal with it? De-friend them. Why put up with someone who just makes fun of you?