People, or more specifically, anyone over the age of 21, love to give teenagers life advice. Anyone who is officially no longer a teen loves to look old and wise, departing life tips as if they have been through it all, even if they definitely haven’t. Sometimes these tips are really helpful (like, obviously, any of the ones you get on Gurl.com) (kidding but also not really?), and some of them are not so great or very circumstantial. There are also a lot of popular phrases and tips everyone loves to talk about that are actually kind of bullshit.
When I was in high school, I was in a serious long-term relationship. Everyone told me that that relationship wouldn’t matter a few years from then and that I should just forget about it and play the field. They were wrong! That relationship shaped my future dating life in so many different ways. It’s still important to me even though it failed. It wasn’t nothing just because I was young. Not every teenager needs to be out there sleeping with everyone they can. I mean, do it if you want, by all means, but please don’t assume it’s the only way to be.
There’s more, too, and I found a lot of good examples of bad life advice for teens in this Ask Reddit thread. People WILL tell you this stuff at some point during high school and probably college, and you need to be careful about how much you listen to it. Here are some life tips that teens shouldn’t listen to:
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This Is The Most Important Time Of Your Life
User bukkabukkabukka says one of the worst pieces of advice is, "Nothing that happens will ever be as important as what's going on in your life right now." Okay, first of all, this sounds like a cheesy line from a John Green book. Second of all, it's not true at all. Your teen years ARE super important, but they will not make or break the rest of your life. You still have a lot of time to change, to do different things, to make big impacts. The pressure to succeed in a huge way when you're young can feel suffocating, like you can't accomplish things when you're older, and that's simply not true. Source: iStock
Money Is Not The Way To Happiness
User ApolloniusDrake points out a popular saying: "'Money cant buy you happiness or time.' I think it really devalues money. Money can buy you more time. It can buy you things that can make or help you be happy. From counseling to the fancy car. To taking the direct flight with no layovers. I really think parents need to sit down with there children and explain the importance of money. They need to understand WHY they need to try hard at school or choose a decently lucrative career then chase dreams. Everything costs money even chasing your dreams. Get a career first." This is true! Money alone can't buy you happiness, but that doesn't mean it isn't incredibly important. I mean, yes, you can still be a happy and fulfilled person even if you don't have a lot of cash in the bank. But money is not something to be flighty about, and that needs to be taught too. It's all about balance! Source: iStock
Take As Many AP Courses In High School As You Can
If you're a high school student who wants to go to college, then you'll get a lot of advice from teachers and such telling you to take lots of college courses in high school to save money. But user blazeddoughnuts says the worst advice is to, "take all the college courses you can, you don't wanna have to go all the way up there just for a couple classes. I learned I should of paced myself..." While taking AP or college credit courses in high school can help you save money, it is also a big commitment. These courses can be really tough and overwhelming, and they aren't for everyone. Don't force yourself into it! On top of that, you'll find that some colleges won't accept the credits, which means you just wasted money. Really look into this before you decide to do it. It can be a good idea, but there's no reason to kill yourself in high school with work when it's not 100 percent necessary. Source: iStock
This Is The Best, Most Fun Time Of Your Life
User manymoths says, "'Enjoy things now. This is the best time of your life.' Really?? When I was 16 I was convinced my friends secretly hated me, I had little say in how I lived my life, I was anxiously procreated or did homework until bed, and I started getting symptoms of what I now know is cardiovascular/autonomic problem, but everyone just assumed it was stress. And I knew so many kids that had it worse. Jeez." Ugh, I'm so sick of hearing that your teen years are the best years of your life. They usually aren't, and to be honest, they shouldn't be. There's so much more time out there! I didn't have a great high school experience at all and I'm much happier now as an adult. It's different for everyone, but for the most part, I think you'll find that life is easier when you don't have a bitter view about it. Source: iStock
Don't Let Others Tell You You're Wrong
I've heard this before and user RetardsAdvocate points it out as bad advice: "Don't let anyone tell you that you are wrong." This is... terrible. Listen, everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes you ARE wrong, and you need to be told. Constructive criticism is essential for growth, and you have to learn how to respond to it properly. If you get told you're always right when you're young, you'll grow up to feel entitled, and that isn't going to make your life easier! Source: iStock
Credit Cards Are Good Signs Of Maturity
User Arsnick85 says, "Credit cards are basically free money!" For some reason, credit cards are still seen as a positive thing for teens. Credit cards can be helpful, but at the end of the day, they are money pits. The interest is where they get you, and they can honestly make your life hell. Please don't go into them thinking they'll fix things, because they'll probably make things harder. Source: iStock
Grades Don't Really Matter In The End
User bewires says, "Honestly, all the people who tell teenagers 'this is not the most important part of your life, your exams won't matter years later' etc. etc. are kind of wrong. Like, maybe it's good advice in hindsight, but it's terrible advice for totally stressed out teenagers whose immediate future rests on their exams to be totally invalidated by strangers saying this thing they're putting so much work into means nothing." I myself will admit to saying that grades aren't that important when you become an adult. But reading this comment, I realize maybe I was wrong. The grade itself might not matter, but the lessons you learn from studying and getting your work done are actually super important. So, yes, put effort into schoolwork if you are able to - it will help in a different way than you think. Source: iStock
You Have To Go To College
You know how everyone is always talking about how important college is? It can be, but it isn't for everyone. User lbruss95 says, "college is essential to future life success." College is very expensive and doesn't guarantee a job in most fields. Before you make the commitment, think about what you want or take some. Source: iStock
Don't Pick A Creative Major
User PeriwinkleAppleTree says, "Art/writing/other forms of creation aren't careers. Do something practical. I remember when I was 14 I told my adult cousin that I wanted to study philosophy or literature. He told me my idea was stupid, I would never find a job, it was a waste of time, etc. Today I'm finishing up a PhD in an interdisciplinary philosophy/literature field, I have multiple short story publications, and I'm a tenure-track professor all in my mid-late twenties. If your passion is art, philosphy, literature, writing, sculpting, dance, etc then go for it. It's no less legitimate than a career in computer science or medicine. Sure, the road may be a little rough compared to someone who gets a degree in a field like medicine, but why toss aside your passion? I can honestly say that my career doesn't feel like "work", but I would be miserable if I had listened to my cousin and settled on a career like nursing or accounting (nothing wrong with those careers they just aren't my cup of tea)." Well said! Source: iStock
-Dan-D-Lion- says, "I think the worst advice that could be given to a teenager is the very same thing you'll see scrawled all over their yearbooks... 'Don't ever change.' Screw that. Live. Make mistakes. Learn. Grow. Dream. Try. Fail. Try again. Evolve. Risk. Change."