Learn what you aren’t taught

Educational institutions like schools and colleges give us a lot of essential knowledge, but not all of it. The internet is often used for entertainment purposes but you can learn pretty much everything on the web. For example, we don’t get taught about taxes unless we choose to take up business studies right? For starters, make yourself familiar with all the financial aspects. Investments, interest, how credit and debit cards work, insurance and loans are important concepts to get acquainted with.

Learn to live independently

In most developed countries, teenage are made to move out of their parents house when they are 16. On the other hand, in developing countries, especially India, there is no such concept. In fact, the son stays with his parents his entire life. Although this is not a bad thing, living independently is an important step towards knowing yourself. One must be put through the process of living alone. It will involve taking care of oneself, learning how to cook and clean, managing expenses and dealing with roommates.

Health is important

Most bad habits developed in the late teens years will be extremely difficult to get rid of. It is easy to get influenced by your peers to just ‘Try it one time’. Smoking, drinking and other gateway drugs are increasingly common among todays youth. At this age, organs like the lungs, liver and heart are still young and vulnerable to damage. Maintaining a healthy body at this age will prevent common diseases experienced when you grow older.

College is important

A commonly misleading statement used my millennials is that Bill Gates dropped out of college and became one of the richest people in the world. The fact is that he dropped out of Harward, not just any college, so he was smart enough to figure it out on his own. Look, if you cannot afford a college tuition and do not want to take a loan, specialising in a certain job specific stream is a good idea to land a job. Nothing beats the experinece of making it through college. You learn important life lessons and are able to make a definite career choice after you obtain your degree. And a college degree earns you prestige and respect.

Do not waste time

This is not about being productive. This is about not wasting time. The youth is blessed with a lot of time in their hands. Use it well. Got some free time? Instead of lazing around, participate in an activity. Whether it is a hobby, an assignment or a sport, keep yourself in motion.

Save up!

The earlier to manage to start saving up, the easier it is to manage your expenses. Learn to save around 10 to 15% of your money, even if you’re doing a part time job. And if you’re relying on your parents for money, use it even more judiciously. Your savings will help you immensely during an emergency situation. Situations like relocation or hospital charges can be handled with relative ease.

Do not trust easily

This is a lesson often learned the hard way. Trust can be immensely satisfying as well as hopelessly depressing. It is a brave step to trust a person and believe in them. But putting that trust in the wrong hands can be frustrating. Know whom to trust and more importantly, when to trust.

Avoid being self conscious

Self consciousness is directly linked to insecurity. It shouldn’t matter what people who you do not know and or care about think about you. Be it your appearance, the way you talk or what you talk about. You should not change or get influenced by the thought of trying to seem cool or trying to fit in. You will be amazed at how great it feels when you’re confident about yourself.

9.Choose your friends wisely

My dad once told me, “Never judge your friends on the basis of how much they can drink”. Wiser words have never been spoken. This is not a swing at drinkers. What I’m trying to say is, the basis of choosing your friends should be trust, loyalty and companionship. You might want to hang out with the ‘cool kids’. The kids you call cool might not be there for you when you’re down or when you need help. Real friends back you up during your best and your worst.

Learn to draw the line

I cannot stress this enough. One should realise when it is too much. For any activity, there is always a point past which it is unhealthy to continue on. This includes working out in the gym, flirting with a stranger, consuming alcohol, pretty much everything really. Do not overdo it.

The parent is not your enemy

Most teens are as rebellious as Gandhi during India’s fight for freedom, but not as non violent. Clips of teenagers raging at their parents is a common sight on social media. One must realise that if your parents are hard on you, it is for your own good. I’m not saying that your parents are always correct and should make your life decisions for you. They just want to see you prosper. It’s always a better idea to sit down and have a mature conversation.

Be nice

In this fast paced world that runs on rules and money, people often forget that we are human. Humans love affection in all of its forms. Do not hesitate to appreciate. Learn to forgive. Spread joy and happiness wherever you go. If you do good, good will happen to you, it is just karma. Smiles are contagious, greet your fellow humans with a smile and you will get one in return.

13.Love can wait

It does not necessarily have to, but love can wait. Think you’ve found the love of your life? That’s great news! But you’re only 20 years old, you have a lot more to see, lot more to grow. Focus on yourself and your dream. Do not let your partner hinder your growth in any way. This is not you being selfish, it is a simple reality check. The word love is often overused now and ironically, it is rare.

Learn a new language

Knowledge of a new language is a great skill to acquire. It is a fresh experience really. Not only does it stand out in your resume, it teaches you a lot. You could learn a lot about a country by just learning the native language. Bonus points if you travel to a country and speak its language.

Love yourself

The first step of loving yourself is accepting yourself for who you are. Acknowledge your character traits, both good and bad. Accept your flaws and learn to bring about sustainable change within yourself. Cherish and exploit your good qualities to stay optimistic and confident. Do not get influenced easily and do not change. Be you.

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