Forever Young: Life Lessons from Teen Years

The drama, heartbreak, and struggles that occur during one’s teenage years all contribute to valuable life lessons. Later in life, an individual will find that what they learned during their adolescents will aid them in adulthood.

A valuable life lesson that many learn as a teen that is valuable to twenty-somethings is that your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters. It does not matter what others think about you. Many spend years of their lives worrying about what others think of them. The opinion of others does not matter; what matters is how you perceive yourself. Along with that, never let the opinions of others alter your view of yourself.

Kait Gravatt, a sophomore communication  student, shared the valuable life lesson that life does go on. “That bad exam grade will be okay, that friendship ending will be okay, that relationship ending will be okay. Do not dwell on your bad days too much because they will get better,” said Gravatt. Just as Rhiann Ellis quoted in her evocative book “After Life”, “The worst thing in the world can happen, but the next day the sun will come up. And you will eat your toast. And you will drink your tea.” In trying situations, it is necessary to remember that life goes on and tomorrow is a new day. 

Natalie Toro, a junior biology student has learned that self-love and self-respect are everything. Having self-love and self-respect enables her to realize that she deserves the best and therefore, she will never settle when it comes to her education, career, or love life. Self-love is the key to both confidence and success. The idea of self-love ties into a life lesson that senior Communication student Kayla Cardona has learned as a teen, which is that others cannot define who you are and it is always important to put your mental, physical, and spiritual health first. No matter where life takes us or what challenges we face, it is crucial to take care of ourselves and keep in mind what we deserve.

Claude Taylor, a communication professor and advisor-in-residence for academic transition and Inclusion, mentioned the life lesson of taking risks. When Taylor was a teen, he was extremely risk averse and always played it safe. Looking back, he wishes he had taken more risks because he faces difficulty in making high-risk decisions. It is important to take chances during every phase of one’s life to continue both emotional and intellectual growth. 

Associate Athletics Director  Eddie Occhipinti, shared something that his father always told him during his teenage years. “Every day, someone could meet you for the very first time, so always try to look your best, be respectful, be kind, and always make a good first impression,” said Occhipinti.

The lessons that one acquires during their adolescents will aid them in future situations throughout their lives. An individual’s teenage years are filled with many firsts. One’s first failure, first job, first kiss, or maybe a first love. These initial experiences provide one with further insight on how to handle these situations in the future. Regardless of age, one can always refer back to the memories from their youth to find answers to the many challenges one might face in the future.