Call them whatever you want, pimples, acne, whiteheads/blackheads, blemishes, I am no stranger to them. They are a nearly inescapable part of young life that no one looks forward to. Especially during the high school years when stress is high, sleep is low and diets are not the healthiest, no matter how many showers you take or creams you apply, pimples are hard to avoid.

While most people experience the worst of it for only a few years during adolescence, I consider myself a veteran in the field, having gotten pimples since late elementary school. Though I will never look like the “after” picture in a Proactiv commercial, my skin, in recent years, has definitely come to realize that I do not appreciate inflamed puss-balloons on my face.

Having to endure the embarrassment, shame and low self-esteem of an acne-ridden face for so long certainly supports the old adage, “what does not kill you only makes you stronger.” Though, looking back on it, you may not be happy about the way your 9th grade yearbook photo turned out, you will appreciate how far you’ve come since that day.

  1. You’ll have perfect throwback pictures

This one serves as more delayed gratification than instant satisfaction, but it is well worth the wait.

Q: What’s funnier than a picture of your dorky, awkward childhood-self resurfacing?

A: Very few things.

You will have the best #ThrowbackThursday, #FlashbackFriday and #TransformationTuesday photos. Someone who was drop-dead gorgeous in high school has no room to grow; they have nowhere to go but down. In 15 years when I look them up on Facebook I guarantee I will be underwhelmed when they’re not as attractive as they were at 18. However, if you were stuck in your awkward phase for the better half of two decades, you can post old pictures and get a good laugh out of them (mostly laughing in relief that you don’t still look like that).

  1. Birth Control

Acne is birth control, much like Crocs, because not many people are interested in getting intimate with someone who has a face full of pimples. Too harsh? Maybe. But let’s be positive: you’re safe from STDs and, if the worst were to happen, your minimum wage summer camp job cannot support a family.

What’s worse than getting a pimple as a teenager? Getting a baby as a teenager. Thank your parents for your oily skin once in a while.

  1. You know that people like you for you

Similar to being rich, if you look like a Greek god there may be people who only want to be your friend because of your appearance/what you have, not for who you are (i.e; a fake friend). While I was never “the hot one” in the friend group, I’ll gladly accept being “the funny one” if it means everyone values my personality.

Personally, I don’t know if I would want friends who only like me because of my milky white skin, defined jaw line and chiseled abs. That just means that those people enjoy looking at those traits on a human, not you in particular. I know that when people laugh at my jokes, they are really laughing at my jokes and not just laughing because I’m a model.

Stay strong. Wash your face twice a day. Drink lots of water.