A Study of Self: The Teenage Years
There comes a time in life when you find yourself stuck in the epoch known as your teen years. Your life hits a 180 degree and precipitously, you are an adult to everyone else, but you. All of a sudden, you are responsible for every little action you take and its consequences.
The teenage years are a transitional stage in the life of every human being. Without any warning you start undergoing physical and psychological changes and a juncture of life, full of disorientation starts. A time of confusion, misery, euphoria and doubt ascends as all our hormones lose their respective minds. As I approach the end of my own teenage, I decided to share some of the difficulties I faced during this time.
Since 13 to 19 years of age is what constitutes our teenage years, it is not a surprise that education becomes a major cause of us becoming an emotional wreck. Qualms about my subjects, my exams, my grades and my social life took up most of my time. Had I made the right decision regarding my academics? Why was I spending so much time studying? Were grades as I important as what I perceived them to be? On top of all this, it is through school that all of us majorly build up our social lives, thus adding to the burden. This reflection brings me to the conclusion to refrain from limiting yourself to exceed your own expectations. Take up as many subjects as you want and experiment with them. It is only through this process that we find what we are truly passionate about. Taking breaks is essential; study all the time leaves one in a state of perpetual emptiness. Having a social life, therefore, is very important. The art of interaction is a skill that very few people possess naturally. Thus, always put yourself out there. Being an introvert myself, I can’t believe that I, the very person who hates social interactions, is now offering this piece of advice. It takes a lot of effort but, eventually, you get there. You need to get comfortable with the idea of being an introvert if you are one and then move to the process of how to form a social life while being the reserved person you are.
Furthermore, this happens to be the time when having friends becomes a matter of life and death. You will have constant fights and differences of opinions as all of you being the same age, are growing into your own selves: that is all of you are on a path to self-discovery and will not always agree on things. One vital thing to remember is that the friends you make in your teen years will stick around. Loyalty is a virtue in a friend that is never wasted. You will share things with them that you will never feel comfortable telling anyone else and through that you will get to know each other better. Consequently, in every disagreement you have with each other remember that you need them around.
Moving on to the controversial topics, this is also a chapter of rebellion; nearly everything our parents say begins to sound disagreeable. Because of this, the type of social group you are in is pivotal. Your peer group is essentially a group people you choose to surround yourself with and their opinion, consequently, matters a lot to you. If your peers are telling you that your parents are unreasonable and are giving suggestions such as to smoke or run away from home then you are compelled to accept them, even when you know you shouldn’t. Hence, if they are pressurizing you to change in any way then you need to learn to say no. The root of the problem of drug abuse amongst adolescents lies here; no one wants to be ostracized from their posse and would rather comply. Peer pressure is a serious problem that we need to be aware of. If anyone you know is not accepting you for who you are then you need to keep in mind that no one has a right to define who you are, in a way that you may find uncomfortable.
There are many other challenges one comes across as an adolescent. What we need to essentially keep in mind is that it is just one of the many phases of our lives that we need to explore for ourselves. Inevitably, like everything else it will pass too. Self- discovery is a very important part of being a teenager because it helps us to form our own identity and only then do we have the confidence to be our own person.
By Amna Khan