It would be incredible to have the chance to go back and give advice to our teenage selves. More selflessly, and possible, is the chance to give current teenagers advice based on the mistakes and lessons we've learned.
A recent Reddit thread offered the chance to give exactly that advice.
A majority of the imparted wisdom revolved around two key subjects: work and interpersonal relationships. And the advice given shed light on a common theme of the way teenagers approach the world.
Simply put, teenagers put way too much weight on the wrong things and not nearly enough weight on the correct things. It's as if priorities are inverse to what we realize they should've been.
Here's hoping some teens saw this and made use of all the lessons.
notViperX asked, "Adults of Reddit, what is something every Teenager needs to know?"
Either Way, You're Taking Cues From Others
"It's exactly as lame to not do something you want to do because it's too mainstream or popular as it is to do something only because it's cool and the cool kids are doing it." -- itsacalamity
"I need some grown a** adults in my life to hear that one" -- jason_steakums
"It's ok to say no to anyone. Don't let anyone in your life guilt trip you into doing something you don't want to do or are uncomfortable with" -- Purpleraven01
"That's still something I struggle with as an adult" -- SuperRedditUser1985
"And try to be aware of when you are guilt tripping others." -- es-ist-blod
Relationships are Work
"The measure of whether someone has the potential to be a new friend of yours is NOT whether they like a bunch of things you like. It is entirely possible to become friends with people who like a ton of things you've never heard of, or even already decided you dislike."
"You are at a spot in life where a lot of your likes and dislikes are subject to change anyway."
"Biggest thing: making a new friend often takes time. Lots of time. Much longer than movies and shows make it look like."
"Find things to do, groups to join, city league sports to play (pandemic permitting, or after) and keep learning about the people you see repeatedly."
"Far too many early twenties people who report having no friends made a premature judgment that one or more prospective friends were off the list, when it just needed a lot more time."
Acknowledge and Express
"Don't put off dealing with mental health issues. Developing unhealthy coping mechanisms for emotional issues will f*ck you up big time down the road. If you have issues, deal with it head on, right away. It can take time, but start the work now."
"Also, save for retirement. You should open a Roth IRA yesterday."
How to Disagree
"How to deescalate difficult situations. And how to disagree with a teacher/someone in authority without sounding like a know-it-all or in a condescending manner."
"For example, if a teacher says X and you are certain you learned differently, recognize that there may be certain circumstances that you may not realize that changes something."
"Lead the disagreement with a saying like: excuse me, I may be wrong, but I thought/learned Y. This kind of phrasing does not cause the other person to be on the defensive, which can allow gentle new instruction for you, or a graceful/face saving correction for the teacher."
"A situation with differing opinions doesn't have to be confrontational."
Trust Your Own Moral Compass
"Hold yourself to your own standards."
"If you wouldn't let anyone treat your friends/family like trash, then don't do it yourself."
"If you feel learning is a positive thing, then learn on the daily."
"If you value work and security, then give yourself security through work."
"If you expect others to be intelligent and to care, then you should be intelligent and caring."
"Hold yourself accountable for how you want the world to be. Be a part of the world you want to live in."
Passion is Great, But Be Doing Something
"If you don't have a passion, learn new skills. You might find your passion or something you're good at." -- checkmatelocked
"Also, you don't need a passion. If you're happy with doing all of the mundane stuff, don't let other people convince you you're missing out." -- VerlorFor
"Tacking on to this: You will always be more interested in things that you already know about. The best way to make something that is boring to you more interesting is to start learning more about it."
"And because everything is related, the more you know the easier it is to learn. Though the initial research is always the most difficult the rewards last a lifetime. Always be learning." -- JoeSki42
Assess As an Adult
"Most of your friends are the product of geographic convenience."
"Just because you grew up being friends with a neighbour or a fellow student, doesn't mean you owe them your undying loyalty when they start treating you like sh**."
"When you get to driving you need to realize that the laws of physics apply to you. They aren't out to get you, they're just indifferent."
"Slow the f*** down and don't horse around, you're driving a very heavy machine at speeds we did not evolve to deal with. Be safe."
And It Can Be Fun!
"Learn how to cook. It's way cheaper and usually faster than takeout." -- ten-million
"And does less damage to your health, provided you aren't just cooking out of a box all the time." -- McDicklesP1ckle
"This. Dear god this. I didn't learn to cook after leaving the house for a year and I went from 150 lbs snd healthy to 270 lbs because I constantly had take out or ordered in. Learn to cook kids. It is so much healthier and cheaper." -- uwu_SenpaiSatan
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