Children usually can’t wait to grow up and start living life the way they like it. Little do they know that being an adult is so much harder than being a child. Adulthood involves a lot of decision making and there is no safety net that will save you when something goes wrong.
Your teenage years are your initiation into adulthood. During these years, you are given a trial version of how to live your life as an adult. You will be given some responsibilities but at the same time, you are given a leeway to find your way to develop your standards, to commit minor mistakes and to decide which path to follow once you are an adult.
Teenage years are said to be turbulent and tagged by many as a roller coaster ride. You will experience numerous changes that can be overwhelming to process. In the adolescent period, secondary physical characteristics take place such as breast development and appearance of pubic hairs, and these can stir ambivalent feelings as explicitly sung by Britney Spears in “I’m not a girl not yet a woman.” Accept that these changes are natural no matter how awkward you feel.
It is now the best time to consider wearing bras. However, if you are for ‘free the nipple campaign,’ going braless is very much acceptable. Decide what makes you comfortable and go for it. Another thing is altering body hygienic practices. One might start to give off unpleasant odors during sweaty exercise sessions and gym classes. There are countless body deodorants and sprays available in the market to address these smells. Also, body hairs might start to grow in the female private parts. Some might be uncomfortable and prefer to remove or trim them. Others can enjoy going au naturale.
Teenage years are times when girls experience swooning over crushes and romantic relationships. It may seem that the tingly frisson in your stomach from the mesmerizing smiles and side glances of your crushes is enough sustenance. I would like to pop your bubble and blatantly say that these harmless pleasures are fleeting. There is no harm in having these crushes and boyfriends but always ingrain in yourself that this person is not your universe. Please don’t ever compromise yourself, your beliefs and your identity for the approval and love of a particular person. Loving a person requires acceptance of his/her being holistically without conditions and limitations.
During adolescent years, teenagers have the capacity to differentiate between right and wrong. However, they start to see the blurry lines and gray areas of morality. They see that morality may at times vary based on the circumstances. Due to this abstract thinking and deductive reasoning in addition to peer pressure, some normal law abiding teens might try out risky habits such as the use of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. As a responsible teenager, don’t allow yourself to be placed in a position where your only option is to say yes even though you want or believe otherwise. If you see that your friends are into drugs and alcohol, slowly open yourself to other people with more wholesome preferences. Avoid their invitations when you know that there will be drugs and alcohol involved. Invite them for activities that promote clean fun but at the time exhilarating and challenging.
Virginity is prized by society. Some men view it as a gauge for judging a woman’s worth. Other men cannot deal with a virgin because of their innocence and sensitive nature. Whatever it is that society dictates, always follow what you deem is right and best for you. If you want to save yourself for someone else, then don’t let someone or something force or coerce you to give it up. If you decide to engage in a sexual act, practice safe sex and don’t put this responsibility solely on your partner. YOU are responsible for yourself. It is best to use at least two methods of contraception because no single contraception claims 100% effectiveness in preventing pregnancy. Also, there are rampant cases of sexually transmitted infections. Better to be safe than sorry.
Pressures to excel in academics and to be successful cultivate a culture of perfectionism. Teenagers may aim for perfection in every endeavor they pursue. There is actually nothing wrong with having high standards. However, always consider failure as a possible result.
Ladies, everything may seem fuzzy and paths are blurry, but enjoy the experience of both the pains and gains of teenage years. Some may benefit from joining anonymous chat rooms to meet other teenagers and discuss anything that matters in their lives. Experiment with caution and enjoy. You only get to experience it once.