This was written by me for an issue of DNA paper that talked about the coming year. The link to the epaper is http://www.dnaindia.com/special-features/report-a-plea-to-adults-hear-us-don-t-judge-us-2047388
If I had a rupee for every time an adult complained about teenagers, I would be able to finance my own education till I graduate.
Adults just assume that our brains begins to malfunction the moment we become teenaged and hence, everything we do or say is irrefutably wrong. Being a teenager myself, I can assure you’ll that no, our brains do not spontaneously combust when we enter our teenage.
Why the sudden change?
In our pre-teens, we all knew exactly who we were. We knew what we wanted in life, we knew what we wanted to achieve and who we wanted to be. Life was a canvas painted with bold streaks of black and white and the contrast between right and wrong couldn’t have been any more stark.
Then came the Teenage
In the defense of all the teenagers on this planet, let me just say that it’s hard to cope when the thin line between right and wrong suddenly blurs. A whole new angle is harshly thrust into our lives—social acceptance. While in your pre-teens it was completely acceptable to answer “Happy” when someone asked you what you wanted to be; now you were expected to focus on something more financially satisfying. ‘Happy’ basically took a back seat. You hear phrases like ‘you need to be more serious’ or ‘stop back answering’ more frequently than before. It’s a phase of your life when every single possibility is open for you to explore but you have to have the courage to explore it.
It’s also the phase of your life where school teaches you more that you will ever be able to learn from books. You learn to deal with the drama and learn to choose your battles. Music and best friends are your only therapists. It’s when you learn that if you have true friends, you can get through almost anything.
While being a teenager, you go through all sorts of rubbish. You go through the whole process of fitting in and then realize that it’s not worth it. You have brutal fights and deal with pointless dramas and heartbreak over and over again. But it’s all worth it. This is when you realize that everything you’ve been through till now has made you who you are.
Don’t patronise us
But the one thing that irritates me the most, is being written off as irrelevant. Yes, teenagers are impulsive and moody. But don’t assume that we are just creating an issue out of nothing. Our opinion is as good as the next person’s. Don’t make our thoughts, ideas and views seem irrelevant and childish. School is not all fun and games. We stress over studies, we deal with the politics and cliques in school and we try and find our place in this world. All this does not make us unfit to take decisions regarding our lives. There is nothing worse than a condescending human being who thinks he knows what is best for you.
The most important thing that you can ever give a teenager is privacy. It is so underrated but so very important. Everyone needs a place where they can be alone with their thoughts. So the next time you see a teenager alone, don’t immediately assume that they are depressed or unsocial or have committed a crime.
Not trying to fit in is such a relief
Sometimes, the teenage phase is so overwhelming, that some of us just get lost a little. We determine our worth by the opinions of others. We start hiding our true selves so that we can fit better into society’s idea of perfection. The good part is that one of these days you will realise how futile it is to place the key to your happiness in someone else’s hands and take charge of your own life.
My only aim is to not regret a thing that I do in my teenage. Have I ever done stupid, crazy things? Yes. Would I do them again? Probably. Am I likely to make stupid decisions again? Definitely. To all the teenagers who are lamenting over their stupid decisions: Think of it this way, if you didn’t make memories from making stupid decisions, what stories will you have to tell?