Teenage Life

Teenage Life

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Teenage Life

"The best days of your life" they say, "what I wouldn't give to be
your age again" they tell you. What do they know? Unless teenage life
has altered dramatically since their 'day' they surely must have been
living in a parallel universe, because as most teenage kids will tell
you, if this is the best it gets, why bother with the rest of it? Why
bother with the dull endless grind that is exams, school and academia,
why endure the endless jibes from the older, popular and better off
guys, why struggle to not end up on the dreaded council estates with a
brown sofa and sick green carpet. What's the point. Because when your
standing in a crappy communal swimming pool with chipped off-white
tiles, trying in vain to cover your body with a harsh nylon bath towel
and being shouted at by some aging sports crazy slave driver in a Mac-
things don't seem quite so rose-y.

Your teachers are only just beginning to understand and refuse to
acknowledge bullying still. Year eleven can be pushing the first years
and for months it is ignored, smoothed over, but as soon as you fight
back they are onto you like a shot. As soon as you get into that
circle you are bugged. Completely and utterly. So as the parents
evenings, open days and any other promotional crap ensues, some nobody
in the library tries for a pay-rise and knocks up a couple of leaflets
that tell the parents bullying is bad. That homework must be done,
that no-one must be allowed to rest, not to be lazy. A couple of
forms, petitions and lots of signatures, but once the party's over you
look round and you're still standing in the crap. Pointless
assemblies, meaningless classes, where the teachers are as bored out
of their minds as the students are and in this tiny dysfunctional
community, everything goes round and round- institutionalizing us
until we feel lost without it. Teachers rarely give us a glimpse of
humanity, just talk.

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Talk and talk. Wide-eyed and indifferent
expressions. The bad get worse and the good get bored.

So, the best days of your life spent painfully and ruefully. Not as
great as it seems is it?

And that's at school. Most people escape from this burden at 3:15, but
for some this is where the problem starts. When everyone's on a bit of
a low at home, school actually seems to be an escape. It's about this
time in someone's life when the parents think it's safe to actually
become people as opposed to the motherly or fatherly persona that has
oppressed them for 15, 16 years. But they just wish things would go
back to before- when they felt safe with their mother, when they
didn't pick up on the badly masked bad moods and rows and depression.
When their only worry was if they saw their dad a couple of hours
late, instead of weeks. When stepbrothers, stepsisters, half-brothers
and half sister's were a mere nightmare. When jealousy sets in and
endless bitter glances ensue between families and the only tie that
binds them is yourself. And you know it. As people become experienced
in life a smoked glass screen clouds it until you become so
knowledgeable you wish you hadn't bothered. Christmas for example. By
fourteen, the magic has gone, faded into the background with all
fantasies and aspirations of the past. Until its just another day, 24
hours like any other, come and gone.

But when it comes down to it, teenage life is all about image, all
girls and most boys care about how they look to other people,
teenagers diet until they are ill- but they never are content with
themselves. The truth of it is though, no-one notices what you look
like unless you look bad, in which they relish in, they rush past and
through you as if your not there with thoughts of themselves, whether
positive or negative. But even the smartly, expensively dressed neat
hair, perfect teethed guy cannot buy affection or popularity, there
will always be something people can dig at you about, normally
something most close to your heart. Teenagers make mental lists about
the reasons the opposite sex would not be attracted to them and they
are not attractive and dwell on them forevermore. Everyone's so
wrapped up in themselves they barely notice other peoples insecurities
and are left feeling they are alone. And they might as well be.
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