Advice To Teens Gets Personal

Did you know that answering and posting questions is one of the hidden strengths of LinkedIn? It’s a great way to engage your network in real conversation.

Recently I asked people:

“If I knew then what I know now … What advice would you give to a middle school kid about life, education or career?”

Responses came thoughtfully and quickly from professional in all types of fields. Surprisingly, when giving one piece of wisdom to pass on to a teen entering high school, academics was not the priority.

Here are some of the tips adults have for today’s teens.

My biggest regret when making the transition from middle school to high school was that I spent way too much time worrying about fitting in and being in the cool clique rather than focusing on building quality relationships with true friends. I spent so much time trying to please and impress the wrong people.

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Treat others the way that you want to be treated. Don’t let what others say about you define who you are. Know who you are!

Don’t be afraid to be different. Your current friends might not always make the best choices — you do not have to follow them.

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Choose your friends. Don’t let them choose you. And don’t let random circumstances decide who your friends will be.

The ability to choose a friend is one of the most-important and life-altering skills you can acquire. It will help you choose your mate, your employer, your clients, your employees, your partners — all the key relationships in your life.

Talent and effort matter the most, but relationships matter first. After all, life is relationships.

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Don’t worry about being popular. Have fun being a child as long as you can. Don’t have sex until you’re ready for the responsibilities.

Stop worrying about being popular was the best thing I did in my senior year in high school. It was the first year I had As in math. I wish I did it sooner. I could be somewhere better in my work life now.

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Keep the friends who tell you the truth, even when it hurts. Find some younger people to invest in. Notice the ways you enjoy helping others, and do more of that. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing. So work at it. Find ways to treasure life, even during the hard times.

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