Our teenage years are one of those times that helped shape us to become the adults we are now. We gathered lessons from those years either through the teachings of other people or through our own experiences. We might have recognized those lessons as valuable right away, yet some we only find meaningful as we tread through adulthood.
Out of all the valuable lessons from my teenage years, I have five topmost on the long list. They remain echoed to my being while I navigate this life to fulfill my purpose.
- Being young is not a reason not to gain respect. It is said that respect is earned, not given, and nothing can be more accurate than this statement. Age, popularity, or wealth are not the determining factors to gaining genuine respect from people. I learned that when you honor your words, uphold what is right, and respect others too, you gain people’s respect even when you are young, powerless, or underprivileged. No matter how old, influential or wealthy, a person with no integrity will never truly gain the people’s genuine respect.
- Never make decisions because of peer pressure. Most of us usually learn this lesson hard because we only realize the impact after succumbing to the pressure. I knew that it is not a wise choice to act under the reason of not wanting to disappoint your friends because not everything that they want you to do is beneficial. More importantly, you are the one who the outcome of your actions will directly impact.
- It’s okay to be different from everyone else. The desire to belong is inherent to human beings. We usually want to be part of something. Because of this, we try to alter ourselves, personality or character, to fit in and be like everyone else. However, I learned that you could not bring out your potential if you try to be someone you are not. You can only contribute when you bring out your uniqueness and offer it to serve others.
- Helping others does not put you at a disadvantage. I have encountered many people who do not want to share knowledge, time, and other resources because they think they will have less afterward. I learned, however, that when you help others through whatever means you have, you actually gain something. You gain opportunities, relationships, and joy in your heart.
- There is a lesson to learn from every situation. During my adolescence, I went through a lot of challenges, both internally and externally. Some of the troubles were serious, while some were trivial. Yet, no matter how trivial some of those challenges were, I could extract lessons from each of them and use them to solve the more enormous challenges I had. I learned to look at the good side of everything.
Every time I look back on these lessons, I am reminded of how each phase of life is essential to a person’s growth and development.
What are some of the lessons you learned from your teenage years? Do you still find them applicable to your life now?