Tag Archives: teenagers

Teenagers in High School – What I’m Really Tired Of

Guys, I’m tired.

I’ve been getting five to six hours of sleep for the past two weeks, constantly studying and completing homework assignments for school, and dealing with family drama on top of all of that. I’m not saying that I have the worst life ever. I’m not saying that there aren’t people who have it a hundred times worse than me. And I’m not saying that, overall, my life is bad – because it’s not. It’s pretty great.

All I’m saying is that I’m tired.

But the thing is, in high school, almost everyone is tired. Continue reading

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The Right to Judge

I am a high school student. It’s not exactly something I’m proud of. Contemporary culture stereotypes high school students as inexperienced, indecent, and overall unintelligent human beings. Adolescence is the awkward middle ground between innocent childhood and mature adulthood, the experience that many look forward to but most would like to forget. It’s not surprising, considering the quantity of kids who are bullied and broken apart by their peers’ cruel and cutting comments – in fact, the one facet about typical teenagers I find underplayed is just how judgmental we are.

After googling "the right to judge", I realized research on the topic would be difficult as most people think of judgement in a religious or political sense. Not my intent right now.

I must admit something now. I judged someone today. I called this person a mean name, and talked about him to a close friend of mine. But the truly terrible thing is that I felt justified in doing it – this person cheated on a quiz, and my teachers had found out about him – so I assumed that I had the right to castigate him for his actions. Did I really, though? Did two wrongs – his cheating, and my gossiping – make a right?

There’s a reason high school students are so critical. Society forces us to conform to the standards of celebrities, to the untouchable yet so dearly-beloved stars in media. However, no one is able to reach these fabricated realities of perfection, so naturally, we become insecure and target those that are just a little below us on the chain of social standing. Or we just pick on the people that are, you know, different, because who gave them the right to live their lives freely? Who told them that they could not care about what others think about them?

Remember that post about why high school relationships fail I wrote last year? I was writing a shorter version of my argument in a post online for an English class I’m currently taking. One of my friends noticed and proceeded to give me her opinion.

“I totally agree with you,” she said,” but others will think you’re like, totally against relationships because you’ve never been in one and you’re just jealous.”

“I have been in a relationship, though,” I said.

“I know that,” she replied,” but others don’t.”

“I don’t care what other people think of me,” I said, cutting off the conversation in order to finish the assignment on time, and possibly because the situation was making me more uncomfortable than I should have been.

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers is one of the best books I've read that deals with gossipping, rumor-spreading, and essentially, high school drama.

I’m sure my friend had good intentions for informing me of this, yet I was honestly hurt by her comment. Not by my friend, but by the truth that she revealed – that my peers, the people I spend seven hours every day with, would judge me for something as small as one of my beliefs without the whole context of who I really am. I’ve been on the receiving end of some nasty rumors before, but this made me realize how wrong it is to judge someone at all.

You may accuse me of being too sensitive, and yes, I am a very sensitive guy. But gossiping and bullying is an issue beyond me and my high school; it is a problem that plagues teenagers all over the country. Search “bullying suicides” on Google and you will receive more than one million hits. I can supply links to such upsetting stories that it depresses me how horribly common bullying is, how awfully unsurprising suicides like this one and this one and this one are.

Going back to the conversation I had with my friend today, I admit to lying a little bit. Frankly, there are peoples’ opinions that I couldn’t care less about, yet it’s hurtful to hear someone say something bad about me when I always try my hardest to be a kind and compassionate person. I have it easy though – can you imagine how it would feel to suffer from taunting and teasing every day over something insignificant like your sexuality or your religion? Something that doesn’t even affect other people, like your weight or how you look?

Judging and bullying go hand in hand. When one feels insecure they often resort to picking out and pointing out the flaws of other people. Sometimes these things aren’t even flaws, but are surface level qualities like how we look or what we wear. It only takes one insult to instill a sense of inferiority in someone, and only a couple more before they begin to wonder if who they are is even good enough anymore.

So please, please, please think before you pass judgement on someone. Think about how you would feel if someone were to say something like that about you, or how hurtful it would be if what you were saying would spread. Of course criminals deserve to be judged, but they also deserve to be punished. These days, too many innocent teens are condemned to punishments that they simply don’t deserve.

"Easy A" was a great movie about how rumors can damage one's reputation. I especially recommend it if you enjoyed The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I apologize for the gargantuan post everyone! I honestly didn’t plan this, though the idea had been formulating in my head after that conversation I had with my friend today. It’s also anti-bullying week at my school, what a coincidence. I just noticed that you usually don’t see adults committing suicide because of bullying, probably because they’ve matured to the point of being beyond immature tactics such as taunting and teasing.

Who do you think has the right to judge others? Do you? What’s your stance on bullying and the effect of society on today’s teens? This issue has a huge place in my heart, so I’m really curious for my readers’ opinions.

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Why High School Relationships Fail

Image via akronchildrens.org

Sometimes, I’m a cynic. My belief in the inevitable failure of 95% of high school relationships to last until marriage exemplifies this.

The majority of high school students want to fit in. It’s human nature – at this adolescent stage of life, fitting in is as important as getting good grades or scoring high on the SAT. Even more important, to some. I don’t believe in the stereotypical groups presented in television shows: the jocks, the preps, the goths, loners, nerds, etc. However, I do think that there are variances to those archetypes that accumulate in what I like to call the “high school caste system”. More about that in a future post.

So what does fitting in have to do with relationships? It’s simple – if you’re in a relationship, you fit in, but you don’t try to fit in. It’s killing two birds with one stone. The typical teen will assume that their boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t care about looks, or what other people think, and my personal favorite – loves them for who they are. So the individual in the relationship will assume that they’re free from their peers’ expectations, but they’re actually falling right into them. Just look at television shows like Degrassi or Glee or Smallville. All of these feature teens in unrealistically happy relationships – but then again, it’s reality television: where reality is equal to exorbitant drama and partying on the beaches of  Jersey Shore.

Another reason high school relationships fail is due to the fact that to the people who are in them: teenagers. This is probably going to earn me criticism from my peers, but honestly, we are not the most mature bunch. Some of us, anyway. I’ve separated the people in high school relationships into three categories (inspired by my brilliant Latin teacher):

Those who care about themselves intentionally: These are the people who date because they want the relationship, not the other person in the relationship. I see this more than I would like to, but in a myriad of cases the feeling is mutual among the participants of the “relationship”. 0% of these relationships survive, because essentially, they aren’t relationships to begin with.

Those who care about themselves unintentionally: This is a difficult category. Here’s how my Latin teacher explained it: imagine two people dating. They’re going to be Joe and Janice.

Joe: Oh Janice, I love the way you make me feel! You make me so happy!

Janice: Oh Joe, all those sweet things you say to me and the gifts you buy me make me just want to die! (of happiness, I guess)

Notice how prominent “me” is. I obviously exaggerated this to prove my point, but in a lot of relationships – not just those found in high school – person A will claim to care about person B, but in fact person A only cares about person B because they’re trying to satisfy themselves. Think about it.

Those who care about the other person: This is where I make myself doubt that even 5% of high school relationships truly succeed, because getting to this level of trust with another person is impossible until one possesses significant maturity and independence. This group is reserved for the love between parent and child, sibling and sibling, and other rare circumstances – imagine how much time you would have to spend with a person until you could achieve that with them. Certainly more than four years. To love someone to the point where you would sacrifice your own well-being, truly sacrifice it, not just “I would catch a grenade for ya” sacrifice, but promising eternal faithfulness and unconditional understanding – that is the zenith of a relationship.

Thinking about that hurt my head a little, so I’ll move on to other more simple reasons why these relationships don’t last:

Image via Cynaide and Happiness

Sex. Violence. Drinking. All of those detract from the depth of a relationship, and because those things are so prevalent in high school, they decrease the amount of successful relationships. Not to mention college – I might write a post later on about why long distance relationships fail, if I have time. Basically, you can promise your significant other that you’ll love them even when you’re miles, countries, or worlds apart – but it’s easier said than done.

Teenagers also tend to think that their boyfriends and girlfriends are better than they actually are, or over analyze the emotions involved in the relationship, instead of actually, well, dating. This quote explains what I’m trying to say:

“Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations. Don’t over-analyze your relationships. Stop playing games. A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness.” – Leo F. Buscaglia.

Well, that was fun. Maybe I should start a series called “Sunday Morning Cynicism.”

I want to end this delightful post by saying that I do not intend to offend anyone – I have several friends in relationships and wish them the best. This is just my personal opinion, and others are free to argue. I hope they argue, actually, because if not the world would be depressing. I consider myself a romantic person, and yet here I go writing this… what a two-faced freak.

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