image of a teenager sitting on a tennis court

8 things I realised in my teenage years that brought me peace of mind

A young person shares some of the things she learned during her teenage years

Mental health and wellbeingFriends and relationships
By VoiceBox ·

Khushi Ashok Kumar

Khushi is 18 years old from Pakistan. She is bold and strong, proving the meaning of her name everyday, Happiness. You will often find her with a cup of tea, a book in her hand, headphones on and lost in her own world. She writes down all of her ideas in her journal and you can see one of its pieces below.

8 things I realized in my teenage years that brought me peace of mind

1) Journaling can be healing.

Journaling has been my thing since 2020. It helped me clarify of my thoughts. I am someone who has trouble speaking about the little things I want or my biggest dreams. I have been "Me" in my own little journaling world where I won't face judgements. While I don’t always have a lot of time to write, taking 20 mins from my schedule every day to journal has changed my perspectives and views and improved my life. 

2) It's okay not to rely on others all the time.

I used to be the one who was scared of not doing things only because others weren't doing the same thing or there was no one to root for me. I used to be the one who relied emotionally on others to validate my feelings. I relied upon my friends or classmates during assignments or quizzes. However, I realized that there was no learning or growth in it for me when I constantly relied on others. I have realised that I shouldn’t constantly rely on others whether it be emotionally, academically or socially. 

3) You have to take the steps that you are afraid of.

Life is too short to be afraid of the lessons that are scary. Things can't be right all the time, but it is worth taking a shot. You can either succeed or learn. After being afraid of new experiences and challenges, I realised I needed to stop giving into my fears in order to grow. You can only grow through learning from your experiences and mistakes. Those experiences and mistakes can only happen when you are courageous enough to overcome your fears.

4) Not all friends are your “well-wishers."

The toughest lesson throughout my teenage years was to identify my friends. I was mistaken when I thought that "because we talk every day, we are friends." Friendships are more about understanding, connection, and trust, not just who you talk to on a daily basis. Not all of your friends would be happy to see you happy, and the one who values your happiness is worthy of your friendship.

5) Validation from others isn't necessary.

You don't need to be perfect in all aspects or need validation from people to tell you that you are perfect. I had heard the phrase "you can't be everyone's favorite", but when I was younger I wanted to be in everyone's good books from the start. However, as I started growing up, I realised you can't be loved by everyone, and that's completely okay because you don't like every single person in your life either.

6) Self-care isn't a luxury; it's a necessity.

As a teenager, I used to believe that self-care is all about skincare, clothes, makeup and other things that cost money. However, as my perspectives changed with time, I started realising the value of things like protecting my peace and being okay in my skin. Self-care might mean a different approach for different people. For me, journaling, music, and reading have been my self-care activities. They are my favorite was to take a break from the stresses of my life. Your approach might be a long walk, exercise, dancing, or going for a long drive. Any activity that brings you peace is your self-care.

7) Baby steps are still the steps forward.

I never realized that I was so competitive until I saw my fellow students' success. I wasn't jealous, but rather a motivated person. The biggest mistake I used to make was not being consistent with the new things or having proper self-discipline. My mom taught me this beautiful lesson, "you have to take every step slowly and gradually to know its true value, and that value will be the cherry on the top of your success." Since that time, I try to recognise the value in every small step forward that I take toward my goals. You can't be successful overnight, and that's why you have to keep taking those baby steps.

8) It’s ok to talk to people about your problems.

When I was a teenager, I started believing that nobody would hear my voice or understand my problems. It mainly happened with my parents when we would talk about issues. I was so afraid and sure that they wouldn't understand and so I didn't tell them things. The communication gap made me think that they didn’t understand me. However, my parents have been truly flexible with my issues. They tried their best to understand my feelings despite the generation gap. I know that they want me to succeed and to be happy. Communication can solve many problems, or at least it makes things easier for you.

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