10 Lessons I Learned in my Teens

  1. Life is more fun with play. It feels very difficult to admit this, but in high school I valued self-reliance, so I would often work on assignments by myself. But you’re not in this alone! When you collaborate with others, you’re able to learn from different perspectives and exchange information. People are willing to help — make it easy for them!
  2. Keep breathing. In my teens, I experienced periods of rumination and intense mood swings. But I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of catching myself in that negative feedback loop and grounding myself in the breath.
  3. Change and loss come hand in hand. I know, it’s hard to change. Especially if you change your identity… but you grow when it’s uncomfortable. When you sense tension, be curious about it. Don’t shut it out :)
  4. Be kind and compassionate to yourself.
  5. You deserve to validate your feelings and express them. Don’t dismiss them. Growing up as the oldest, I unconsciously put aside my own needs in order to be accomodating to my younger siblings. However, this constant generosity drained my energy. Intentionally setting boundaries allows me to protect my mental and physical energy.
  6. Put on sunscreen daily.
  7. Take the path that lights you up.
  8. Seek someone’s soul and heart.
  9. Challenge the mind’s assumptions — I’ve learned that not everything that floats into your mind should be accepted or taken to heart.
  10. Try to do subconscious things consciously. Slowing down helps me savor life, and be content with it.

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Victoria Peng

Victoria Peng

Eldest of 5 siblings. Chinese American. San Franciscan.