Peer pressure, drugs, sex and reaching the expectations of our parents can get anyone down, especially a person that’s facing the most challenging time of their life.
I’m talking about being a 21st century……….TEENAGER.
To me, being a teenager in this present day and age has never been more difficult, the various challenges they face everyday can be unbearable at times, resulting in many teenagers deciding to take their own lives as this seems to be the easiest way out.
Well…let’s start at the very beginning of the teenage years, when the transition from child to teenager begins. Just before your thirteenth birthday you probably hear your Mom or Dad wanting to give you “the talk”, you know, the talk where they tell you about boys and girls and how they differ, how you should respect your body, a popular phrase that my parents liked to emphasize is” you know that a guy really loves you if he respects your wishes.”Over the years things have changed drastically, when our parents were teenagers, problems like “casual sex with multiple people” didn’t exist.
Entering high school, for me and for many teenagers, can be the worst experience which leaves memories that will last you a lifetime, but making the right choices can determine the type of person you become. Firstly, you have to find friends that you can fit in with, friends that will motivate you, that will stick with you no matter what; you then have to use every ounce of your being to overcome the peer pressure that you will be faced with. Smoking, drugs and alcohol are only a small part of the problems that teenagers face. (Read here how you can overcome any addiction, or see our lung detox at http://enjoylife.co.za/lungdetox.)
A new trend is teenage pregnancies; this is a major problem in many schools around the world. When faced with peer pressure, teenagers feel obliged to follow their friends. Most parents say that it is impossible for my child to fall pregnant at 16 or take drugs, but it’s often the “decent kids” who get pulled in, the ones who come from good homes and are taught good morals and values.
So, the first years of high school, this is where you begin to find your feet, trying to meet the popular kids and really putting the extra effort to get noticed by the cutest girls or guys.
It’s everyone’s dream in high school to be the “queen”of the girls, that girl who all the guys adore, get good grades in school and still find time to be captain of the hockey team.
That only happens in two places: in movies and in fairytales, not in the real world. The world that we live in is harsh and your high school career either make or break you. Although it might sound clichéd just think about it: when applying to a university, no matter what you want to study, your high school results are of utmost importance. If you are just going to be that person that gets all the cute guys’/ girls’ attention and not perform in school, you run the risk of being the underachieving adult who is a constant disappointment.
Every teenager who’s main aim in high school is to have a good time, should remember that high school does not last forever, sooner or later; you’ll have to grow up and the choices you make will be with you for the rest of your life. I like to think of it as the time where your will-power, strength and your maturity will be tested.
We as teenagers face a big challenge, but no one can give us advice on how to overcome these challenges, as each one of our lives are based on different circumstances, difficulties and problems. If you were abused as a child, don’t let that determine how you turn out as an adult, but rather use that as a driving force to determine the outcome of your future. If your Mom fell pregnant at 16 and people tell you that the same will most probably happen to you, don’t listen to that, but use your mom’s mistakes as a guide so that you don’t make the same mistakes. (Read about the links between parenting styles and drug use.)
Every individual is different and special in their own way, but there’s one thing that all teenagers have in common; we all have the power to determine our future, learn from other people’s mistakes in order to avoid making too many of our own.
by Bianca Pillay
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