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8 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was a Teen Girl

By: Kristen Clark

When you’re young, you feel like you’re going to be young forever. That’s how I felt when I was a teen. I was young, and I couldn’t imagine being any older.

Then — in a blink of an eye — I woke up one morning and found myself turning 30.

Bam! Now here I am, 30 years old, and still getting over the shock of how fast life flies by.

If you’re young right now (in your teens), you probably feel like you’ll be young forever too. Time might even seem to stand still for you.

I remember those days. But trust me, they don’t last. You’ll wake up really soon and discover that you’re over a decade older too.

So why does this matter?

Well…what I didn’t fully realize then and do now, is that the choices I’d make as a teen would still be impacting me today.

The habits I formed, the patterns I set, the worldview I developed, would follow me into the future.

If I could zoom back in time, there are definitely some things I would change. If you’re still young, take this as an inside peek into how you can make your future better.

Here are 8 things I wish I knew when I was a teen.

1. I don’t have to have my entire life plan together by the time I turn 18.

The pressure to have your entire life planned out by 18 is so intense that a lot of girls rush into things without carefully praying it through.

Instead of rushing this vitally important step, take lots of time to pray and seek God about your future. In some cases, the best option might be to stay right where you are.

2. Obsessing over guys got me nowhere.

Now that I’m happily married to my amazing husband Zack, I look back on my track record of guy obsessions and realize how pointless it all was.

Instead of wasting your time and emotional energy obsessing over guys, choose to take your thoughts captive, trust God’s timing, and instead use that energy to pray for your future husband.

3. I am worth so much more than my outward appearance.

There were many days I judged my worth and value based on how pretty I felt that day. If guys thought I was attractive, I felt really valuable.

The truth is, we are already extremely valuable because God made us (Psalm 139:13-15). He defines our worth, not our outward appearance. You will gain immense security in the Lord if you embrace this truth now.

4. Life is so much better if I stop worrying about what “everyone” is thinking about me.

I used to walk into a room and wonder what everyone was thinking about me. Well, newsflash! I’m now realizing that everyone isn’t hyper attentive to my presence. Other people aren’t thinking about me as much as I think they are.

Relax. Be yourself. Don’t worry about what everyone is “thinking” about you. Instead, focus on serving and loving others.

5. Hanging out with friends is great, but investing in family is even more valuable. 

I spent the majority of my time with friends. This is great, except that I was totally neglecting my siblings as a result. And guess who I want to hang out with now (as an adult)? Yep – my siblings.

Build solid relationships with your siblings when you’re young because they’re most likely the people you’ll want to hang out with 10 years down the road.

6. Cellulite is a normal part of womanhood.

And I thought my cellulite was bad as a teen. I should have been grateful then! *Wink* In all seriousness, almost ALL women have cellulite and it’s not the end of the world.

I used to obsess over having a “perfect” rear (even though nobody saw it but me) and it caused me a lot of discontentment. If you can learn to accept cellulite as a natural part of being a woman (even when you’re skinny), you’ll save yourself a lot of anxiety and worry.

7. Cooking isn’t just a good skill to have, it makes adult life so much easier. 

I invested very little time into cooking when I was young. I really didn’t like being in the kitchen at all. Well…guess what happened? I got married, got a house, enjoy entertaining, and want to do hospitality.

Cooking has become an essential part of my adult life.

I’m learning new cooking skills everyday now, but it would have made the transition a LOT easier if I had developed better kitchen skills before I got married.

8. Saving money is actually a good thing to do.

I used to spend money like there was no tomorrow. In high school,  I had a part time job and loved spending my money. It was fun then…but now I’m wishing I had saved a little. Or a lot.

Entering marriage with a savings account would have been a huge blessing to those frugal days of early married life. It would have also trained me to be on a budget which would have been a great habit to build.

So there ya go!

Those are honestly just a few of the things I wish I knew as a teen. It would have been really nice if a 30 year old had told me those things when I was your age.

Being wise as a young person is so rare today, but so beneficial for your future. I want to challenge you to think ahead. Plan ahead. Like me, you’ll be 30 years old before you know it.

Now I want to hear from you!

  • If you’re older than 19, what advice would you give to a teen? What do you wish you knew as a teen?
  • If you’re a teen right now, did anything from my list inspire or challenge you?

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14 Responses to 8 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was a Teen Girl

  1. Enza says:

    If I could advise a teen girl I would definitely say she doesn’t have to have her life planned together by the time she turns 18. I used to be so anxious about the future and if I had known what know now, better yet, if I had believed it and trusted God is in control of every aspect of our lives, it would’ve saved me a lot of suffering. I believe the same advice works for our love life as well. Sometimes it’s difficult *not* to worry about it because everyone around us seems to have a boyfriend we’re alone but we got to be patient and, again, use the time we got to learn how to trust God and be better Christians.

    • forever17 says:

      thank you. I’m 17 and sometimes I view myself as pathetic, because I don’t have a boyfriend yet.

      • Enza says:

        It’s nothing! I’m not much older than you now but I suffered a lot when I was your age because I looked at my friends and all of them had boyfriends and of course I was happy for them but I couldn’t help feeling a little bit down for not having one myself, I felt like having a boyfriend was the one thing I had to achieve in this life. During the years that followed, I asked God to shape my heart in a way that He would be the one reason why I lived and He has been comforting my heart ever since. Don’t worry, God knows us and He WILL grant the desires of your heart if you only put Him in the first place, be patient and trust Him. 🙂

  2. Valerie says:

    Great post! I would tell my teen self, or any teen reading, to not live by friends opinions frequently as teens we focus on what your friends think about you and to be accepted by them. But that is not important. When your older that doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t matter. You do your own things, everyone is taking care of it’s own thing. And the things that once was so important, its not important anymore. It is important what God thinks about you and being accepted by Him. He is our Savior. God Bless! 🙂

  3. Anna says:

    This Post is great! I just turned 18, so its super encouraging to realize that I don’t have to have it all together!

  4. Hannah B says:

    This a very good post Kristen. Man everyone of these was right on. 😀

  5. Blooming Princess says:

    Thank you for this post Kristen! Even though I’m already 22 (past from being a teen), those things that you’ve shared really made an impact to me personally. I am working on those things but it encouraged me to work HARD specially numbers, 5,7 & 8. 🙂 Keep on inspiring us, daughter of the King! 🙂 <3

  6. Hope Hemsley says:

    Thank you for posting this, Kirsten, I was really helpful! I’m a teen girl on the younger side right now, and I really liked your point on how you don’t have to have your whole life planned out by 18. Sometimes I feel kinda stressed about that, but then I just had to realize that I’m not ready for that yet, and not to stress about it because God knows my future. Thank you so much, keep posting! <3

  7. Christie says:

    Thank you, I found these advices very useful as an almost 18-year old teen girl. I often have problems with worrying about what other people in the room think about me, especially when it comes to church. I wanted to try a new one, because in my current church there is only a few people from my age, the vast majority is a pensioner. I felt like God invited me to a new place but I didn’t have the courage to visit that church. I feel like I’m letting God down, so I keep praying for bravery, to dare to try out that church…
    Your post helped me a lot. Who cares about what other people think, what really matters is Jesus’ opinion about me! At the end of the day, that’s the most important!!
    Thank you, God bless!

  8. Wow great piece! I’m almost 20 now (man does time fly :P), but find that these tips have been really helpful to me. Thank you for sharing, Kristen 🙂

  9. Daisy R. says:

    Wow I can so relate with #4! In the past I’ve been super sensitive and self conscious about what others thought of me, but recently God showed me I needed to surrender that to Him. Instead of trying to please everyone all the time, I need to think of others and do everything for the audience of One. Thanks for the post!

  10. Emily says:

    Probably the funniest thing that happens as you get older is the development of the 20/20 hindsight of how silly the things that are important when you are a teenager are! Something I realized when I turned 21 was how much I had already forgotten about high school…the people(forgetting the names of old crushes is so weird haha!), the classes, the dances! These things were at one time the hottest topic on my mind, and now I just look back and wonder why?

  11. Kennedy Sim says:

    I love that you put cooking! I love to cook and I dream out cooking for my future husband!

  12. Horse Lover says:

    This totally helps me! As a teen myself I have been searching for intentional ways to use these years and this totally helps! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

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