Message to the Youngsters

March 30, 2011
By Anonymous

Abercrombie, Hollister, Forever 21, Coach, all of these stores are popular and they all sport a certain look. However, these are only four stores out of the thousands of stores out there, but why do teenagers mostly shop there? Why do you see three of the same flower patterned shirt on three different girls as you walk down the hallway? The reason is because no one wants to break the “norm.” No one wants to be different and unique. Teenagers want to blend in with each other and to not be ridiculed by their peers for their haircut, or outfit. They are afraid that they will not be accepted into the teenage society because of their material items. That is why most people shop at those stores, they are afraid to be different.

Teenagers are afraid to be themselves because they feel like they are always being judged, by their peers, their teachers, their parents, their coaches, their boss. Mostly, the teenagers are right, they are being criticized, but that doesn’t mean that they can not be themselves and show the criticizer how remarkable they really are. But everyone is afraid to be judged so they put on this fake show while they are in public and they never let anyone see their true selves.

Some teenagers even seem to have multiple personalities. Those girls who act all giggly and dumb around the guys, but when they are with their friends they are articulate and actually laugh their normal laugh; or those teens who try to act all “BA” just so they can impress their want-to-be friends. Those teens need to take a step back and figure out who they really are before they lose themselves trying to be like everyone else.

High school is a great time to find your true self. Teens are tested in so many different ways throughout their four years in high school. Freshman year is when teenagers find out who their real friends are. The people that will stand by a friend no matter what is going on in his life, no matter how cranky he might be, are the people that are good friends. The people who will make time in their busy schedules to hang out with a friend. The girl who stands up for her friend when a group of sassy freshmen are talking about her behind her back; those people are true friends. The friends who don’t care about cliques, about the “popular” crowd that has no doubt formed already, are the friends that make it through freshman year. They will be the ones who stick with each other for the rest of high school. Then sophomore year rolls around and people start partying, the way the media always stereotypes. Now the real character test comes, “should I give in to the peer pressure? Should I risk my athletic eligibility by partying?” “Do I really want to fall into the stereotypical teenager?” “If I drink will I be cool?” All of these questions pop into teenagers’ heads and these decisions show their character. Do they want to break the norm and not drink or will they fall victim to the peer pressure, and become like every other teen out there?” After these test, the teen moves onto junior year, the hardest year. They learn to manage their time between sports, friends, and English papers. That freshman year clique starts to not matter, and as the students grow up they start to realize what does matter. Junior year flies by, due to all the homework, and finally senior year is here. Now the pre-adults start to shine through those fake personas that they have been creating for three years. The person that they are inside starts to poke through the layers of lies, fake smiles, and pretend laughs. But by now, the year is almost done and the young adults have wasted almost four years of their lives trying to be something they are not, such as, the cool guy, the smart gal, the popular girl, or the macho man. As these teens graduate they look around and realize that they probably never knew their peers as well as they could have, if only they were their true selves. But now it is too late.

So to all of the youngsters out there here is my advice: be who you are and do not change for anyone. Do not create this fake version of you once you get into high school because once you do this persona is like a leech, it will not go away. You should act the same way around everyone, do not act 5 different ways around 5 different friend groups, because honestly it is tiring keeping track of all of those personalities. Stay true to your friends and true to yourself. Let that corky smile show. Laugh as loud as you want no matter who is watching. Wear the clothes you want to wear and do not let anyone compel you to do otherwise. My biggest piece of advice is to live your life the way you want to live it, not the way your friends pressure you into living it, or the way your parents want you to lead your life. This is your life, decide what you want to get out of it and what you want to do with it and then live.

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