Adults Share Life Advice That They Believe Every Teenager Needs to Know

A lot of teenagers really do think they know it all.

But hey, we were all young once, right? I remember thinking that I was a hell of a lot smarter than I really was when I was in high school and college. And, as most of us tend to do, I later found out that I really didn’t know sh*t about sh*t.

But if I could turn back the clock, I probably would have paid more attention to the adults in my life who had already been there and done that.

What is something every teenager needs to know?

Here’s what AskReddit users had to say about this.

1. Make good decisions.

“If you are going to school don’t just follow your passions/dreams.

Make conscious decision that will make you good money.

Your passions can be hobbies.”

2. Own it.

“When you make a mistake, own up to it.

People are more willing to help you when you admit you did a dumb thing. This goes for school, work, and personal life. Forget to make a payment on a loan? Call and talk to the finance company. Mess something up on a school project? Tell your teacher and ask for a bit of leeway. Etc.

People will be more likely to help you if you communicate.”

3. I love this.

“I’ve said this before but it’s important.

When someone says you can’t do something in life, it means they can’t do it, not that you can’t.”


“Advice is free, and if you respond to it with “I know” then you’re probably not gonna figure your problem out.”

5. Get in the kitchen.

“Learn how to cook.

It’s way cheaper and usually faster than takeout.

And does less damage to your health, provided you aren’t just cooking out of a box all the time.”

6. Friends will come and go.

“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*t.”

7. Important stuff.

“Learn the signs and signals of toxic relationships.

All too often these can start as early as high school and before you know it you’ve wasted years of your life being someone’s victim.”

8. It’s your right.

“You’re allowed to question authority.

If an authority figure does/says something you think is wrong, you’re allowed to question that.”

9. YES.

“Do not base your life and personality around social media, and the façade that you are trying to create.

Live your life in reality.”

10. Health is the only wealth.

“Start a fitness plan/ habits when you’re young. You won’t have that metabolism forever.

Don’t get in the habit of drinking alcohol, it may end up running and ruining your life. If you don’t have a passion yet, don’t sweat it and don’t think you have to go to college straight away.

Get an apartment to share with friends and job hop until you figure out what you’re good at/enjoy doing. Then consider college for that specific area.”

11. You don’t need to know everything.

“You don’t need to be a genius. You don’t need to know everything.

Hell, its more important to know enough about what you don’t know, so you don’t say something embarrassing or stupid and you can try to sway the conversation or argument toward what you do know.

Fake it till you make it. Always keep your eyes and ears open. Learn lots of little useless facts. They can make you sound extra smart, without any effort.

Sometimes its best to keep your mouth shut and your ears open. Don’t dig in if a conversation isn’t going your way. Lay back. Shut the hell up.”

12. It’s okay to fail.

“Don’t be afraid to fail at things.

Just getting into my 30s and I am finding the new generation seems to be afraid of being bad at something to the point of not trying new things. Go and try!

Obviously there are things to be cautious about, but take reasonable risks on things like moving, jobs, work, hobbies, etc.”

13. Be yourself.

“This is going to sound cliche but just be yourself.

Having friends is important, but don’t act like them just to fit in. You may not entirely know who you are yet, and by not being yourself, you’re going to lose your true self in the mix. If you’re lucky, it’ll take many years and a lot of soul searching to even bring back your uniqueness, and then clump that all together to learn who you truly are.

I made this mistake. I’m 37 now…it took me 20 years to undo everything, because in college and afterwards, I was a chameleon changing my personality with each group of friends I was with. I had no idea who I was.

It took a lot of work on my self esteem to re-correct my thought process.”

14. Some wise words to end on.

“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.”

How about you?

What good life advice would you give to teenagers these days?

Tell us what you think in the comments. Thanks!