Teen Psychology Unleashed -
By Someone Who Knows

By Roe, age 17, Oman

Why is the teen age such a unique stage? I mean, how can childhood, when a child cannot physically express what he wants, not beat it? Or old age? The teen years include physical, emotional, and health problems, coupled with loneliness and sometimes depression. Hasn't anyone even thought about how difficult parenthood must be? I mean, if being a teenager is so difficult, then God help the people who have to actually handle them.

Here's what I think. When you're a teenager, everything is just wrong. There's an unexplainable element of confusion in the air. No one is what they seem, everything has two meanings, and everyone carries double standards. Life is a constant drama - kind of like one of those shows where the guy never tells the girl what's going on at home and takes drugs to help him 'forget.' The kind where you sit in annoyed frustration in front of the TV and wonder what on earth could drive someone to make such insanely stupid decisions. Bottom line: teenagers are vulnerable. Fragile. Things leave deeply denting impressions on their minds.

They don't know where they stand, so they pretend they do. And that, of course, makes it all the worse, because now, with the already stressful business of trying to figure out who they are and where they should be, they add the burden of pretending they have it all figured out. And more often than not, this is what tips them over the edge.

Teenagers cross lines all the time. They do it because they have some kind of weird karmic balance theory: "do unto others what was done to you." Somehow, it makes it okay to take drugs if your mother abandons you. Secretly seeing someone behind your dad's back makes it okay, because he is an over-achiever and expects his son to be the same. Teens know what they're doing is wrong, and in spite of it, or maybe because of it, they still do it.

If you tell teens they're taking a risk, or standing too close to the edge, they'll ask you: "what if we don't want 'safe'? What's wrong with crossing the line once in a while? The times we cross it, are, after all, the only times we ever feel alive. The only times we'll remember."

"But why would anyone want to take a risk like that?" you ask them in amazement at their sheer stupidity masked by the bravery of their logic.

And then they'll give you the answer that will freeze you in your tracks, even if for a little while. They'll say: "to forget."

But here's news for you, O Confused Teen, pretending you have it all figured out when actually you're a hollow shell just waiting to crumble. And for you, parents, who give your children the freedom to do what is wrong so they can 'experience it,' only to find out that not only have your children gone over to the Dark Side, but you pushed them to go there.

Being a teen is no big deal.

No, I haven't gotten it all figured out either, because (fanfare!) there is nothing to figure out at all. It is a phase. Yes, teens. Hate that phrase, scorn it, but it is the 'oh so true' mantra of the teenage years. Things are crazy when you're in your teens. You think no one understands you, you think you're all alone in this world, and you think everyone who is trying to tell you something is either very inexperienced or has ulterior motives.

Here's the truth: it's a stage, designed as a test. It is the most difficult one, and if you get out of it unscathed, you are officially successful.

There is one more disputable issue here, however. What is the criteria for 'unscathed?' That you never do anything except for what is expected? Or, that you never get hurt and live a peaceful life filled with sunshine and rainbows? Or, that you go through your teenage years, and your life for that matter, with a protective shell, an armor of cynicism, indifferent to the rants of the teen age?

The answer is: neither.

Here's what you do:

You be yourself. You stand up and fight for what you think is right. You don't get on the bandwagon just because everyone else is doing so. You take risks, you plunge, you do crazy things. But you also be nice, take time to appreciate people who love you, celebrate little things, and ponder about the birds in the sky. You run around and reap as much advantage as you can of your energy and spirit and strength ... but, once in a while, in the dead of the night, you also sit down and evaluate whether you have everything that's really important, whether you're living your life or just planning it, and whether or not, if you die right now, you can say you had it all.

The teen age is a crazy time, and you are allowed to go berserk. But remember, there are lines. There are always lines. If you cross them, you may or may not come back. Play it safe - there are lots of other opportunities for having 'fun' that are safer. If you don't agree, go change your definition of fun, because, believe me, not only have you got it all wrong, you are totally on the wrong track.

There will be difficult times, there will be difficult situations, and there will be crazily difficult decisions to make. Just trust your instincts, and stay away from anything you feel is wrong. Don't take risks where your morality is concerned. Remember, no matter what they say, risks have to be evaluated too. Stay away from things that you say are 'once' - lying once, taking one puff of smoke, or snorting one bag of coke. These things seldom stay 'once,' and remember, every screwed up person in this world started out with one of everything and ended up with more than he could handle.

The teen age is a crazy time - be man or woman enough to handle it. Don't make excuses - the weak do that. Go out there and live the world - it is all yours. Just don't lose sight of what's really important. Don't chase after rabbits that go into holes that you can't get your hand into. And, most importantly, don't do wrong things while you're at it. People on second chances are never popular - it makes people wonder what they did with their first.

Live a moderate life, be balanced in everything, and don't do things you might regret later. One small clue: you already know what those things are. They're the things you're tempted to do, but deep down (sometimes very deep) there is this little something telling you to stay away. A piece of advice: listen to the 'little something.' It's usually right.

So go through the stage unscathed. It does not mean you shouldn't (or won't) get hurt or trust or live life or have fun. Just do the right thing while you're having fun and living life - it is the only kind of fun that lasts.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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