Advice for Teens: Change What You Do

Kelsey is a crazy 17-year-old from Franklin, TN. She loves writing, acting, and hanging out with friends. Her favorite subject is English and she hopes to teach it herself when she gets older.

“I am just so tired of everything,” I told my friend.  I was in the middle of pouring my heart out to him about how Studio Shot of Young Woman Looking Sad by thousifullaz.frustrated and restless I was with my life.  “I am ready for college, so I can have a change of scene.  Right now, I go to all the same places with all the same people and we do all the same things.  It’s boring.”

His reply?  “Maybe you should change what you do.”  Those seven words slapped me in the face and shook me awake.  It was the extent of his advice; he said nothing more about my complaints and we left it at that.  He didn’t need to elaborate – what he said was what I needed to hear.  His simple suggestion was probably some of the best advice I’ve ever been given.

I remembered through that conversation that it is my own fault if I’m unhappy, or bored, or feel like I’m not going anywhere in life.  It’s been said that people make their own happiness; that we are only as happy as we determine to be.  This same principle holds in what my friend told me.  I was at a time where I felt stuck, where I felt like nothing could be done but to wait for the much desired change college life would bring in a year.  And instead of giving me sympathy, my friend told me bluntly that I needed to grow up and do something about this – or stop complaining.

We are responsible for making changes in our life, if change is what we want.  One of my favorite songs, by Conor Oberst, states:  “I’d rather be working for a paycheck than waiting to win the lottery.”  Who knows what will come if we just sit around and wait for life to happen?  It could be wonderful, it could be great, or it could be that nothing ever happens.  But when we take charge of our lives, and of the direction in which we are headed, we can know at least that we are moving forward.  We can rest assured that we are going somewhere, if we act.

How can we do this?  I have found that it helps me to make a list.  I like to plan things, and to write things down.  What are your long-term goals?  What can you do right now, this very day, to help accomplish these goals?  Don’t procrastinate what needs to be done; fulfill your duties and commitments, and when you have completed these tasks, don’t sit down and say to yourself, “Well, there’s no more I can do.”  Sure, take a bit of a break – it will be well deserved.  But do more than just the bare minimum.  Go the extra mile and do all that is in your power.  That is when you can sit down and relax, after you have done everything possible, besides what is expected.

We have no right to complain about the president unless we actively participated in the elections and knowledgeably voted for someone else.  We can’t moan and groan about the huge assignment in school we had a month complete, unless we spent the entire month provided preparing and working.  We should not hope for that guy or girl we like to make a move unless we ourselves have worked to show that person we feel the same way.  If we want change, we should make it.  It’s that simple, and that is probably the best thing a friend has ever pointed out to me.

One Response to “Advice for Teens: Change What You Do”

  1. Ian Adamson
    November 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

    This message is so simple, and it took me forever to realize that emotions and change is infinite. We choose who we want to be, how we want to act; so why not address ourselves to the best of our ability. Positive thoughts are free, change is free, happiness is free.

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