By Diana, age 18, Romania
Development: Fights, worry, anxiety, anger
Result: Stress, headaches, physical and mental exhaustion
It must have happened at one point in your life or another. You woke up, had your usual breakfast, watched the sun rise, stretched, and prepared for a brand new day, thinking that everything would be alright, and whatever you had planned would go smoothly and without a problem. The only trouble is, most of the time things don't really go as planned. Meaning you either have a small (or big, depending on your luck) accident, you get into a fight, or maybe you are simply too tired to proceed with your plans.
But when it comes to us teenagers, the biggest stress in life revolves around four major issues. In order of importance, we have Love (with a capital L), family, friends and last but not least, school. Seeing how such issues have to be faced daily, it is only natural that we ask ourselves: "How in the world can I get through this?" Well, there would be this perfect idea to just shoot everybody ... but then you'd be all alone ... so what to do? Probably one of the best ways would be to make compromises and negotiate. But do proceed with caution! Negotiations such as "Mom, can I skip school today if I do the dishes?" don't exactly count, even when the puppy eyes are attempted.
As stated earlier, love seems to be a constant obstacle in our lives from the moment we become aware of the opposite sex and we don't slap them or call them stupid. Of course, men will be children at mind for most of their lives, but we can manage. However, there seems to be a tendency towards making a big fuss out of nothing when it comes to teenage dramas, and that is because of too many movies and romance novels. Sure, guys don't really have a problem with professing their love (or dislike) for a girl; they just come right out and say it. But when it comes to girls ... that's an entirely different story. They enjoy beating around the bush, sending glances either when the boy they like is paying attention (to glance back) or when he is not (so they won't be embarrassed), gossiping with their friends and asking for their opinion on the guy they like. Every move, every glance, and every possible thought is analyzed in detail, dissected until there is nothing left. And from then on comes worry and stress.
- Does he like me?
- Does he like her more than me?
- How can I tell him I like him?
- What if he laughs?
And the list can go on forever. I don't even plan on discussing fights in a relationship, the words alone spell STRESS by their mere association.
As for family, can there ever be a limit for family-related fights? Take, for instance, brothers and sisters. Be they older or younger, there always comes a point when you reach the climax of a fight, which sounds suspiciously like this: "uh-uh" "nu-uh""uh-uh" "nu-uh" and so on and so forth, until one of you gives up out of sheer exasperation. Each of you is trying to impose his own point of view, and none is willing to give up lest he be considered a loser.
And parents, oh yeah, they can sure be a pain. Always showing up at the worst of moments, either when you plan on having some alone time with your boyfriend, or when you're on the phone, or simply when you want to be alone. And the most annoying thing? They always ask the one question you are praying they won't. Just broke up with your boyfriend? "Sweetie, how's Jack?" Got a bad mark in school? "Soo ... how ya doing in maths, got any grades lately?"
Sometimes the question of whether they're guardian angels or straight out bodyguards who have an eye in the back of their heads comes up, and you inwardly shudder at the thought of what else they might know. Not to mention fights about which tasks you've failed to accomplish and how you aren't helping around the house enough, as well as "Clean up your room" (which just states the obvious). Whether by presence, voice, or thought, parents are usually feared both because of the authority they exude and because of how well they can read us.
On to the next topic. How often has it happened for you to be caught in the middle of an argument between your best friends, or just simply friends? One of the most dreaded situations I can think of is when you are forced to take sides and inevitably hurt someone in the process, when all you want to do is stop the argument and reach an agreeable solution for everyone. When conflicts appear and the people you care about get into a fight, you have two choices, either to back off or interfere. Usually the second choice ends with you taking one side, and the other not speaking with you for a while, which can instantly ruin your up-till-then good day.
The word SCHOOL itself seems to spell disaster, as it only means grades, tests, and teachers. Yeah, I know ... baaaaah! No one really likes them, especially when you fail a test or forget a lesson. And we always seem to blame teachers for our laziness and carelessness. The people who have to teach for a living are probably stuck in the worst job ever known to mankind because they have to deal with us moody teenagers, who would very much rather be just about anywhere but inside the classroom. When it comes to physics, even the janitor's closet seems a heavenly choice. But did you ever think that perhaps making us understand what they say and trying to teach some sense to a bunch of kids who don't really care is almost as difficult, if not more so, than to sit still for an hour and listen to something that might as well be Chinese for all we care? Sure, they may seem to hate you and make you stand and explain something in the lesson precisely when you're most unprepared. But that's just fate. It's not necessarily their fault. Ever thought it's your guilty "damn-I-didn't learn-it-and-she's-gonna-notice" look that gave you away?
Stress is ever-present in our lives, and it's up to us how we deal with it. The best choice in my opinion? Tuck yourself in with your iPod, a good book, and a cup of hot chocolate and you will manage to save the day. Or at least what's left of it. Parents, friends, school, teachers - that's only part of what we will encounter during our lives. So we need to toughen up, keep our heads high, and try not to trip over the most insignificant matters. If we can't deal with a simple 'what-if' question, how are we supposed to be prepared for life?