Cruelty Free - Vegan Cosmetics

Mom-I'm 8 teen You Can't Tell Me Naw

Sonia OBrien

Posted on December 12 2019

I'm 18 - Please Don't Tell Me Naw!

 

You've waited for this moment ever since you were pre-teen, and now you are in the final stretch of your teenage years.  Yes, by legal standards you are considered an adult, but in many ways you still depend on parents for a roof over your head, a phone, internet and everything else . You've been rebelling just before Thirteen, sometimes subtle, at othertimes blatant.  Your hormones had been increasingly changing and calling for independence. Your head is screaming "I can't wait to be on my own or I don't have to listen to my mother anymore - I'm a grown woman."  

At 18, you're still deciding who you are and what you want to be.  Yes, you've conquered the sex thing responsibly, but it wasn't worth all the hype, and you're hoping college will provide a better experience. Guess what - Naw - The males you'll meet are the same High School immature boys - now they're just wrapped in collegiate apparel.     

You are what we call an emerging adult, transitioning from a teen to young adult womanhood.  It's a very trying time. All the responsibilties and values you learned up until this point are coming into play such as: 

  • Heath & safety 
  • Complete tasks efficiently
  • Personal hygiene 
  • Socially responsibility  
  • Understanding sexual activity
  • Handling peer pressure 
  • Working well with others
  • Holding a job
  • Earning and spending money wisely 
  • Ethics 

You push on, trying on different versions of your life, all at once. Now you focused on yourself and becoming aware of the big world out there, and here are three areas you need to focus on:  

Social

The world revolves around you. In fact, you have a “social audience,” be it Snap Chat, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc., you have a group of followers who only exists to constantly watch and judge your every move. Now, if you're a personality like Kim Kardashian, you probably have sound basis here, but if you're like most of us, this belief can give rise from the larger concept of adolescent egocentrism, that teens think the world revolves around them and that everyone is paying attention to how they look and what they do. This is a normal phase of social development in teens, which may mean you're not quite out of the teen world yet.. 

 Emotional Health 

Another important area you're transitioning from teen to womanhood is your emotions.  You can also feel overwhelmed by the emotional and physical changes they are going through during these years.   If you haven't already, you will need to become more skilled in understanding your emotions. Instead of just reacting like little kids do, we can identify what we feel and put it into words. With time and practice, we get better at knowing what we are feeling and why. This skill is called emotional awareness

Emotional awareness helps us know what we need and want (or don't want!). It helps us build better relationships. That's because being aware of our emotions can help us talk about feelings more clearly, avoid or resolve conflicts better, and move past difficult feelings more easily. 

Emotional awareness is the first step toward building emotional intelligence, a skill that can help you succeed in all areas of life.

Health & Safety

You're about to live on your own in either a college dorm, off-campus apartment, or that bedroom for rent you've been spying.  Here's that thing, up and until now safety has largely been provided by your parents, you know the security cameras and alarm system, the dog or the project tenant association.  Home is safe, but you're not in Kansas anymore Dorothy.  You need a system to help you feel secure, and the 21 Life Saving Safety Tip For Young Women is a great place to start.      

Emotional health is great, but your transition in womanhood will require a great deal of good physical and mental health as well...
Physically you should be:
  • Exercising regularly. You should be physically active at least 60 minutes of every day.
  • Eating a healthy diet. Healthy eating is an important part of your growth and development. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, a variety of protein foods, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Children and teenagers with obesity are more likely to have obesity as an adult. They are also at higher risk for other chronic illnesses, depression, and bullying.
  • Getting enough sleep. In your late teens you need between 8 and 8 ½ hours of sleep every night. Many average only 7 hours. Sleep has a strong effect on your ability to concentrate and do well at school.
  • Keeping up with vaccinations. Get a flu shot every year. If you haven’t gotten the HPV vaccine, ask your doctor about it. It can prevent you from getting HPV and some kinds of cancer, including cervical cancer.
  • Brushing and flossing your teeth.  Should be a habit now. It will prevent tooth and gum problems in adulthood.
  • Wearing sunscreen. Getting just one bad sunburn as a child or teenager increases your risk of getting skin cancer as an adult.
  • Not listening to loud music. This can damage your hearing for the rest of your life.
 Mentally you should be: 
  • Learning ways to manage stress. Stress can be unavoidable, so you need to learn how to manage it. This will help you stay calm and be able to function in a crisis.
  • Studying and doing your best in school. There is a strong link between health and academic success.
  • Trying to maintain a good relationship with your parents. Remember that they want what is best for you. Try to see where they are coming from when they set rules.
  • Developing a good balance between school, work, and social life.
  • Not trying to take on too much. Limit your activities to the most important ones and give those 100%. Overextending yourself can lead to stress, frustration and/or exhaustion.

As you becomes more independent, you'll have more opportunities to struggle. Believe it or not, this is a good thing. It helps you explore your support systems and build resilience. Big changes can sometimes cause crazy anxiety. You may even move past things that cause sadness after a few days or you can get stuck in depression.  

"Depression is a psychological condition that affects your feelings, behaviors, and thoughts. You may have feelings of sadness or irritability, a lack of energy, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, or unhappy thoughts about yourself or your life," according to the Center For Young Women's Health. 

Sometimes 18-year-old girls like yourself or younger turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with difficult feelings or to fitting in.  You should be aware of the consequences of underage drinking and illegal drug use

Practice abstinence (no sex) or safe sex. If you have sex, always use condoms to help avoid sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you are a sexually active girl, talk to your doctor about contraceptives. If you can’t use contraceptives, use condoms for birth control. Even if you can use contraceptives, these do not prevent STIs; use condoms in addition to other contraceptive methods. And finally, you're on your own and you should be aware of what stalking, rape, date rape are about and how you can protect yourself from predators.  Good luck out there. 

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