TTTS: The Struggles of Being a Teen

The Teens Tell Their Story Project was created by Caitlin from A Little Daydreamer and Sherina from Sherina Speaks. Click on the links of their blogs for more information about the project. And to check out their wonderful blogs! 

I’ve started this post a few times now, all in different ways. Not because I don’t know what to talk about, but because there is so much to talk about.

You can’t just pick one thing and say: THIS. This is what we teenagers struggle the most with, because that’s not true. How many teenagers wake up every morning and think: ‘I don’t want to go to school’. Not because we’re lazy. Not because we’d rather stay at home and watch tv or read. But because it’s just too damn much. Every teacher expects you to have finished your homework, to have done the assigned reading, to have studied for that test, to have prepared a presentation. Of course there are teachers who understand that sometimes you just can’t, because you were too busy, because you were too tired, because you had other obligations, but in my experience these teachers are rare.  In my opinion a teacher’s job is not just to teach students their subject; it’s to teach us their subject, about life, to be there for students when they need them, to be understanding and caring. When I had been down with the flu two years ago and was absent for little over a week, my history teacher was actually relieved to see me back at school (my friends told me had asked about me a few times during class too). This actually brought tears to my eyes- I was used to teachers who didn’t believe I was actually sick. Who thought I was skipping and lying, who showed no compassion and just clearly didn’t give a damn. I’m not saying all my teachers were like this, not at all, but those teachers stuck with me and always will. One of them actually made me want to switch schools and made me cry my eyes out at school, because of the way she treated me, but in a way I’m grateful because I am who I am today because of people like her. She made me strong, though at that time I felt very weak and depressed. And I know she is not the only teacher in the world who’s like this. I know there are teenagers all over the world who have to deal with teachers and other authority figures just like her, and during this time where our bodies are changing, where we suddenly get periods and hormones and all that stuff, when we get actual responsibilities- we don’t need people like that in our lives. We often already have to deal with bullies our own age, we shouldn’t have to deal with bullying teachers, the people who are supposed to protect and help us in school.

And that’s another thing teenagers have to deal with: each other. Bullying at my old school wasn’t that present, thankfully, but it’s something most if not all teenagers deal with, whether it’s directly or not. Do we stand up for the bullied? Or do we stay in the background where it’s safe? And if we’re the one bullied, what do we do? For some reason victims of bullying think it’s shameful and they shouldn’t tell anyone, but if you’re reading this and you’re being bullied- please tell someone. You have no reason to be ashamed. Your bully has all the reasons. Also ignoring your bully is not going to solve anything, please believe me on this. I’m speaking from my own experience, so I know what I’m talking about.

So school can be really, really stressful. I don’t even have to explain that to my fellow teenagers. Bullies is another thing that we have to deal with, but something that really bothers me is that while we’re still kids – and adults remind us of that – we’re expected to act mature and make big decisions regarding our future. We have to do good in school, have a job, have a social life, hang out with our family, have hobbies and interests, dreams and aspirations. If we fail one test, people will be disappointed. Teachers will tell you ‘I didn’t expect this from you’. Well neither did I. If we’re sixteen and without a job, people will think of us as lazy, while not even thinking that maybe you don’t have a job because you want to focus on school. If you don’t have (much of) a social life you’re a recluse and there must be something wrong with you. If you don’t hang out enough with your family you’re selfish. If you don’t have hobbies and interests you’re boring. If you don’t have dreams and aspirations, you’re immature and need to get your life together. Sometimes it feels like teenagers just can’t do right. And this is just in general. Think of teenage girls. Think of those teenagers with a different sexuality besides hetero. Think of those non-white teenagers. Think of the teenagers that don’t just have to deal with school, bullies, responsibilities and adults looking down on them and treating them like kids or expecting them to be mature, but also have to deal with sexism, racism, homophobia and ignorance. Think of the teens whose parents are going through a divorce, who have lost one parent or both, who have lost other people close to them, who have loved ones going through depression or other mental illnesses and addiction. Who go through depression and/or deal with addiction themselves. Think of the teenagers who are still kids, but who are going through way too much.

We are still kids. A lot of us have to go through stuff adults wouldn’t even be able to handle, so please go easy on us. Please don’t be disappointed if we make a mistake. Please don’t look down on us. Please don’t treat us like we’re five, but also not like we’re thirty. Please treat us with respect. Please be there for us and help us. ‘Cause like you point out we’re young and new to this world while you’ve been around for a while, so help us.

– The Writing Hufflepuff

 

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26 thoughts on “TTTS: The Struggles of Being a Teen

  1. Oh dear. In my experience, the teachers were actually really helpful and understanding. Except for one. I think she was trying to be hip and make us laugh, but her sense of humor was weird and hurtful. She liked calling people stupid, ugly, and retarded because they didn’t know something that she did. She contradicted herself many times and said facts that weren’t actually facts, but whenever we said that, she just said we were too young and dumb to know about anything. It was really bad.

      • Yes, a lot of people did complain to an administrator. I wasn’t the only one. She also made racist jokes and judged certain books without actually reading them. I must say that this teacher was actually good at teaching, but not as a person. As a sister of someone with special needs, I felt particularly offended by the word retarded.

      • I hope that they took actions against her! She sounds like a terrible person. I completely understand that you were offended by that word. Some people just don’t understand what it means to other people when you use that word in such an awful way.

      • Well, the administrators and the principal did tell that teacher. But the teacher said that no one could change her and that that was who she was. It’s kinda selfish.

      • It is hard to fire someone. The principal could not just fire a person. She would have had to write a letter to the school district to fire her, and it would be up to the district to fire the teacher.

  2. What’s frightening is how quickly and heavily the expectations can pile up and my God does it feel intense. Scarily so.
    Great post :)

  3. Honestly this post speaks to me on a personal level. I had three teachers bring tears to my eyes on how much they understood and cared about me. When I was sick with the flu but I didn’t know it and I was at school, my English teacher constantly kept asking me if I needed to go to the nurse to the point where when I did, she hugged me. Another teacher would notice how some days when I would walk the halls looking upset and didn’t smile and wave at her like I always did on my day-to-day basis, she would stop me and insist that I tell her what was wrong. She cared so much and actually still does-she promised that she wouldn’t ignore when I go into Eighth grade next year. And there was another teacher who let me rant about music and books in class sometimes (and she was a science teacher so…) and that was just always awesome. In the past I went to a heavily Christian based private school that had one teacher that was constantly putting me down and let all the other kids tease me because of my name (one boy had a sister named Loral and it when he would say it always sounded so similar to my name, Koral. Often enough he would call out my name but when I turned around and asked what, he would call me dumb and say how he was talking about his sister.) I’ve also been smacked at school on the playground in the middle of broad daylight and no teacher even noticed. Bullying and teachers are too subjects that in my opinion should be seen more commonly related because in reality they are. The teachers are so often blind to what’s going on around them with their students and what’s going on and don’t filter what they say when they should. I have panic attacks almost weekly and to be honest a lot of them come from the social anxiety I’ve gotten from being teased over the years because of my height and horrible eyesight and all around uniqueness. This post was beautifully written and really struck home. Wonderful work you fabulous Hufflepuff.
    Your’s cunningly,
    A different kind of Slytherin.

    • I’m so sorry you had to go through that, but I’m glad to hear you’re at a better school with much nicer teachers now! I agree- instead of only focusing on the bullies and the victims they should be focusing on the witnesses, mostly teachers as well. I understand that other students might be scared to do something, but teachers?! Come on, you are here to protect us, not encourage the bullies.
      I’m really glad you’re no longer among those kind of teachers (and those bullies!) and I hope you’re doing much better now <3

  4. This is absolutely so true! I had this one teacher this year who brought me to tears more times then I can count. Because of him I struggled with things I didn’t even know I could! He was never understanding, never cared abut your point and just over-all horrible.I am pretty sure I have some (I am not sure I just think maybe) kind of anxiety now because of him. Even writin this I can feel it! It is so hard being a teenager now, stress and anxiety levels are through the roof and no one seems to believe you when you are actually sick! Although I didn’t deal with bullying though, so I am glad about that! Thank you for writing this post though! It was really well done!

    • No thank you for the compliment! I’m sorry you had a teacher like that as well :( I hope that in the future all of your teachers will be the exact opposite of him and will make you forget him (at least a little bit) <3

  5. Agh this post was amazing! You had no reason to feel nervous about posting it! The teenage years are allegedly the “best years of your life” but in my experience there is SO MUCH going on and so much planning for your future and stress of exams and change of hormones and lack of self-esteem, it simply cannot be the best years of your life. I would hate for my teenage years to be the optimum of my life and I sincerely hope there is more to my life! There is so much pressure on teenagers, we should all be doing well at school and spending time with family, and know what we want to do in the future as well as having a life and it is so hard to live up to all these expectations! Once again, an awesome post! -M xo

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