Looking back on your teen years isn’t always the most fun thing, but as a young adult author (who also has a tween series), I often find myself doing that. When I do events or book clubs, the readers always end up asking me about my own experiences back in those days, and sometimes I cringe thinking about those times. I actually have a chunk of time from early high school that I blocked out, but the later years and middle school years are still with me. Sometimes, life can feel like we never left high school or middle school as I still encounter mean girls and drama. But seeing as readers ask me for advice, I thought I’d share today a few things I wish I had known back then.
- In my books, one of the big themes is embracing what makes you unique or special. We often focus on trying to fit in, but I find life opens up when we embrace what makes us different. It took me years to realize that things that made me different were the things that made me a writer such as looking at the world in a different way and sitting back and observing others.
- Not all friendships are meant to last forever. No one likes hearing that or even thinking about it, but I think we often stay in friendships because of a shared history or because we’ve had a lot of time together. I still have friends from those years, but I’ve also had friendships that have run their course and that’s okay. People change—we’re supposed to—and what was once a close bond doesn’t always last. Values change, interests, and other things change and it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. Wish the other person well and root for them from afar.
- It’s okay if not everyone likes you. You’re not supposed to be for everyone. Even your favorite singer/writer/actress has haters. In fact, when you feel down, go read reviews of your favorite celebrity and you’ll see no one is universally loved. Just cherish the people who do get you.
Here’s an excerpt from my pop star romance Cecily Taylor Series:
“Must be nice to have a hot pop star text you. Do you think he will contact you again?” Lila asked.
If he doesn’t, then I’ll die and probably never leave my room again. “I hope he does. I’d be seriously bummed if I—” Get dumped, get blocked online, see he’s dating someone else. “—don’t hear from him again,” I said.
“Does anyone else know he was the reason Zach got so mad at you when he walked in on Andrew trying to kiss you at the video premiere?”
“No, Zach didn’t tell anyone. I feel like it’d be weird if I told people that’s what happened. Like they wouldn’t believe me and think I was making it up to get attention,” I said.
“Yeah, I already heard a few people saying stuff.”
My stomach dropped. “Like what?”
“Huh? Oh…nothing major.” She gripped the steering wheel. “It’s impossible to find a spot on the street on a weekend.” I pressed her again, and she shrugged. “There’s a couple comments on his social media pages.”
Pulling out my phone, I went to the video’s link online and the first comment that came up was:
NoOneAndrewFan: Why did they pick HER out of all the girls in the world?
CaliGirlTwo: They couldn’t find any better than that chick?
Holidate008: She’s like if the word “plain,” was a person.
MusicIsLife: I think the point is that she’s not supposed to be hot, you guys Holidate008: I think she’s supposed to be the opposite of that other girl in the video.
CaliGirlTwo: Obviously Andrew has a jealous girlfriend and told him to find blah girls to be in his video.
SleepAllDayz: I bet Andrew’s managers don’t want his fans to be jealous of any of the girls they cast in his videos. Mission accomplished.
Meghynn: Seriously, I’ve seen cuter girls walking down my street and I live out in the sticks.
KellyKellz: I bet the other actress said they couldn’t cast another hot girl.
Meghynn: Andrew obviously didn’t do the casting for this one.
Holidateforever: Wow! Seems like no one has anything nice to say, all you guys want to do is trash people. if you don’t like what Andrew’s doing in his video… then bye!
TeenaRoger: Guys, Andrew would hate all these negative vibes! If you don’t have anything good to say about his work then don’t follow his page, don’t listen to his music, and DON’T bother commenting.
Holidateforever: I think she’s pretty. Jealousy isn’t cute, you guys.
“Oh crap. I didn’t even think to look at the comments before now. I guess it was so surreal to think I was actually in a music video that it didn’t even occur to me to go on and see what people were saying,” I said as my face burned with embarrassment. “Has everyone at school seen these?”
“Don’t worry about it. People suck and if it makes you feel any better, a lot of people at school aren’t even talking about it because they don’t want you to get all stuck up,” she said.
That was supposed to make me feel better?
“I was barely in the video. Why is everyone attacking me for a five second spot?” I asked trying to keep myself from crying.
“It sucks. I wish Andrew was here and he could just wrap you in a blanket and make you a cup of tea,” Lila said.
I laughed despite the fact I was trying not to throw up on myself. “Yup, like the perfect boyfriend.”
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About the Author
Krysten Lindsay Hager is a bestselling author of young adult, middle grade, and contemporary romance. Krysten writes because she loves bringing people swoony moments & hope-filled happily ever afters. Her books are known for making you laugh, cry, & swoon.
Along with relationships, her novels deal with self-doubt, finding where you belong, true friendship, & soulmates.