Posted: May 30, 2013 10:00 AM
 
Hindsight is 20/20, especially when it comes to the teenage years. Learn what adult women wish they could go back in time and tell themselves. From self-esteem to love, these are life lessons only time could teach.

What were you like as a teen girl? Did you feel like you knew everything, or were you floundering with every step? We asked adult women what kind of advice they'd give their teen selves if they could go back in time.

On school and staying in line

Teen self- Jen

Jen: “I know this has been a rough road… trying to fit in, obeying your parents and living up to your teachers' expectations. Sometimes you just want to be the one who doesn't always do the right thing. But I'll tell you… doing the right thing, obeying your parents and realizing your academic potential. It pays off. I know you would rather go to parties and drive around town with your friends who seem to have no rules. I promise you that will only lead to trouble. Be yourself. You're beautiful and smart and even if it seems nobody notices, it will serve you well.”

Kristin: “You know this sounds crazy, but your parents are RIGHT.”

Teen self- Lisa

On relationships

Lisa: “Date, date, date. (Did I mention date?) WAIT until you get married to have that long-term relationship. Before then, have all the fun you can dating different people. Have many relationships. Figure out who you are and what type of man you're most compatible with. Although you're going to fall in love — a lot — which is a good thing if you ask me, you don't want to fall in love and stay with that person for a long time. You won't end up marrying him. Trust me.”

Britt: "In a word? Wait."

On being true to yourself

Angela: “Trust your instincts and trust what you love. Use your words, and when you're too uncertain to speak them, keep writing them. When you start ignoring those dreams and listening to the ‘shoulds,' those dreams will start going silent, and it will take years to make them seem real again.”

There isn't a person that you can impress that will change how you feel about yourself. Not a single one.

Amanda: “There isn't a person that you can impress that will change how you feel about yourself. Not a single one. Trying to please people who time and again demonstrate that you are not a priority will always end badly. You are smarter than that. You need to do the things that make you happy. You also need to do things that scare you. Just because one teacher said that you would always be a C student, you aren't doomed. Write the paper that you believe in, try out for the play, be you.”

Natalie: "Care less what people think of you. It REALLY doesn't matter, since you're the one who has to live your life."

On self-image and health

Teen self- SylvieSylvie: "You're not fat. Enjoy that body, wear that bikini, show off those legs. And listen to your mother. It turns out she'll be right about a lot of things."

Emily: "If you let yourself eat fat, your skin will clear up. Stop taking ballet. Your hips will thank you."

Sherry: "I'd tell the 15-year-old me don't take that job at Taco Bell. You'll gain a LOT of weight."

Maria: "Don't hide behind extra-large tee shirts and huge coats. Your body isn't weird — it's normal. Everyone is awkward at this age and you'll regret not being more confident and carefree while you were young. And don't listen to boys. Ever. At all."

More on self and wellness

Is it an eating disorder?
Working mom's guide to quality time
Are you a paranoid parent?

Topics: teen dating