Your teen years should be, first and foremost, loads of fun. Of course, working hard in school and being kind are of huge importance too, but before any responsibilities come your way, your job is to enjoy yourself and make wonderful memories.
1. Go on a road trip
And no, you don’t have to be Thelma and Louise to pull it off. All you need is one qualified driver a car full of great people and a brilliantly thought out Spotify playlist as well as enough money for fuel. There’s nothing quite as liberating as setting off on the road for an exciting adventure.
2. Stay up all night
Whether it’s an all-night DMC with your bestie or getting to know your new fella, sometimes the middle of the night is the easiest time to be yourself. And there’s something lovely about the sun coming up on a meaningful night on chats.
3. Fall in love
We’re not saying the person you fall for as a teen with be your one and only, but you do deserve to spend some time with someone who makes you feel amazing, special and loved.
4. Conquer a fear
Flying? Water? Heights? One of the most common ways to get over a phobia or fear is to face them head-on. It might take an hour of coaxing or an intensive course, but it’s definitely worth getting over your fears before they follow you into adulthood.
5. See the world
Whether you want to see every county in Ireland, see a stunning international landmark, or spend some time someone totally different, travelling will give you a sense of independence (even if it’s with your parents) and understanding for a different culture that you just won’t get from travel blogs.
6. Be part of a campaign
If you can’t stomach the thought of people wearing fur, or discrimination, or something that just isn’t right, you have the tools to do something about it. Whether it’s starting a hashtag on Twitter and encouraging people to join, or creating a petition, we shouldn’t underestimate the power we have as individuals.
7. Eat something new
If you’ve rather eat bees than try olives or oysters, you’re not alone. However, just because you don’t like the look of something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go. Our tastebuds change and grow so it’s always worth giving things another go, even if you spat it out when you were five. At least that way you can say for sure you don’t like it, or you’ll discover a new fave! Hummus anyone?
8. Watch the sunrise
It doesn’t matter if you’re alone, with your mates or with a fella, watching the sun come up is a pretty cool experience. It might not look exactly like it does on telly, but you’ll still get the impressive feeling that each new day gives you a new leaf to turn over.
9. Learn to drive
All you need to apply for the provisional licence is to be sixteen, and sit a quick theory test. Trust us, it’s that easy. Then time your birthday or Christmas rocks around, ask for driving lessons as a pressie. Then all you have to do is find that customised pink convertible…
Go on, you might well go through ‘a phase’ – everyone expects you to anyway. Just don’t do anything permanent. A tattoo won’t come out in the was, and ditto for getting a hole drilled in your somewhere.
11. Pull an all-nighter
You won’t get through college assignments without one. Make sure you stock up on caffeine before you get started and we’ll see you in 18 hours, okay? You’ll probably learn from the stress of it all, and only do it once… or twice.
12. Crash a party
Even if it’s only next door and it’s so boring it involves a man playing Wonderwall over and over again. It’s sometimes fun to go with a friend to a party where you don’t know everyone. The only rule to keep in mind is to not eat or drink anything you didn’t bring yourself.
13. Make the first move
There’s seriously no point in moping over Gary for History class if you’re wasting your best years on someone who doesn’t know you exist. If you really fancy someone, do something about it! Baby, make your move, but make it casual (a trip to the cinema maybe.) That way, even if you do get knocked back, you can always insist it was ‘a group thing’ anyway. Good luck!
14. Quit a bad habit
Do you realise the number of germs that live under your nails? If you give up biting them you could do something productive with all that spare time. Like learn a language or pull off the perfect flick.
15. Give blood
You have to be over 18 to do it, but the simple reason is that half an hour could save someone’s life. It doesn’t cost you a cent. There are constant call-outs for donations as they are often in short supply, so what are you waiting for?
16. Get on stage
Embarrassing? A little. Fun? Absolutely! When you get involved in the school play, the local choir or even just head to karaoke, there is nothing more thrilling than getting on stage.
17. Learn to dance
Ballet? Hip hop? Irish dancing? There are countless types of dancing and it can bring you great confidence, not to mention great rhythm if you learn how to dance. You don’t have to commit to four years of intensive line dancing, but heading to a one-off or a six-week course can be great craic and something different to do with your friends.
18. Try something new
If you spend are obsessed with the new X Factor, or love watching the rugby, as yourself why you’re not getting involved? If it’s fear or laziness, you’ve got nothing to lose by enrolling in singing lessons or trying out for a local sports team. You never know when you might discover your passion, and it could change your life!
19. Stand up for the underdog
Sure, it’s easy to just go with the pack, but standing up for the little guy is so rewarding. Even if it’s as small as asking your friend not to be nasty to your classmate, or checking in on someone who’s quiet in school, you never know what a difference you can make by reaching out to someone in need.
20. Love yourself
There might be bits of yourself that you’re not totally in love with, but you have to remember there is only ONE you! Spending years doubting yourself or disliking part of your body is a waste when you could just embrace who you are and be the best version of yourself.