20 Brutal Truths That Will Make Teens Hate You (But Thank You Later)

Being a teenager is like riding a roller coaster blindfolded- exhilarating, confusing, and sometimes downright crazy. But guess what? Among all the chaos, there are some real truths we have to deal with.

One Redditor asked, “What truths might be challenging for teenagers of today to accept?” This thread received insights from many users, and we have compiled the top comments for you.

1. Take Care of Yourself

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A discerning Reddit user commented, “Nobody will care about you as much as you need to care about yourself. If you don’t take charge of building the life you want for yourself, you’ll never have it.

Someone else added, “Taking care of yourself and actively pursuing the life you desire is essential for personal growth and fulfillment. The foundation of a fulfilling life starts with self-care n self-motivation.”

Bottom line: care about yourself like your life depends on it- because it kind of does. Be your own fan club president, your own coach, and your own best friend. The more you love yourself, the more you’ll attract people who vibe with your authenticity.

2. Take Your Time

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A Reddit user wrote, “Real life requires you to do one thing at a time well or great, and not to a million things.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “It’s okay to not resolve something right away. If someone doesn’t answer your text/WhatsApp/Facebook message, if you need to take some time to think if you want to join in that fun event, if you hear that phone ring and you miss it, If you’re not answering to a social media post, things aren’t going to blow up.”

So, next time you’re tempted to juggle a bunch of tasks, take a deep breath. Pick one thing- the most important thing, and give it your all. No, it’s not going to be easy, and yes, it’s going to take some practice.

3. Social Media Is Not Everything

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Let’s admit it: we’re all scrolling through Instagram, double-tapping on TikTok, and updating our Snapchat stories. But hold up, have you ever paused to think about what life was like before your phone became an extension of your hand?

One said, “Social media is harmful. Social media is a subset of the world, not the whole thing.”

Someone else replied, “Yes! Far too many people (not only teenagers) live like nothing outside of social media matters. I have seen a guy in his late 20s who was so depressed and disappointed because his post on Instagram underperformed in likes and comments. I felt the same level of sadness from him when one experiences after their pet dies, for example.”

4. Tik Tok

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A Reddit user wrote, “I have a 29m friend that sends tik tok rage bait to our friend group chat. I hate it because I always go to the article/bill/whatever he sent, and he and the TikTok are both wrong, and I gotta explain it. TikTok is 30 seconds ooo shiny inducing cancer.”

Another added, “Yes, I‘ve heard from friends about their teenage siblings falling for TikTok fake news almost as often as I hear baby boomers fall for Facebook fake news lol.”

You’re scrolling through, and bam! You see people your age doing seemingly cool stuff, looking like they’re living their best lives. But remember, TikTok is a highlight reel, not the whole movie. Behind those snappy clips, there’s a whole universe of real-life struggles and insecurities that aren’t hashtagged.

5. The Need for Perfection

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Trying to be perfect 24/7 leaves you feeling stressed and anxious. But eventually, it all comes crashing down. It’s not sustainable, and it’s definitely not fun. One Redditor stated, “It’s better to finish something on time, even if it isn’t perfect, than not to finish it at all.”

Someone else added, “This is so true. I find this with young grads coming through at work. Smart young people and many/most become good at their jobs…. But there seems to be a need for perfection and an expectation they will get the time to achieve it. Maybe every generation is like that when young, but I notice it a lot these days.”

6. Influencers

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It’s cool to see someone living their best life, traveling to dreamy destinations, and rocking the latest fashion trends. But here’s the secret sauce: what you see isn’t always the whole burger. 

A discerning Reddit user commented, “When everyone thinks they’re an influencer, no one is an influencer. How many followers do you need to actually be an actual influencer.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Also, you are not an influencer; you are a freelance, unregulated advertising puppet with no credibility outside of your  mad echo chamber.”

7. A College Degree

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One said, “I graduated high school in 2010. Everything I had been taught led me to believe that going to college and getting a degree would automatically get me a good, high-paying job. It wasn’t until halfway or more through college that I realized that wasn’t the case.”

Another added, “I’m also the class of 2010. My college professors hyped up the world. “Hey, dj92wa, with an accounting degree, you’ll be highly desirable and clear close to 6 figs right out of college. After a small handful of years, you’ll be in a senior position, and money will never be a problem.” None of that has yet to come true….for anyone that I graduated alongside. Makes me wonder what drugs the “adults” were all doing that they could conscientiously pander that rhetoric to us in good faith.”

You might need internships, volunteer work, or part-time gigs to sprinkle onto your résumé. In real-world situations, you learn the stuff they don’t teach you in textbooks.

8. Your First Job

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Here’s the scoop: that entry-level job you snag might involve some grunt work. Coffee runs? Yep. Filing papers? Possibly. Boring meetings that feel like they last a lifetime? Oh, you bet! 

A Reddit user wrote, “That your first job out of college is probably not going to be the cushy WFH jobs you see people have on TikTok. You’re probably going to have to grind for a bit.”

Someone else added, “Also, you’re probably not going to make 500k doing computer science right after graduating”

9. Ask the Right Person for Advice

Angry Business Woman
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We all love our pals, and they’re great for binge-watching shows and trading memes. But when it comes to life advice, you have to be picky. Think about it- would you ask your pet goldfish for relationship tips? Nope, because they’re a fish, not Dr. Phil. 

One Redditor stated, “Your friends are idiots. They have just as much education as you. Take advice from people who are experts in the things you want to know.”

Someone else replied, “I’m an older teen who legit doesn’t understand how you could think otherwise from this. I’ve seen teens say that older folks wouldn’t know what we’re dealing with, but that’s the opposite of the truth. 

They’ve already lived it and more. They would be the perfect ones to know what’s going on and give us advice. Just because we might not like what they say doesn’t mean they’re wrong. That seems like the most logical conclusion to me.”

10. Getting Work Is Hard

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We’re growing up in a world where everything seems possible, and you’re told you can be anything you want. And sure, you can. But getting there? That’s a bit hard!

Someone commented, “It’s hard even getting fast food or retail jobs. Trust me, I have been in lots of interviews and then get rejected. I have worked a couple of jobs over the years, but companies are picky about who they hire. Lots of times, you just don’t go in for an interview and just talk for 5 minutes and get the job. You will get rejected because these hiring managers are just picky.”

Another added, “And fast food restaurants get tons of applications anyways. It’s not like you can just walk in there and get a job and start next Monday like in movies and TV shows.”

11. Life Is Difficult

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We live in an era of filters and highlight reels, where everyone posts their picture-perfect moments. But guess what? Behind those Insta-worthy smiles are real humans facing real challenges. 

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Unless your parents have money and are willing to support you, life is about to get a whole lot more difficult.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “To add: unless your parents have a trust fund and a house for you, you will live in poverty.”

12. Age Is Just a Number

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One said, “30 is not old.”

Someone else added, “This. Too many people in their 30s and 40s act like they’re already practically in their graves.”

Think about it- the world’s full of stories about people who’ve shaken things up, rewritten the rules, and created magic at every age. Grandma Moses started painting in her 70s and became a sensation. Mozart composed his first symphony at the tender age of 8.

13. Justifying Your Behavior 

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We all want to feel understood and validated. So, when we mess up or do something a little wonky, it’s tempting to whip out a list of reasons why we did what we did. But here’s the deal: justifying every move you make can actually make you seem more guilty!

A Reddit user wrote, “That trauma, mental illness, gender identity, sexuality are not justifications for being a bad person. Your mental health may not be your fault, but it is absolutely your responsibility.”

Another added, “Sometimes it feels like some people are treating medical/psychological conditions as a sort of Boy Scout merit badge collection, talking about all that in a way that seems almost prideful instead of just proud/self-confident. And they use these as an excuse for how they are.”

14. Being Responsible

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One Redditor stated, “When you grow up, no one will give a darn about your health, orientation, etc., and that’ll all take a back seat to just paying rent.”

Someone else replied, “Paying rent and buying groceries humbles you real quick. You’re not paying your bills cause of your mental health? The landlord will not care.”

Now, don’t freak out. Being responsible doesn’t mean you can’t have fun or make mistakes. It’s more like being the captain of your ship. You’re steering it, deciding where to go, and, yeah, cleaning up any spills along the way.

15. Getting Offended

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Someone commented, “Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right. ETA-I’m not a boomer. I’m GenX. I grew up with Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, so I’m not easily offended.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Also, it doesn’t matter that you’re offended. That creates no duty or obligation for anyone else. If it did, then no one could do anything, ever. Everyone is offended by something, and everything offends someone.”

Think about it: just because a song’s not your jam doesn’t mean it’s not music. And just because an opinion offends you doesn’t mean it’s not someone else’s valid point of view.

16. Education Is Important

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First things first, education isn’t just about cramming facts for tests. Nah, it’s about learning how to think, solve problems, and make sense of the world. 

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Schools are not as useless as they think. They do have problems, but it’s been proven over time and time that education is one of the few ways to get out of poverty.”

Someone else added, “And your teachers (or at least the vast majority. Maybe a super old one or two) aren’t out to offend, attack, misgender, embarrass, etc., you on purpose.

We’re literally trying to prepare you for the real world, and that stuff is gonna slap the heck out of you when you get there. The difference is when you graduate, the world doesn’t give less of a darn than you did during school about your mental health, so please, get off your phone for a tenth of a second and try picking up some of the skills teachers are dropping for you. Signed, a teacher going into year 9, and it just keeps getting worse.”

17. High School Isn’t Everything 

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High school might have felt like the center of the universe. The drama, friendships, and late-night cram sessions all seemed like a big deal. But here’s the thing: once you step out of those hallways, the world’s much bigger!

A Reddit user wrote, “No one gives a darn what you did in high school.”

Another added, “I had a 26-year-old colleague talking about all the things he did in high school; everyone actively disliked his stupid stories.”

18. Adapting to the World

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One Redditor stated, “You need to adapt to the world. Not expect that the world will adapt to you.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “So much this. The world is not going to change for you. The world is not here to affirm you. You must affirm yourself and adjust your own behaviors/develop coping skills to adapt to the world.”

Do you think today’s teenagers know how to adapt well?

19. Relationships

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Love and relationships- ah, the tangled web we weave. Here’s the scoop: Not every crush turns into a fairytale romance. Heartbreak might knock on your door, and it stings like a bee. But it’s also a chance to learn about yourself, your boundaries, and what you truly want.

Someone commented, “Teen love is a glorified myth from shows and movies. You don’t need to be constantly seeking relationships, just live your life”

Someone else added, “Teen love is irrelevant. I’m 32 and know precisely one couple who has dated since high school, and they’re swingers, so by no means are they traditional. I’d argue most people who date under ~25 will break up with that partner by 30. 

We just go through too many changes in our 20s, and the odds of two people completely changing who they are and still being compatible is super low. That said, it’s definitely still a good idea to date. Practice and, of course, experiencing love is very fulfilling. Just understand that almost nobody is looking at these couples and thinking they’re gonna be together forever.”

20. The Value of Money Changes

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Back in the day, a dollar could get you a candy bar, a soda, and maybe even a comic book if you were lucky. But guess what? Times have changed, and so has the value of money. Like seriously, have you seen the prices of stuff lately? 

One said, “You will have less buying power than we did. $100k/yr used to be really good money. It’s okay now. It’ll be worse in a few years.”

Another added, “Yeah, I think the “six figures” thing still somehow sticks even though that’s based on like 30-40 years ago when $100,000 was way way more than it is today, especially in large urban areas.”

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.