20 things we wish we knew when we were 13

Over the years, we’ve shared a lot about boys, fashion, beauty and so much more. And, over the years we’re realized there’s a bunch of stuff we wish we’d known sooner. Surviving your teens is no easy feat for anyone so that’s why, just in time for our big 20th Anniversary issue, we put together a handy cheat sheet 20 things we wish we knew when we were 13. You’re welcome.

1. No period is alike

Just because Emily got hers last week—and yours hasn’t started yet—doesn’t mean something’s wrong. Every girl’s bod is different and unique. Don’t stress out, your period will come right when it’s supposed to (super stressed about it? Talk to your doc).

2. Trends come back

Save your clothes if they still fit! From jeans to jewelry, everything will come back into style eventually. We can’t tell you how many times we wished we hadn’t given away some of our past favorites.

3. Sisters are for life
Trust us, we know what you mean when you say that you and your sib are polar opposites. But it does get better. Over time, the two of you will find more things in common and score ‘bestie’ status. If only we could rewind and undo all those nasty fights about who got to use the bathroom first.


4. Talk to your mom

This is no easy task, but the more open and honest you are with your mom, the better your relationship will be. Just remember that she was your age once, too, and that she’ll love you no matter what. 

5. It will get better

No matter what you’re feeling right now, know that it does get better. Whether you’re going through a family issue or something personal, know that you are loved and that there are plenty of people to help you through it.

6. Trust your teachers

There may be plenty of bad teachers to talk about, but there are also tons of amazing ones, too. Teachers have a sole purpose and it’s to help y-o-u. They want you to succeed, even if that means giving you extra homework.

7. Don’t worry about what others think

This is much easier said than done but once you believe it, your life will improve drastically. Do what makes you happy even if that means having others think about you differently.


8. Boys will be boys

It’s scientifically proven that girls mature faster than boys—and the truth is that they never seem to catch up. No matter how old they are, boys will always make mistakes. Don’t make them out to be someone that they’re not.

9. Quality over quantity

This is our motto for friendship! Although we didn’t know it back then, we at least know it now. Having a small group of friends who would do anything for you is much better than a lot of friends who wouldn’t even break a nail on your behalf.

10. Breakups are not the end of the world

In the moment, ending a relationship can seem like the worst thing to ever happen, but know that it’s not. Cry a little bit, eat some ice cream and hang out with your besties. But then it’s time to leave him in the past and move on with your life.

11. Try something new

Whether it’s a new haircut or going out for the lacrosse team, go for it! In life there are tons of opportunities, don’t let them pass you by. Even if you end up hating the haircut or not making the team, you learned something new.

12. Don’t rush to grow up

When you’re 13 all you want to do is grow up. And now that we’re grown up, we wish we could be a teen again. Live life as a teenager and have fun! Don’t fast forward through life, go day by day and be willing to push pause.

13. Be adventurous

Going out of our comfort zone can be super scary but even if he says no you ask him to the dance or you only get nine miles into that half-marathon, it’ll definitely be a story worth sharing.

14. Say bye-bye to fake friends

There’s no need to hold onto people who aren’t good friends. You need to surround yourself with positive, supportive people and that may mean kicking a few ‘friends’ to the curb.

15. Tampons aren’t scary

Tampons eventually become your go-to secret weapon. You got this, girl.

16. Dad is just doing his job

Although it may be totally annoying to have your dad constantly being over protective, know that he is doing it because he loves you. It can be embarrassing but take a minute to let him know that you love him, too.

17. High school isn’t horrible

The thought of tons of new people, hundreds of classrooms and upperclassmen is enough to make anyone freak out a little bit, but don’t let it overwhelm you. You won’t get shoved in a locker and no one will freak out at you for sitting in their seat. It’s important to know everyone is just as nervous as you are about starting high school.

18. Friends > Boyfriends
We will be the first to say having a boyfriend is great. But what’s not great is if he hogs all of your time. If you start to realize that having a BF means sacrificing hangout seshes with your besties, it’s time to re-evaluate the situation. Your girls will be there for you through it all, even when a boy may break your heart.

19. Grades aren’t everything

It’s easy to get wrapped up in schoolwork, but make sure you don’t stress yourself out over one grade. We’re not saying scores aren’t important, but don’t put your mental health at risk for the sake of an assignment. We wish we didn’t freak out about every grade when we were in school.

20. Be confident. Be you.

The most important lesson? Being you and being happy with who you are and what you do is super important. Become the best version of you possible and don’t let others stand in the way of your happiness. You are perfect just the way you are—and don’t you forget it. 


by Caitlin Moynihan | 2/1/2016