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Having a daughter who recently turned 13, I find myself giving advice on a regular basis, whether it’s wanted or not! I remember being 13 like it was yesterday, and like most teenagers do, I thought I knew everything. Of course you never want to listen to what your parents have to say — because, “Seriously, what do they know?”

Oh, those teenage years can be so tough — trying to figure out who you are and where you belong, only to complicate things more by throwing boys, friendships and hormones into the mix. My dad often jokes that I was such a sweet girl and then I turned 13. Funny — many days I find myself thinking the same thing about my daughter!

I asked many of my girlfriends what advice they would go back and give their 13 year old selves and this is what they said:

Be a kid: Stop being in such a hurry to grow up. Once you’re an adult there’s no going back, so enjoy these precious youthful years.

Take notes: I really wish I would have kept a journal. It would have been so neat to read my thoughts as a teen, especially to show my daughter that I went through everything she is currently going through, and I survived!

Stop comparing yourself to others: You are beautiful just as you are.

Get to know your grandparents better: They have great stories to share. One day they will be gone and you will wish you had spent more time with them.

Don’t try to change yourself for someone else: If they don’t like you for who you are, that is their problem, not yours!

Don’t start smoking, drinking or do anything else to “fit in”: You may think it will make you look cool, but it doesn’t!

Don’t color your hair: Once you start, it is so hard to stop!

Get along with your siblings and parents: They really are the relationships that matter most!

Don’t quit sports and activities that you love in order to hang out with friends: If they are true friends, they will be there when your activity is over.

Stop wasting so much time on silly boys: Save that first kiss for someone really special. One day you will look back and gag at the thought that you believed he was actually cute!

Don’t worry so much about what others think and just be yourself:  There will come a time when you don’t care what others think of you, and it’s wonderful!

Always trust that whatever happens is meant to happen; everything will work itself out in the end: So don’t get so hung up on stuff/people/boys/friends/whatever. Keep your intentions right, and sit back and enjoy it all.

Listen to your parents: They really have been there and only want the best for you.