Contrary to popular belief teenagers are not the same over the decades and centuries and thus our parents do not understand nor can relate to how we feel or what we do in the course of this fundamental phase of life. The typical anatomy of a teenager’s brain is off the mark,completely!
The biggest section of my brain is NOT that of thoughts of reproductive processes. I ,like my peers, am not a sex-driven animal that psychologists like to believe I am. I have been fortunate enough to be raised in an era where sexual intercourse and the results of it have been explained to me in school-by means of ‘Life Orienation’ and ‘Biology’ and at home by my mother. The onus now lies with me not to be controlled by raging hormones and end up being a statistic – another teenage parent. I realise teenage-pregnancy is an issue in this country and I realise I am not ready , financially or otherwise for a child. The media plays a role in encouraging sexual-experimenting with its perveted programmes which have an enormous influence on teenagers.
I have never quite struggled with self-image and esteem because of the sufficient love and support I have had in my upbringing. Not everyone is so fortunate. The essence of self-belief is so key that it is often overlooked. Humans are animals and like all animals they prey on the weak. It is the survival of the fittest ; elimination of the weak and the weak-willed will suffer. It is the cause of so many teenage-suicides and healthy disorders such as anorexia and obesity. To be arrogant is revolting and to shy and socially awkward isn’t good either. If life is a rope, we must not hang ourselves ; rather , strike a balance and walk into a place of happiness. Parents and teachers should show more care and love to emotionally needy beings that want to be “cool” and want to “fit in” and help them to love themselves.
At the back of my brain possibly lies all the answers to the world’s problems and I will never access this part if I am not encouraged to think for myself and to formulate well-thought-out opinions. For most of the part, the schooling system downplays intellectual variety, feeding us the foolish notion that intellect lies exclusively with the mathematicians and scientists and not with the artists and artisans. Even television brainwashes and dumbs it down to a point whereby we accept opinions or so called ‘facts’ without questioning their validality.
I am seen as an outcast if all teenagers are seen to dedicate their lives to rebellion. You can call me “goody-2-shoes” and other names but having never been to a single detention in all of my twelve years of schooling I realise I am not the ideal representative for my peers. The way I see it is that a single way of discipline cannot be effective to everyone because everyone is unique. And to create harsh means of detaining individuals won’t help if the cause is not treated.
My mind can ultimately be described as a highway during the week during rush-hour traffic – so much to do and so much happening , from sparing a minute or two to my enlightening music or an hour to sitting down and having a meal with my family and sometimes helping out with chores. I am a machine!
We are all our own people. I am not willing to be subject of stereotype by adults who believe that just because I am an eighteen-year-old I am a defective human. I speak for all teenagers when I say : “ It is time you took us seriously ; we are the future ! ”
[ Written: June 2014 ]