A Little Self-Reflection: 10 Things I Would Tell My Teenaged Self

self-reflectionI really don’t have any big regrets from my teenage years. I was a “good girl,” but I definitely think I could have benefited from some advice from the older, wiser me. So I’m kicking off the week with a little self-reflection and 10 things I’d tell the teenaged Kerry.

  1. Don’t obsess over the grades. It’s OK to fail. While you feel like your transcript must be pristine for future opportunities, things will fall into place. Screw honor’s chemistry!
  2. When Mom and Dad lose it on you, it’s only because they really, really do care. No joke! Parenthood is intense. There are so many worries and things to teach. Someday, you’ll get it. But now, just know they are on your side.
  3. You are going to love college. I know high school often feels like this caged-in place where the cool kids rule the school, but all of your hard work and ability to mix in different circles will make college a blast. Hang in there!
  4. Soccer isn’t everything. When you blow your knee out for the second time your senior year, realize you’ll come out OK. Yes, it wasn’t the pinnacle season you dreamed of, but you’re more than a soccer player. The knee will heal, you’ll still get to play in college and your love of the game will help you find your future husband. He’s pretty cool.
  5. Trust your gut. You’ve been raised with solid values – lean on them and don’t compromise yourself.
  6. Have fun, more fun. Sometimes you work too hard. I know it’s in your DNA, but you’ll work for the rest of your life. In these years, there is nothing holding you back – minus a curfew – so spend more time with your friends.
  7. There will always be “mean girls.” Sorry to tell you that doesn’t change. Sniff out the good ones, and don’t give the “mean” ones a second thought. There is a special place for girls who don’t have your back.
  8. Thank your lucky stars there is no social media in your day. This stuff can be a total time suck, and I can only imagine the damage it can do to young teens as they are getting comfortable in their own skin.
  9. That Del Taco drive-thru you’re about to cruise into with the minivan – don’t. You are going to scrape up the side of the car so bad, and no, you are not going to be able to hide it from Mom and Dad.
  10. You don’t know everything. You never will. As soon as you think you have something mastered or figured out, life will throw you a curveball. In fact, you might even find yourself more confused at 37. Just enjoy the ride and try to embrace change, and have a little faith that everyone will turn out OK.

Anything you would tell your younger self?


  1. says

    Love this list and the pic to go along with it…prefect. yes, mean girls are everywhere at every stage, sighs. Trusting your gut-I can relate to that, trying to instill that in my son now.

  2. says

    I’m right there with you with #1! I try and keep that in perspective as my oldest keeps navigating through his school years and grades seem to be more important.

    Hee hee about Del Taco! At least that story wasn’t about Der Weinerschnitzel?!

  3. says

    One thing I wish I had told myself would be…your parents do have a clue what you’re going through. Life circumstances never change, only the names. Teenagers will never get that parents totally know what they are going through. Nice to meet you!

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by Cathy! Those teenage years are already freaking me out as a parent. Hopefully the values I’m instilling in my kids now will pay off in a few short years. Fingers crossed!

  4. says

    Pretty much the same list for me!

    Except the knee was blown out senior year diving, and I’d never dive again competitively.

    And it was a car that got scraped badly on an electrical box outside someone’s house.

  5. says

    Ha ha ha!! Your #9!! Loved your list, but oh man, the ‘boo boos’ we make when we’re new drivers!! I once backed out in the family car to head to the mall (because that’s what you DO in the 80’s – duh!) and as I was pulling out of the garage, I glance back in and see my Mom’s face stricken in horror as she stood perched on the wooden stoop to the door in the garage – because I was slowly pulling it and her with me as I backed out…..mercy that we survive those days.

  6. says

    Great list. I would tell myself not to obsess so much about my appearance. I find it interesting that I spent my teens and 20’s working on my appearance while my husband was trying new things – sports etc.

  7. says

    My teenage self could use the same advice. I wish I could tell myself not to wish away the time- that I had no idea what I was in for and to enjoy having no real responsibility!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *