Teenage Years

People who are nostalgic about childhood, were obviously never children. Few people can remember the truth about
adolescence. Their minds "censor" their memories; and have them believe that being a teenager was was one big party, free of
cares and responsibilities. Well let me say this, you couldnÕt be more wrong if you had a lobotomy. There aren\'t that many
adults around who realise what adolescence was really like. The anguish, the fear, the anxiety, the stress. People don\'t
remember those problems because they want to forget them.

The truth of the matter is, is that being a teenager is hard, right from the beginning, and it doesn\'t get any easier. We are such
easy prey for big name companies who advertise using the pressure of popularity, looks and sex to force us to buy their
product that, as it turns out, we never wanted or needed in the first place. Our lives are filled with stress. One of the greatest
sources of pressure is school. Where we are herded like cattle from room to room, chewing on our cud, while the hay of
knowledge is force fed to us as we are trying our hardest to gulp it down as more and more is shovelled in. Another great
source of pressure is ourselves. We try our hardest to be accepted among a certain group or circle. Whereas most of the time
we are rejected and we become depressed. Depression, another problem, along with ignorance and apathy that thwarts our
lives. A wise man when questioned about his view on ignorance and apathy, said "I don\'t know, and I don\'t give a damn.

We find outlets for our emotions through either art, poetry or music, being the three most common. There are thousands of
poems floating around written by bitter or depressed teenagers that are never recognised as works of art. Another form of
escape for teenagers is, unfortunately, suicide. It is alarming how high the teen suicide rates have risen over the past decade.
Yet, it is comforting that there are support groups and counsellors available now to aid teens through their troubles. Because no
one wants to see a life full of promise and potential end abruptly because of a little sorrow in one kid\'s life. Another reason for
teen suicide is their home life. The teenager gets caught in the middle of an argument between their parents, and they take the
blame personally. This is not right. Sometimes the child is beaten or abused and is forced to run away into the streets, where
they become homeless, and sometimes abducted. Sometimes they just die in a back alley during a cold winterÕs night, and
they are never missed. At sixteen, a teenager knows about suffering, because he himself has suffered, but he barely knows that
other beings also suffer.

Although, some teenagers face their problems. They plod along through school. Some of them get after-school or weekend
jobs. They learn responsibility. Eventually, they enter adulthood and the work force. Successful, confident, and eager to
work. They lead their lives using the knowledge they swallowed throughout their education and the power they gained. But
not long after, they forget about the dips and drops of their adolescence and become somewhat hypocritical when they go up to
teenagers and say "These are the best years of your life", or "What responsibility? You\'ve got it easy". These lines are heard
much too often.

Hopefully, it can only get easier for teenagers to cope with the world and to live to their full potential. Where a teenager can
wade through the jaws of advertisers, the popularity contest, their parents, and most of all, depressionÕs cold claws. For, up
until now, it never occurred to anyone anywhere that the teenager was a captive in a hostile world of adults.