Palisades Charter High School

An ode to the teenager

“Oh, how I wish I could go back to high school!”

It’s a sentiment heard from many who feel that their youth has passed them by. They miss the slam of the locker doors, the chatter that emerges from classrooms the minute the bell has rung, and the sheer possibility of what the world to a teen.

In other words, your teenage years are like the morning. In both, many feel like they didn’t get enough sleep, life feels just a bit hazy, yet it teems with the remarkable world of possibility.

Of course being a teenager has changed and life has gotten far more stressful since the time of our grandparents, or at the very least it feels that way. The emergence of social media, APs and a more competitive college entrance field render our generation with the highest anxious tendencies. However, despite all of this, the teenage years are still something to be celebrated. Yes, that picture of the Mt. Everest of textbooks on Snapchat could be a must. Yes, you should take that AP class and apply to as many colleges as you can. However. . . time spent with friends is also a must and yes, you really should be a bit bummed out about that “C” on your French exam but there is more to it. Will it really matter in five years?

Focus on the chatter that ascends after the last bell before summer break, how invincible you feel after passing your driver’s test, and the shared angst that you and your study group have before a big exam. Enjoy your unique music as it pours from your earbuds even if in a couple of years, you’ll listen to it in disgust.

Teenagers are portrayed badly in television and film, the generation as a whole is shown as angsty, tired kids that always look like they just rolled out of bed (Which isn’t true. Teenagers look like that only half of the time). However, what isn’t shown is the flip side of it.  The movies don’t show how you smiled so much that your cheeks hurt after talking to your crush. It doesn’t show the surprise that you feel when you got an “A” on a test that you thought you had done poorly on. It doesn’t show the road of possibilities that grows before you.

So they ought to smile. Enjoy being a teenager and in the words of arguably the most popular, clever teenager, Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”