The early teen years mark the start of high school, adolescence, and growing up. Oftentimes, young teenagers may be unsure of how to live their early teens happily and well. These are your last years before you start preparing for college and adulthood. Here are some ways to live out your years from 13-15 well.

Part 1
Part 1 of 4:

Staying Healthy

  1. In your middle school and high school years, your sleep will decrease, usually due to more assignments. It is still crucial to get enough sleep in order to perform well in school. Your body uses sleep as a time to repair itself and for rest. [1] Don't stay up too late (after midnight) regularly.
    • Teenagers 13-18 years old need 8-10 hours of sleep. [2]
    • If you sleep well, you will also avoid being late to school.
  2. If you go to the grocery store with your parents, check out what foods are healthy there. You'll be more independent soon, so you'll need to get your own food. Go to the store and choose healthy fruits and vegetables. If you're buying packaged food, check the nutrition facts on the backside to see if it has a lot of added sugars, sodium, or trans fats.
    • Eat a balanced diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, protein, grains, and dairy every day.
    • You can add in an unhealthy snack from time to time, but don't make it a daily treat.
  3. Exercise every day and maintain a routine. If you have gym class on some days, you won't need to exercise additionally. Find fun ways to exercise if it is boring for you. Dancing, playing a sport, jump roping, and playing outdoor games are great ways to exercise while enjoying the experience. Exercise for the health benefits and the experience.
    • Even going on a long walk to the mall with friends counts as exercise. As long as your heart rate increases and you're exerting yourself, you're exercising!
  4. The teen years are a rocky road for many, as you are discovering yourself and moving on from being a kid. Teens deal with all sorts of pressures and stresses in their school life and personal life. So, it is important that you take care of your mental health as well as your physical health.
    • Carve out time in your schedule to relax. Even if it's just 30 minutes before bedtime, you should have enough time to do things you enjoy on the weekdays. Having barely any time left when you get home can be stressful, since you're not engaging with your hobbies or stress-relieving activities.
    • Talk to someone if you are struggling. Whether that's a parent, sibling, friend, or teacher, you should have a source of support when you're struggling.
  5. Yes, there are many late bloomers out there who start puberty in high school. Being a late bloomer is normal. Females can start puberty at ages 8-14, and males at 9-15 years old. But, if you haven't started puberty at 15, you should go see a doctor. Not starting puberty at 15-16 years old could indicate a hormonal issue. [3]
    • Additionally, if you have any issues with your period (irregularities after 1-2 years of regular cycles, extremely painful periods, periods that last for more than a week), see an OB-GYN. [4]
  6. During the teenage years, it is common to experience some mental health issues. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, consider talking to a school counselor or a therapist.
    • Depression: This is indicated by a low mood. The affected person has feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness. They lose interest in activities they used to like. They may have mood swings and get emotional over small things that didn't bother them before. [5] Some teens may harm themselves or consider taking their own life. If you feel this way, please call a mental health hotline or dial 988 in the U.S.
    • Eating disorder: This is indicated by an obsession over their appearance. Teens often obsessively check their weight to see if they gained any. They may refuse to eat much or eat in secret. Some try to lose the calories they gained by vomiting or taking laxatives. Others excessively exercise, wearing themselves out. The affected person may feel ashamed of themselves and have low self-esteem. [6]
    • Anxiety disorder: This is indicated by constant anxiety. Teens may feel anxious every day. They may also get worried over little things that didn't concern them before. You can't function normally in certain situations. Some people get panic attacks. They may avoid the event altogether to prevent themselves from feeling anxious. [7]
    • Addiction: This is indicated by constant thinking about the subject. The person constantly thinks about the subject. They may skip mandatory or important events to get it. They may go through physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms if they are unable to get it. [8]
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Part 2
Part 2 of 4:

School Life

  1. Yes, you are growing up and thus, have more responsibilities. But, it's nearly the same; it's just that people are more mature in high school. Additionally, don't believe the high school stereotypes portrayed in pop culture. No, not everyone dates in high school. Fights don't break out all the time, and people don't know what's going on everywhere all the time (especially if it's a large school).
    • It's helpful to talk to an older adult, like an older friend, sibling, or parent about their high school experience to feel reassured.
  2. Set your study habits. You should already be in the habit of studying. If you haven't yet, set up a study schedule. Set up a table with the days Monday to Friday (or Sunday to Saturday), and write down what subjects you have every day for that week. You can do this with a planner or a calendar too. Then, write down important tests coming up, and how many minutes you'll study for for each subject.
    • If you don't set up your study habits now, you may be prone to procrastination and inefficient study habits in your late high school years, which isn't beneficial to boosting your grades. Bad habits get more difficult to break the longer you keep them.
  3. You don't want to have multiple tardies in your school attendance record, as these will be shown when you apply to colleges. Colleges aren't likely to accept someone who is late constantly. Plus, you are showing respect to the class you are attending, as well as the teacher.
    • It's best to do this early on. If you are late in 9th and 10th grade, your teachers may comment on your tardiness to future teachers that may teach you in your later years, which gives them a bad image of you.
  4. If you're in your last year of middle school, you may be sad to leave your friends behind. However, remember that high school is another new beginning; you get to leave frenemies, bullies, and your past behind. Plus, you can contact your best friends from middle school with technology. You don't have to forget about them. In your freshman year, try making friends with other freshmen, as well as maintain some of your old friends.
    • During high school orientation, talk to some people sitting next to you. Some subjects to talk about include which middle schools you went to, hobbies, electives you took, excitement about high school, world events, pop culture events, etc.
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Part 3
Part 3 of 4:

Personal Life

  1. You are constantly changing and evolving, so your interests will change. Your interests at 5 years old will be different from when you are 10, and when you are 15. You don't have to stick with something you don't like anymore, even if you've done it for years. So, if you're tired of taking piano, try quitting piano and taking up something else.
    • Your parents may not agree. Try convincing them that the benefits of taking a class that you like is better for your happiness. Additionally, you want to try something new. You may be taking this class to learn something useful for your potential career too.
  2. As of 2024, the average person spends around 7 hours on their screens![9] Except for computer time during class or for homework, you should limit your time on the internet. Think about it; what memories will you have if you scroll and watch videos for hours every day? You won't have many interesting memories of your teenage years in the future. Doing the same thing for hours is pretty boring. Also, you are wasting a lot of time.
    • Instead, use this time for mostly engaging in hobbies, exercising, or relaxing offline.
    • You can also spend time with family and hang out regularly with them in a common living space, such as a living room.
  3. Because you are a teenager, you may cringe at the thought of having board game night with your family every Friday. However, activities like this promote bonding with your family, and it makes your relationship better. You may learn conflict resolution and what beliefs your parents have, as well as remove assumptions. Of course, if your relationship with your parents is toxic, then you can distance yourself from them.
    • Some ways to spend time with your family includes having a weekly game night/movie night, riding bikes, hiking, karaoke night, etc. [10]
  4. Sometimes, your parents may annoy you, which causes you to get furious with them. They may treat you like a kid when you want to grow more independent. [11] Realize that yelling, screaming, and arguing is not effective communication, and arguing will drive a wedge into you and your parents' relationship. You may regret being estranged from your parents when you are an adult. Your parents may not understand what they did to make you unhappy. Additionally, some parents may be clingy because they are apprehensive about you growing up. If you sit down and explain how you are feeling and why you are feeling this way to your parents, you may find a way to solve the problem.
    • Use "I" language when explaining your emotions. Find a way to compromise if your parents have strong feelings for something.
    • Sometimes, you may have to give into your parents. Your parents may be doing what is best for you. You may have to wait until you are an adult to get a piercing, and that's ok. It's not the end of the world, and you can wait a few months and check again to see if they will allow you.
  5. Many people date in their teen years. If you want to date as a teenager, think about how you view relationships. Understand that having a relationship is a commitment, and you will get into arguments with your significant other at one point. Every day won't be a beautiful fairytale. You will need to be mature enough and learn how to handle conflicts, as well as talk about difficult subjects sometimes.
    • Don't date someone solely because of their looks. Most people develop crushes based on physical appearance, but you shouldn't be intentionally dating people because they look good.
    • Know that you have your rights. You can always say no if you are uncomfortable with something.
    • Talk thoroughly about whether or not you are ready to have sex. Both people need to be consenting for this to occur.
    • Stay safe if you are dating on the internet. Don't reveal your personal information to someone you are dating online unless you have seen their face.
  6. Social media is a large space for users to communicate and post what is happening in their daily life. Social media can increase your connections, especially if you and your friends communicate with it. But it can isolate you if you overuse it. Scrolling for hours on social media is unproductive, and you may develop an addiction to it. It may also expose you to unrealistic standards and cyberbullying, which could lead to self-esteem issues, anxiety, or depression. [12] [13]
    • Hang out with your friends in school and outside of school. Go to their house to hang out and have a sleepover if you've gotten to know them better. Invite them to your birthday party, or just chat after class.
    • When you have free time outside of school, try doing other activities offline. Depending on social media for boredom isn't healthy. Having healthy boredom that requires you to do something creative (instead of giving your brain easy dopamine by scrolling) is better. Actually take the time to find something you enjoy.
  7. Teens can't be employed into the formal workforce yet, but they can work part-time shifts. Look around your neighborhood to see if anyone needs help, or think of a business idea. Doing this shows that you are responsible, and you are actually thinking about earning a decent amount of money for yourself. Some jobs that teens can do include: [14] [15]
    • Babysitting young children
    • Taking care of pets
    • Mowing lawns
    • Tutor
    • Dog walker
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Part 4
Part 4 of 4:

Discovering Yourself

  1. Whether that's an older sibling or a junior you met in high school, find a good influence. These mentors can help you if you have any questions about high school. They may be able to help you with homework if they took a class you shared. They can help you throughout your teenage years and possibly help discover yourself.
    • Avoid bad influences. The teenage years often determine part of your habits and your personality in your adult years, so be careful. If your friend encourages you to vandalize, smoke, do drugs, bully others, get into fights, then stay away from them.
  2. We all experience surface pressure and peer pressure from time to time. You might be scared that doing something different may make you the target of bullying. Friends you have may have taught you to cringe at someone liking an underrated hobby (e.g. knitting). If you truly like it, you don't have to follow what others say. Break the surface pressure by freely expressing what you believe. You can stand up for what you believe in because you have a voice. You may be part of the minority, but that's not a bad thing. It's great to try something new too; if there's a new course offered in school, you may be one of the first ones to try it out. Maybe it's an interesting class you want to take again, or maybe it's not the right fit for you.
    • The teenage years are hotspots for intense peer pressure, since everyone is self-conscious and/or judging each other. [16] However, you don't have to be like this. Be yourself; it makes you happier in the long-term, and you may share opinions that help people.
  3. High school is the last frontier before you become an adult, so enjoy it while you can. High school is very stressful for many people, because of the pressures of school, applying to college, and becoming an adult. But a way to enjoy it is to express yourself. In adulthood, you may not have the freedom of expressing yourself in the workforce due to high standards and expectations of being professional. Middle school and high school are good times to figure out your fashion sense, what music you like, what friends you look for, etc.
    • Even if your school requires uniforms, you can still express yourself.
    • Don't be forced into liking a certain type of style. Discover what you like on your own. Some fashion styles include the preppy, goth, emo, skater, punk, scene, VSCO, and fashionista styles. You also don't have to fit into one category; you can use accessories from multiple styles of fashion.
    • Find out what artists you like listening to. You don't have to listen to pop that's overplayed on the radio. You may find out cooler underrated artists. Or, you may find musicians from earlier decades, like the 2000s, 90s, 80s, and 70s that you enjoy a lot.
  4. Peer pressure can be helpful sometimes. If your peers encourage you to study well in order to attend a good college, that's good pressure. They are encouraging you to change your bad habits to good ones. But bad pressure is something that you shouldn't give into. If someone is forcing you to do things that are dangerous, wrong, or unwanted, don't give in.
    • You can make up an excuse, but keep in mind that this won't work all the time. You can honestly say to them, "I'm not interested in (activity)" or "My parents don't allow me to do (activity)".
  5. Because of peer pressure, you may be tempted to adopt a party and carefree lifestyle, going to parties and hanging out at people's houses until late at night. But you shouldn't do this. High school is an influential time for teenagers, and it shapes who you are going to be in your adulthood. You may adopt bad habits and keep them through adulthood, making you struggle through your working years.
    • You don't need to go to every party to have a social life. You can make friends that aren't party animals.
    • You don't need to become popular in high school. Peaking in high school in terms of social life can be detrimental to your future, especially if you used bad ways to become on top of the social ladder. Colleges will see what you did in high school, and they won't accept you if your reputation was bad.
    • In stricter schools, this probably won't happen. But be very cautious when dating. Additionally, wait until you are mature enough to get sexually active. Having sex is a very serious thing, and you should wait until you are emotionally ready and mature enough to do so.
  6. 6
    Embrace change. The early teen years are often a large transition for people. You graduate middle school, go through puberty, enter high school, and immediately need to start thinking about your future. Even two years, from 13 to 15, may be a large change for you. It is normal for people to change. People change all the time, and everyone is always learning from until they die. No matter how old you are, you will still be different than what you were in the past.
    • If you still have hobbies that are traditionally reserved for younger people, you can still follow them! As long as it doesn't harm anyone else or disrupt your own life, you can do it!
    • If you're sad about growing up, reframe your thinking in a positive way. Growing up means you can become financially independent. Plus, you may get a job you really like. You may learn new skills. Getting a job and being happy during these times may be difficult, but you will make it through.
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About This Article

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 2,309 times.
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Co-authors: 6
Updated: March 10, 2024
Views: 2,309
Categories: Youth