6 Teen Survival Tips

By Kate, age 18, California

The teenage years can be some of the hardest to experience, especially for girls. From pimples and periods to promises broken, the life and times of a teenage girl is like an emotional roller coaster. However, there is a light at the end of this seemingly endless hormonal tunnel!

So how do we make these years a tad bit easier on our mind, heart, and body, you may ask? It's not simple, but it's not terribly complex either. I have discovered through my 6 years of being a teenager 6 things that will lighten the mood and ignite your teenage bliss. Drum roll, please ... In no particular order, I present to you my six tips to teenage survival.

1. When gossip steps up to home plate ... strike it out!

Gossip, unlike the plague, will never go away. It's a fact of life we cannot ignore, even though sometimes we don't want to ignore it. Gossip turns into unforgiving rumors that frighten the mind into being the next victim. It's vicious, it's mean, and sadly it can be rather enjoyable. So how do we ignore this scandalous hype that races around the conscious?

Well, it's easier said, but difficult to put into action, but what we must do to alleviate the catty mentionable is not to completely ignore it (although that is a valid option), but to kill those hurtful words with kindness.

For example: Alexis was having her annual end-of-the-year slumber party that had regretfully turned from harmless pillow fights to hateful slanders. Alexis was not pleased with the way this had turned out, but she had no idea how to make it stop. The whole night she was bothered by words of hatred towards those she considered friends, and towards those she had never heard of.

Suddenly something snapped in her brain. Alexis spoke up for the first time that night, and for every vicious slander she said something kind. No, this may not have completely stopped the gossip, but it did make the other girls feel guilty enough inside to reconsider the rumors they so carelessly spoke of.

2. Zits, pimples, whiteheads, acne ... You name 'em, you got 'em.

It doesn't matter how many times you wash your face, and it doesn't matter how many dollops of anti-acne cream you apply. Sometime or another you are going to get pimples. Pimples are not just a result of hormones. Stress, external bacteria, vitamin deficiency, and evolutionary biology (various genes), are just some of the alternate causes of pimples. Don't stress! There are plenty of ways to avoid breakouts and clear your skin! It's just a matter of knowing the right product for you.

If you feel your skin is at a stage where 'aisle 7' cleansers and creams are not working, then contact your doctor for a recommendation to a dermatologist. Otherwise, keep in mind that this is just a part of teenage life. Whether you have normal, oily, dry, or sensitive skin, there is a product out there for you!

I just recently visited and took the skin evaluation where they recommend the best acne products for your skin type. So far, the products they have recommended for me are working like a charm!

3. Boys: Can't live with them, can't live without them.

Here's the thing ... You may think that teenage boys only have one thing on their minds, but the truth is they are just too insecure to admit their true feelings. Boys will be boys, no matter how annoying that phrase is. They are going to break our hearts and frustrate us to no end, but we have to remember the difficult expectations they are forced to live up to. Teenage boys typically do not want to be seen as sensitive or understanding unless they are trying to impress a girl. Other than that, teenage boys feel as if they have to appear chill in order to fit in with the other guys.

This trend won't last forever! Sooner or later, they are going to realize that they have no obligation to fulfill their so-called demographic. What I do, and what you can do, is just go with the flow. To try and change a teenage boy is like asking Tom Cruise to fall out of love with Katie Holmes. It's virtually impossible.

4. E is for Education.

Whether you are in junior high, high school, or even college, you should know that education is incredibly important. Some may struggle through school, and some may fly like a bird through each course, but education is so vitally important to your growth that missing out on learning is truly unfair to yourself.

To get through those tough vocabulary quizzes and algebra tests you have to know you can succeed. It is so easy to get discouraged when something doesn't come quickly to you. My method of success has worked for me thus far, and I am more than elated to share it with you.

In order to find the belief in yourself that leads to success, you can perform numerous motivational techniques to inspire your thoughts. For example: Right before you go to bed, and right when you wake up in the morning stretching your limbs, say to yourself, "I can do it." Right before you go to school, say to yourself, "I will succeed." Right before each class, right before each exam, right before you begin your homework, say to yourself, "I can do it. I will succeed." These words, no matter how generic they may sound, register in your mind without you even knowing. Motivating yourself, even in the smallest ways, can benefit you in everything you do.

5. Pump up the peer pressure!

Peer pressure is not just provoking someone to smoke, drink, or vandalize. It goes way, way beyond that. Negative peer pressure is a result of teenagers being forced to spend large amounts of time in fixed groups, or even cliques, regardless of their opinion of these groups. When faced with peer pressure of any kind it is difficult for us to know what to do at the drop of a hat. When the time comes that peer pressure is constantly evident in your life the one thing you can do is to build up the willpower to say "no". The confidence and mental strength that you exude can be very intimidating and will most likely make those who are pressuring back off. These seemingly strong peers who are doing the pressuring prey on the mentally and physically weak. In reality, these pressuring peers see the insecure part of themselves in the weak and want to fight it in the worst ways instead of coming to terms with their own insecurities. Life is tough, that's a given. What's even tougher is the ability to say 'no' in situations that are potentially harmful. Subtract the fear from your life and fight the pressure with willpower and moral standings. (You'll be surprised with yourself!)

6. Is it 'that' time of the month already?!

It comes every month whether we like it or not ... and most often, we do not. It's your period, and it sucks. Some girls get it when they're thirteen, others get it at seventeen, and in certain cases even at age nine, but whenever you do get it you know it's basically a one way ticket into womanhood.

Cramps, moodiness, breakouts, and body aches are just some of the symptoms of your period. When I got my first period, on my seventeenth birthday, I was wearing a beautiful white sun dress. I hadn't felt good for about 3 days and my body just felt weird. When I stood up at the restaurant to go to the bathroom I noticed a lot of people staring at me ... particularly women with sympathetic faces. My best friend rushed over to me and covered my behind and pushed me in to the bathroom. It had happened. My period had arrived. At first I felt mortified, but after looking at myself in the mirror I just started laughing. Getting your period is just a part of teenage life that we have to accept. No, it's not fun, but it doesn't have to seem as terrible as most make it out to be.

A little hint about cramps: Don't let those nasty cramps sneak up on you! It's best to begin taking pain relievers when you start your period to alleviate potential cramps. By doing this, you can keep cramps away so you won't have to go through the day feeling awful. Also, being physically active can ease cramps. Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals in your body that make you feel good. A nice warm bath is another option. Ah ... just feel those cramps floating away!

It's just life!

The teenage years can be some of the best to experience. Through all the trials and tribulations, we must remember that it's just life, and with confidence, with faith, and with strength we can get through anything!

We are strong. We are confident. We are teenage girls.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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