Try not to hate being a teenager

Jane Mather-Glass, Opinion Columnist

Being a teenager sometimes seems like the worst and most uncomfortable stage of life, but if you try and look at the positives, it’s not so bad.

As much as I like to be cynical about high school, I can’t deny that I’ve learned a whole lot in this building. We all have, really, and we should cherish the lessons we have learned and the experiences we have gained as teens.

That sounds super cheesy, I’m aware. But listen. High school is a formative time our lives. So for the underclassmen, keep these things in mind in the future. And seniors, take this advice with you to college. But I mean, I’m young too. It’s not like I have it all figured out. But that’s okay! Your teenage years are a process.

My final piece of advice is that you shouldn’t feel shame for liking typical teenage things. Teenagers get a lot of crap for literally being teenagers. Yet, if you like Starbucks and leggings and those Adidas shoes that everyone has, like them! If you like pop music or angsty indie rock songs, listen to them! Your teenage years are exactly the time you should be listening to angsty music. Don’t be embarrassed for feeling your feelings!

Something you also need to understand is that your idea of your future self with change a lot throughout high school. When I came into freshman year, I thought I would be pursuing a dance career. Then, I pictured myself in the liberal arts. Don’t expect to stay constant as a teenager. Don’t feel confined by how you’ve been in the past or what people expect you to do. High school is the time to change and try new things.

On that note, your four years here are a great opportunity to experiment with your looks and expressing your identity. Why not wear fun things to school? When you’re older, you might have a more traditional job where you can’t always wear high-waisted jeans and ugly sweaters or Doc Martens. But now, there are no consequences for that. Dress how you want!

One of the most upsetting aspects of the teenage years is that many adults don’t take you seriously. It’s frustrating because we as a generation are really passionate about making change, but adults rarely listen to our ideas. However, don’t let that dampen your spirit. You can still make change. Even if you’re not the one instigating change, support your peers who are. If we start early, we have a change at really getting stuff done.

Your four years of high school are a great time to try and get to know yourself. By the end, you may still be confused, and that’s totally okay. But while you’re here, you experiment with what you like and find out your abilities so that you don’t overwork yourself. You might realize that you can only stay up until 11 every night and that all-nighters aren’t such a good idea for you. Or maybe that four AP classes is too many for you personally to handle. This is the best time to figure out your strengths as well as come to understand your limits.

Ultimately, your high school years begin a never-ending process of trying to figure yourself out. Take your time and enjoy them when you can. Let yourself slip, succeed, try things and fail– you still have so much growing up to do.