What people experience as teenagers has outlasting effects on their adult lives.
Take popularity, for example. Research has found that popularity as a teen can cause a person to constantly seek for glory later in life. A University of Virginia study also found that cool kids are less likely to keep that status as they become adults.
And how people view things overall as a teen changes as they grow older. A team of researchers found that people look back on their high school lives and can’t believe they thought what they thought back then, according to The New York Times.
“Middle-aged people — like me — often look back on our teenage selves with some mixture of amusement and chagrin,” said Daniel Gilbert, a psychologist at Harvard who was one of the authors of the study to The New York Times. “What we never seem to realize is that our future selves will look back and think the very same thing about us. At every age we think we’re having the last laugh, and at every age we’re wrong.”
So what things do people hear, see or learn in high school that didn’t make sense then but totally make sense now? Here’s a list of 12 things that click as you get older:
Going to bed early
All the cool TV shows are on past 9 p.m., and Netflix is calling. So why in the world would you want to go to bed earlier than you need to?
Well, more sleep can actually bring a person more educational success. Time magazine wrote in 2012 that a University of California report found that teens who study throughout the week and spend more time sleeping actually had less academic problems.
“If you’re really sacrificing your sleep for that cramming, it’s not going to be as effective as you think, and it may actually be counterproductive,” said Andrew Fuligni, a professor at UCLA, to Time magazine.
Don’t rush off to school just yet. That bowl of cereal or Pop Tart could be just what you need to ace your upcoming social studies test or pop quiz. NPR reported that researchers have said breakfast offers the right nutrients for the brain to work well and help kids develop in school.
“To keep your brain powered up, the first meal of the day should be rich in protein and good carbohydrates — the whole-grain variety that will sustain you for a long spell rather than the sugary kind that will push your blood sugar up, then let it fall,” NPR reported.
Treating others the way you want to be treated
Being told that you should "treat people the way you want to be treated" didn't always make sense. You wanted to be respected and loved, so why should the kid bullying you get the same treatment? It may not be as specific as that, but being kind to others can actually help you avoid problems in the future. As a matter of fact, a recent study published in Psychological Science found that actions like bullying and teasing can eventually lead you to health and social issues
“Being bullied is not a harmless rite of passage but throws a long shadow over affected people’s lives. Interventions in childhood are likely to reduce long-term health and social costs,” the study found.
Coming home early
Sacrificing sleep for studying is one thing, but sacrificing sleep for the sake of hanging out or seeing a cinematic adventure can be just as harmful to high school success. Right now, 8 percent of students are getting the proper amount of sleep with 10 percent of high schoolers getting five hours of sleep. This has led to increased stress, according to the Center for Advancing Health.
"As students progress through high school, demands on their time from hectic social activities, jobs, homework and family obligations increase and they sleep less to fit them in,” the center said.
Taking a study break
Psh, a study break? Who needs it? You’ve got the will power and drive to push on and get things done. And, like this Stanford study suggests, you don’t need a study break to refresh the battery before a test.
Study breaks have proven to actually increase someone's attention, according to a recent study. Long hours spent studying can make a student’s brain get too familiar with the material, causing them not to see all the details they need to see. Plus, since long hours at the part-time job could be hurtful for your behavior and academic performance, like this study found, a break every now and again can come in handy.
Studying well for tests
Getting a high GPA might not seem like the top priority, but it is necessary for you to have a successful future and higher salary. A study by University of Miami researchers found that those with a higher GPA — people who Slate called “the nerds” — tend to do better in their personal earnings after the final bell rings.
“Conventional wisdom is that academic performance in high school is important for college admission, but this is the first study to clearly demonstrate the link between high school GPA and labor market earnings many years later,” said Michael French, professor of health economics at the university who led the study.
Getting a job
Getting a job may seem like a drag, but it’s going to have long-term payoffs. Right now, 80 percent of American teens are working part-time jobs, putting high school teens together in the workforce, a survey by Citigroup and Seventeen magazine found according to MarketWatch. Given the current economic climate, a part-time job can help students save a little bit more for college and their financial futures.
“Having come of age during the Great Recession of 2008, many of today’s students have experienced a financial wake-up call,” said Linda Descano, a director at Citigroup, according to MarketWatch.
Turning off technology
How in the world are you going to let your BFFL know what’s going on if you’re not LOLing or OMGing?
Holding off on the texting may seem like a chore, but texting has been noted as a killer of real conversation. People aged 18 to 29 are receiving an average of 88 texts a day, according to CNN, which is minimal compared to the 17 phone calls.
That’s not to mention that texting has caused problems for many teenagers. Teens are getting texts all the time — hundreds every day — and keeping the text convos going late in the night, causing experts to advise caution, according to The New York Times.
“That’s one every few minutes,” said Dr. Martin Joffe, a doctor in California. “Then you hear that these kids are responding to texts late at night. That’s going to cause sleep issues in an age group that’s already plagued with sleep issues.”
Spending time with family
Spending some time with the rents may not be on the top of your to-do list app, but it actually may make you into a better student. Having a family game night has been linked to making kids into better students, reported The Atlantic. And, similarly, family dinner has tremendous benefits for youngsters, according to a Cornell University. Kids are 35 percent less likely to have a eating disorder and 24 percent more likely to eat healthier if they’re eating with their families, the study found. And it can help kids with their emotions, too, according to research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
"The effect doesn't plateau after three or four dinners a week," says co-author Frank Elgar, USA Today reported. "The more dinners a week the better."
Choosing the right friends
Fitting in with the cool crowd might be, well, cool and all in high school. But, as mentioned before, being cool won’t actually help you later on down the road. A true friend might be better.
Friendships don’t last over time. A recent study by Cornell University found that about half of Americans can name only one close friend to discuss important details with, while 18 percent can name two friends and 30 percent can name three. And on top of that, a Facebook study found that people are more likely to de-friend their high school buddies than anyone else because of the divide.
So it’s important to pick the right friends, especially because friendship is good for your social, mental and physical health.
Thinking you know everything
Remember hearing “you don’t know everything” as a teenager? Well, that’s definitely something to pay attention to, since teens actually don’t know everything. For instance, 87 percent of teens don’t know how to manage their own money, according to Fox News.
Preparing for the real world
Just because you graduated high school, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to college. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 34.1 percent of high school graduates went right into the work force. It’s a tough job market out there already for high school grads, since college grads are fighting for similar employment opportunities, the Harvard Business Review reported. So preparing for the real world, and getting ready for what lies ahead, can only benefit teens in the long run.