Thursday, 25 July 2013

by Pang Huey Lynn, Class of 2013, Form 5 Science 2

As I near the end of my teen years, I think it is safe to say that they were not a walk in the park. Being a teenager can be stressful and tiring. One minute I am trying to finish my homework and the next I am rushing off to finish my chores or help my parents bring in the groceries from the car. On top of all that, I may have some responsibilities in school such as organising the Young Journalist Club's Swimming Gala Booth or organising talks for The English Debating Society as a favour for a friend. If you have ever been a teenager you probably understand what that feels like.



If you are a teenager, you have also probably heard of the term "teenage angst" from others, most probably your parents or other relatives. The term is used to describe teenagers when they get mad or upset at something that others may deem "unreasonable". It is often used as an excuse for a large percentage of my behaviour. If I ever get mad or upset, it is usually because of my "teenage angst". In all honesty, I have never understood why I even had any teenage angst. I live a normal life and mostly have nothing to complain about. I realise that I am extremely lucky and I am grateful for all that I have. So where did all the angst come from?
My parents say that that my angst comes from the stress of everyday school life. Others may say it comes from raging hormones that come with being a teenager. Most agree that it comes from a bad combination of both. After giving this some thought, I asked myself why it was specifically teens that were so full of angst. Why were we so angry and emotional all the time? Adults got upset too, so where is the term "Adult angst"? I came to a conclusion that both baffled and excited me.

Of course adults get mad. They get upset and mad too, just like us teenagers. However, this is not noticed as much as in "hormonal teenagers". Parents and teachers are blaming the fact we get emotional on the fact that we are supposed to be filled with raging hormones. They think that we as teenagers only acted the way we do not because something had genuinely upset us, but because of so called "hormones". This concept is absurd. We are all humans and we should be allowed freedom to express how we feel. Why should teenagers be given the advantage of blaming it all on hormones?

Adults and teenagers, where is the line between the two? The age of 18 years old? Does one wake up one day and go "I am a full grown adult now, no more feelings for me. That angst is only for hormonal teenagers."? Let's face it, we only do all this because society tells us it is wrong to be over-emotional. Adults go through so much more stress that teenagers do. Among other things, they have to maintain a proper job, feed their family while caring for their loved ones. Their responsibilities are so much bigger than ours. So why is it that we get a fall back plan and adults are left to contain their feelings and try not to crack under pressure?

In fact, we all feel the same things. Anger, sadness, stress, excitement, joy and so on. Once you are old enough though, you are immediately expected to be able to control how you feel and not act like a child anymore. "Grow up," they say. Is it so wrong to be allowed to feel? So wrong that when teenagers show emotion it is all blamed on the mere fact that we are supposed to be more hormonal then adults.

Teenage angst is a flawed concept. It is also used as a reason to explain why we feel the way we do especially when adults are unable to understand why we did what we did or feel the way we do. Instead of trying to understand what has upset us and why we feel that way, they use "teenage angst" as a simple way out. Blame it all on the hormones. No wonder we constantly find teenagers saying that their parents 'just do not understand'. Adults sometimes fail to see eye to eye with us because of this. They are unable to sympathise or empathise with us because they feel that they do not need to. They somehow think that the things we feel are somewhat less important or less significant because of our age.

The fact is that teenagers do not have "teenage angst" due to hormones or stress. Adults are just better at hiding their emotions than teenagers are. Adults have to hide behind a facade just because they are expected to do so by society. That is the sad world we live in. Stop blaming how we feel on "teenage angst" and just think for a second. When was the last time you voiced your opinion freely? When was the last time you yelled at someone and then felt bad about it later? We are all the same deep down and we should be allowed to act accordingly. I do not have teenage angst. I simply refuse to hide how I feel. I refuse to let myself be judged based on something I have absolutely no control over such as my hormones. Call me spoiled, call me hot-tempered. Judge me based on my actions but do not say that I act a certain way just because I am young or because you cannot come to terms with the fact I am not perfect.
by Unknown 23:29 1 comment | in , , ,

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