Being fifteen I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard the two contradicting statements “you grew up too fast” or “you act like a five-year-old”. How am I really supposed to act? The truth of the matter is I’m not a child nor am I an adult. Being a teenager is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Everyone tells you not to rush growing up because being an adult comes with a whole lot of responsibilities like, bills and more bills, of which I understand. But being a teenager is also quite difficult. We’re stuck in the middle! Being a teen, you’re always judged beforehand because teenagers are just “obnoxious, self-centred beings who worry only about themselves”. But did anyone stop to ponder as to why that was? Well, underneath most self-centred, obnoxious teenagers is a lost, confused and sensitive soul who tries to hide all of that from an extremely cruel and judgemental world.
Between the homework and hormones, we’re also trying to figure out who we are and who we want to be because we definitely do not want to be teenagers forever, as well as what we want in the future all while trying to keep out grades up. But the biggest problem that comes with being a teenager is “fitting in”. “Fitting in” to what exactly? Well since we don’t know who we are yet, we experiment. We try everything and anything we’re told just to fill the void and confusion. But sometimes the experimenting decisions are not left up to us and something as innocent as us trying to “find ourselves” ends off with us losing all morals, beliefs and being judged for the rest of our lives by our peers and sometimes even family members. At the end of the day, there is always something that can be done. So I urge my fellow teens to take advice from our parents who were once at our stage, respect them, speak up against bullying, peer pressure or even just being overwhelmed. And drop the attitude even if it’s only towards your parents because it’s got to start somewhere. Parents could also try to remember what it was like being a teen and try to understand that even though they turned out alright, it wasn’t always easy being a teenager.
And teens remember your please and thank yous because A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY!
Taira Pillay, Edenvale High School