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15 Pieces of Advice I Wish I Had Been Given at Sixteen

1) Not everyone is going to be your friend.

There are people out there who will use your friendship to their advantage, and then drop you like a bad habit when they’re through with you. There are few people you will actually encounter who will be genuinely true friends to you, but when you find them, hold on to them.

2) Boys are jerks.

Though I probably did hear this tidbit of advice before, I wish they had said it a little firmer. Boys at sixteen don’t think with their head – at least not the one attached to their neck. They care about one thing, and they don’t care if they hurt you as long as they’re satisfied.

3) You do not owe anyone in this world anything.

There are people who will come in your life and make you feel like you owe them for things they have done for you. You don’t owe anyone a damned thing. You are in control of your own life.

4) Choose your words wisely.

At sixteen, with your hormones racing, you carelessly throw out words like they’re nothing. But words are things you can never take back, and once they’re out there… there’s nothing you can do. Words have the potential to damage someone’s psyche, or boost them up. Don’t hurt people with a careless joke.

5) Focus on college early.

The sooner you’re looking at colleges, the sooner you know what you need to do to get there. You’ll know the scores you need to get in, the GPA, etc. You’ll be ten times more prepared if you just start earlier.

6) Do extracurricular activities.

They may not seem like fun when you’d much rather be hanging out with your friends, but you’ll want the memories later. Go to after-school events, be involved.

7) Enjoy high school while it’s still there.

High school may seem like it’s lasting forever, but as soon as you graduate? Life as you know it is over. Time starts flying and soon you’ll be getting married and having babies. Enjoy being young and without (many, if any) responsibilities. Life is so darned short and even though you don't believe it now, you really will miss it. 

8) You don’t have to do whatever your friends are doing.

Everyone laughs about peer pressure, but it’s actually very real. Contrary to what your friends say, you don’t have to drink with them or do whatever it is they are doing. It doesn’t make you weird if you don’t, it makes you unique. You’re actually not a part of the crowd, and that will get you noticed in a good light – even if it doesn’t seem so at the time.

9) Find what makes you happy and pursue it.

Whatever your favorite hobby is, if it’s something you can pursue, do it! Don’t look into career fields just because they make a certain amount of money. Money can only keep you happy for so long. Do what makes you happy, and you won’t ever feel like you’re working.

10) Go to church.

Yes, getting up early sucks. But praising the Lord? There’s never wasted time in that. You’ll enjoy the time spent with your second family later in life, I promise.

11) Spend all the time you can with your family.

They may get on your nerves 98% of the time, but they won’t always be here. Spend time with them while you can. Love them while you can.

12) No means no.

There are people who hear the word “no” and think it means “Convince me.” Don’t let them trick you like that. You are strong and you mean what you say. You don’t have to tell anyone yes unless you want to.

13) Wear what makes you comfortable.

People will always tell you what to wear to fit into society’s standards, but you don’t have to wear it unless you feel it. Everyone has their own sense of style, and if you think you can rock it? Then who are they to tell you no?

14) Eat healthy.

Yeah, candy and soda may be good now, but in four or so years, your metabolism will be gone and you’ll be wondering why you’re gaining so much weight. Treat your body right – it’s the only one you have.

15) That breakup is not the end of life as you know it.

Sure, it feels that way now. And it hurts like crazy, but you're going to move on. You won't even remember it six years from now. You'll be onto the next boy before you know it, and be thinking that they are the end of life as you know it. Everything changes constantly. Just hold onto your pain and channel it into something creative that makes you feel good. 

16) Be yourself.

In a world where everyone wants to be a carbon copy of their favorite celebrity, just be who you are. You are beautiful. You are talented. You are funny. Someone is going to love you for you. Just hold on to that belief, and they will come.

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