Posts Tagged ‘growing up’

Teenagers think they know everything

May 30, 2009

DSC_4621People change constantly.  That’s a part of growing and it’s going to happen.  Have you ever watched the show “What Not to Wear”?  In the show, a person is nominated by friends or family for a makeover.  Typically the person is an adult who dresses in a way that is inappropriate for their size, age, or gender.  The show’s two hosts bring the nominated person to New York, and teaches them how to dress in a way that makes them look their best.  This also includes a new hair style and makeup tips.  The transformation in appearance can be amazing.  Over one week, the nominated person can go from looking frumpy to sexy; from older than their age to younger than their age; from over weight to slimmer; from plain to glamorous.  The most surprising change in the person may not be just in their looks though.  In almost every episode the person who goes into the makeover becomes someone very different by the end of the show.  They stand taller, walk differently, behave like a completely different person.  The bar hopper suddenly behaves like a strong, confident woman.  The scary dark goth becomes an approachable, positive woman.  The sloppy guy becomes the man who can handle anything.  It’s truly amazing how much a change in wardrobe and hairstyle can alter how a person sees themselves, and the world they live in.  If this type of experience can change an adult, imagine all the new experiences that teenagers have yet to go through, and how much those experiences will affect their lives and personalities.

As teenagers, you may think that you know who you are.  You know what’s important, what’s good for you.  What you don’t realize is that all of that can change in a moments time.  You meet someone new who becomes so important to you that you want to become the right person for them.  You do something new, and it makes you feel so powerful and strong that your passion’s change.  You may think that you’ve experienced everything but, unless you lock yourself in you room for the rest of your life, you haven’t even come close.  You have a lifetime of experiences yet to go through and those experiences will change who you are, and who you want to become.

I love it when I ask a teenager what they want to be when they grow up, and they proceed to tell me that they’re going to become a professional sports player, a rapper, a rock star, a movie star, etc.  There’s nothing wrong with any of those things.  You just can’t count on any of them happening.  The best teenage athletic can have a minor accident and end any hopes of succeeding in a sport.  The artist that seems to be so much better than all their friends may find themselves just average when compared to a brand new stage full of artist.  I actually saw myself becoming an artist.  I won awards all through my growing up years for my art.  I found out in my second college art class, that I was decent in art, but not even close to being as talented as so many other people.  You see, I hadn’t met any truly gifted artist growing up.  That class forced me to change some of my goals.  Those same types of experiences can and probably will happen to you.  You haven’t met all your competition yet; you haven’t had the opportunity to.

The probability of things changing who you are is one of the reasons that succeeding in school is so important.  Succeeding in school is one of the best ways for you to insure that whoever you decide to be can happen.  It sets the stage for everything else.  The gifted football player won’t even get the chance to play on a professional team if they drop out of school and never even gets to play in front of a recruiter.   The kid who thinks they have everything they could ever want, will find that there is always one more thing they’re missing and, that may not be attainable with the limited resources they have without an education.   Those limited resources are the main reason to keep trying to succeed in school.  An education opens up possibilities.  Without it, a lot of doors you may wish were open to you, will be very firmly closed.

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Then, Now, and Later

May 24, 2009

DSC_6309Think back to when you were in early elementary school.   What got you excited?  Who were the most important people in your life?   What were your favorite foods/games/shows/things?  How did you feel about your parents; the opposite sex; adults?

Now, think about how you feel about all of those same things now.  Are your feelings the same; or have they changed?

You’ve experienced a lot since early elementary school.  You’ve learned that adults aren’t as perfect as they seemed when you were younger.  You’ve found new things to replace your favorites.  And, the opposite sex can cause some really exciting things to happen to your thoughts.  You’ve grown up some.  It’s the way you were made to be.  You’ve met a lot more people; Done a lot of new things; Been let down and brought right back up again.  You’ve done it all!

Not so fast.  What about later?  What about all the new people you’re going to meet when you finish school or go to college?  Will they affect the way you think and feel?  What about the first time you live on your own?  Will you learn new things; Have new fears; Change how you see things?  Of course you will, it’s all a part of growing up.

The person you were as a child is very different than the person you are as a teenager.  The same holds true for adulthood.  It all depends on your experiences, the people you meet, the things you try, and the things you learn (and not just in school.)  Life experiences don’t come to a screeching halt when you become a teenager.  You just see things differently.

The little kid who always wants to please may become the angry teen who thinks they know everything.  The smart little boy may become the too cool for school high school stud.  The little girl who has lots of elementary school friends, may become the moody loner in high school.  The silly little girl may become the high school prom queen.  Who you become depends on so many things you experiences.  And as a teenagers, you’ve only experienced a very small part of what life is really about.

The high school football star may find them self as a nobody as an adult.  The prom queen may become a divorced mother who feels alone in the world.  The loner may become the most popular person at their job.  The high school stud may finally realize that partying too much eventually leads to a beer gut and a lonely life.

As a teenager, you really don’t know who you’re going to want to be as an adult.  Unfortunately, you can do things as a teenager that will alter just that.  A teenager who has a baby does not become the adult they would have if they hadn’t gotten pregnant.  The kid who decides that driving a car is like a game, won’t become the adult they might have if the game they played in a car with their friends, ends up killing someone.  The teen who drops out of school will not become the adult they might have become if they stayed in school.  Think about this.  You are a teenager for seven years of your life.  You’re an adult for a lot longer than that.