How to Be a Successful Teenager

Four Methods:Being More ActivePlanning for the FutureManaging MoneyTaking on More Responsibility

The age range of thirteen to nineteen is an important time in an individual's life.Huge steps are taken with in that seven year portion. Even though fun adventures can fill those teenage years, responsibility, opportunity, and success are near. Taking on the right amount of responsibility and independence can push you towards becoming a successful teenager.

Method 1
Being More Active

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    Participate in extracurricular activities. Schools give students opportunities for staying active. How you use your time should be up to you. Pick an activity that appeals to you such as athletics, academic clubs, or special-interest clubs. Select one that plays to your interests and strengths. Extracurricular activities should build character through team work, time management, and competition. [1]
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    Volunteer. Giving your time for community help is a noble activity with several benefits. Volunteering can teach you job-related skills and responsibility. Some schools also reward the learning aspect of volunteer work with credit hours.If you are interested in college, volunteering makes you much more appealing compared to other candidates.[2]
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    Use summer for academic programs and camps. Getting a head start at college could mean sacrificing your summer vacation. Various universities offer programs for future college students based on interests such as journalism, photography, art, sports, etc. These programs give teenagers the chance to earn college credit, experience dorm life, and see a university's town.[3]
    • Research different programs.
    • Check the requirements and deadlines.
    • Pick a program that suits your best interests.
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    Shadow a professional for a field you wish to pursue. Building a resume, getting experience, and earning letters of recommendation can start at a very young age. A lot of teenagers have a desired career path. Luckily, some professionals allow teenagers to visit offices for some hands-on experience.[4] The non-paid experience can build character and open up future opportunities.
    • Make phone calls and office visits to find a company willing to allow you to shadow.
    • Ask family if they know someone whom you can shadow.

Method 2
Planning for the Future

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    Set goals. One aspect of becoming successful is to look forward in life. Making and meeting goals motivates you to progress. An important aspect about setting goals is getting organized and assessing your interests. Speak with a parent or a mentor for assistance; guidance is very helpful.
    • Ask yourself important questions such as what interests me, what do I enjoy doing, where do I see myself five to ten years from now, what am I good at, or what do I want to be good at.
    • Research to see what it takes to reach that goal.
    • Learn how to break it down to mini goals that can be reached along the way.[5]
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    Understand and build credit. Your credit score is the measurement of how trustworthy you are to agencies that determine loans you receive, allow you to live in their apartment complex, or decide your interest rate. Even though getting a credit card at a young age can be on the hands of a parent, it is up to the teenager to use it correctly and understand that it's not money on a card; it is a promise between the teenager and a third party.[6]
    • Learn that credit is a revolving pattern; use a credit card for something you wish to purchase and pay off in a self-managed time frame.
    • Using a credit card takes responsibility and discipline; these characteristics build successful habits.[7]
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    Continue your education. The average teenager can go through two major educational milestones: graduating from public schooling and beginning college. Teenagers go through different phases, and education can often be put aside. However, in order to be successful, education must be viewed as an investment for the future and a tool to show teenagers how to be inquisitive.[8] Moreover, a better education can lead to more work opportunities, so be sure to pursue what fits your goals and interests.
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    Build strong relationships. Teenagers go through a lot of change, and these changes can transform relationships. Being a successful teenager means knowing how to pursue a good relationship, one where there is the chance for both fun and future. Evaluate your current relationship. Make sure your maturity level and interests are leveled. Be there for each other which will me learning how to make compromise and be selective of battles..[9]

Method 3
Managing Money

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    Get a job. Having your own job builds positive character and can help you mature. Even if parents give you money, earning your own paycheck puts you on a path to success by giving you the opportunity to learn time management, job responsibility, leadership skills, team work, and life skills.[10] Also, earning your own paycheck puts money in your pockets, and what you do with your earnings should be up to you.
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    Track your expenses. Allowances, gifts, and paychecks will be your sources of income as a teenager. Learning to manage money starts with tracking how you spend that income. Create a money diary where you write down all your spending for a given time period, either weekly or monthly. Then, evaluate what you spend by deciding what is needed (such as gas, car insurance, phone bill) and what is entertainment (such as movie tickets, personal items, going out). Creating this diary will help you visualize where your money goes and can set you on the track to create a budget and savings.[11]
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    Save money. Once you earn money, it is very tempting to use it. As a teenager, it is easy to neglect saving money. In order to be more successful, learn that money can be saved for more-important spending opportunities. To help you save, open up an account. Banks give opportunities to teenagers. Get advice and research before opening any accounts. Once you have one, figure out a monthly budget that helps you put aside money.[12]
    • When you start off, more than likely a cosigner or parent will have access to view your account activity. Take that as a learning opportunity and ask for them to keep you in check with what you spend.
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    Control impulse buying. Buying is always easier than saving. Small purchases can take a toll on your savings, and more often than not, those purchases could have been avoided. These impulse purchases are difficult for both teenagers and adults, so controlling these impulses at a young age helps ensure better money management in life.[13]
    • Put yourself to the test and wait to buy items. Often times, giving yourself a week will show you that you didn't need the item, or the item can be put on sale.

Method 4
Taking on More Responsibility

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    Become more independent. Independence is important to a teenager. It comes as a necessity over time, but when teenagers start off being independent, it usually comes first as a privilege. Figure out your home dynamics, and offer areas where your independence becomes helpful to the household: cook your meals, clean up after yourself, take care of younger siblings, ask for less supervision, get a part-time job, etc. As you gain more responsibility and independence, be aware that failure might occur. Learning from failure will, however, help you grow.[14]
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    Learn how to use several forms of transportation. Getting from place to place does not always mean driving, but as a teenager, driving is a huge step in responsibility and independence. Be sure to take any courses and means to obtain a driver's license. Also, driving is not the only way to get around. Cities have public transportation that can be both cheap and accessible for teenagers. Learn the routes needed to get you from place to place. It will teach you time management and patience.
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    Travel more often. As you grow up, your city gets smaller, and the world gets bigger. Family vacations help you explore certain regions, but taking on world travel helps build responsibility and independence. A younger person has more outlets to travel by such as study abroad, language exchange, or volunteer programs. If you have family in distance places, reconnect with a summer visit. The chance to travel gives experiences that build great character.[15]
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    Know when to ask for help and advice. Being responsible does not mean being alone. Taking on new tasks and meeting goals will be hard work. Asking people for help shows maturity and confidence. Seek advice from parents, older siblings, mentors at work, teachers, or someone whom you trust. Opening up channels of communication at a young age is a great habit for success.[16]


  • Communicate with your parents/guardians often. Their experiences can become advice for you and your future ideas.
  • Stay focused on your goals.
  • Be accountable for your actions and spending. Don't blame friends or others for your mishaps; learn from them, and move forward.


  • Start your work when the work is assigned to you.
  • Don't underestimate small things.

Article Info

Categories: Youth