A Conversation for Teenage Issues

Being a Teenager

Post 1

Nel Blu

I don't know if I can compare my Dunedin, New Zealand teenage world to the American teenage world, but I will try.
Yes, being a teenager is all about identity and where we fit in to the world and I definately see all kinds of behaviour relating to identity in Dunedin. There are the groups and there are the names for the groups. There is the immoral teasing and bullying by people that are threatened by their peers in an attempt to better themselves, because they don't know any other way to do it. There is the strong message sent by the media to become a stereotype, with a glorious body, hair, face and several admirers hanging off each arm.
However, I do not believe that every teenager chooses to be this way. Who would want to live in a hell like that? I believe I have seen teenagers who are very open and free and do not have to particularily have to conform to what society wants them to be. Teenagers are smart creatures, all of them. They are growing and learning in various ways, listening to the world of their peers for guidance, as all humans do. Some choose a more narrow-minded path than others, but ultimately that is their decision.
What I really want to say is that teenagers are not an alien race that have descended to wreak havoc on the world. They do not intentionally try to destroy everything in their way. It is simply the environment that all people live in, and just as every living thing adapts to its environment, so do humans.
And really, if you only can perceive one world, like this one, what are you going to turn out like?

Being a Teenager

Post 2


being different is an option.
Right through primary school I was pretty much shunned as a "smart kid" who was great to talk to if you had trouble with homework or something, but otherwise did things too different to be included in the mass group.
However, when I hit 13 and everyone started to realise that individualism was great I gained some confidence and now as a 17 year old have many friends in almost every social group of the school. I grew up in Australia, but as far as I can tell it is fairly similar to the US. The only big difference is that maybe conformity in clothing is required a little more. Variations are allowed, but not encouraged.
But I think that if you are a nice enough person and have enough confidence not to be tied to the one identifying group, you don't have to fit the stereotype to be accepted.

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