What 13-year-olds Taught Me About Being an Adult

I’ve certainly learned more during my time at Mountain Ridge Jr. High than I’ve taught. By the end of it I’ve realized that it wasn’t my college degree, nor my age, nor my lower voice that separated me from them, but simpler things. Some of them are cliche, or ego-ethics, but I think they’re important.

Here are some of my favorites:

  1. You have always been a snot nosed kid, and you will continue to be a snot nosed kid. Learning strategies like blowing your nose in a bathroom stall, or picking your nose during your 30 minute commute, will come with time.
  2. You become an adult when you learn how to frame your hair against your face. Catch me right after I roll out of bed and you’ll agree that I don’t look that different from many Jr. High students.
  3. Forget about respecting your mentors, begin to respect your peers. Those you look up to will forgive you for your disrespect—that’s why you started looking up to them in the first place. Someone who is truly an adult will take the time to respect those that are easy to look down on.
  4. Creativity is not a genetic trait. We are only as predisposed to a talent as we choose to be.
  5. Sometimes you need a pat on the back, sometimes you need a rebuke, most adults need both. 13-year-olds needs as many hugs as 18-year-olds need slaps. As adults, we assume that it’s all slaps from 18 on. Many of the largest critiques of Dribbble is its cultural inability to critique—as if respectable adults don’t support and comfort each other. A healthy adult will seek to stroke their ego just as often as they’ll seek to critique their ego.
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