“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of youth, it was the epoch of age, it was the Season of Self-Discovery, it was the Season of the SATs, it was the spring of serenity, it was the winter of depression, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to College, we were all going direct the other way. In short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of satisfaction only.” -Charles Dickens, partially edited by the moi
This can pretty much sum up the average American teenager’s high school experience, at least from what I’ve seen. Teenagers these days face so many pressures; to get good grades, to participate in numerous extracurricular activities for college credits, to be a superstar athlete, to be the prettiest/thinnest/smartest/strongest/cutest/sexiest/popular, etc. There seems to be no end, no satisfaction to this because once you’re out of your sweet, cozy elementary school years, middle school comes around, and its an entire different story. That’s not even the whole picture-once high school begins, BAM!- it hits you like a ton of bricks.
You may start to look at your peers around you, and start to make comparisons- Is she prettier than me? Does he look buffer than me? Do people like him/her more than me? What can I do to be better than him/her? All you can do is try your best and fight for a spot among the ‘accepted’ fashion of the month. Those who don’t keep up with it are left to fend for themselves. Not only that, but since recent years, educational standards have risen to the extreme- College costs 3 times as much as it did 20 years ago, the new Common Core standardized testing (Don’t even get me started on that), and high competition for a spot among the smartest and brightest students today.
You may get really depressed. You may begin to feel trapped and look for something, anything, that could offer you some comfort, a solution that could assure you that no matter how crappy your life is, that something is always there, whether it be a goal, a friend, a passion, or material usage.
According to Eleanor Roosevelt, “In all our contracts it is the probably the sense of being really needed and wanted which gives us the greatest satisfaction and creates the most lasting bond.”
Satisfaction/Acceptance is what we strive to achieve, and if we feel unwanted or not needed, we want that satisfaction/acceptance all the more desperately, causing us to look towards drugs, join gangs, develop an eating disorder, etc. If one feels that they have no hope for overall happiness with their life, they may commit suicide.
Sooner or later, chances are that you’re going to hit a G A P. You may be stuck on how to solve a problem, figure out a way to escape a bad influence, or on how to find overall satisfaction.
My friends and I recognized this issue, so we decided to create our own site on Tumblr, called Teenvoices101.com. At the site, teens are able to connect with others from around the world by sharing personal stories dealing with everyday life or problems. This way, we hope to bring teens closer together in a way that gives adolescents the chance to learn from others and share similar experiences.
However, we’re really low on stories. :((((((((((((( If you decide to post a story and/or share the site, it would be greatly appreciated, and help us give others a way to find solutions for a variety of issues, including depression, suicide, bullying, pressure to get good grades, eating disorders, sexual violence, etc. If we get about 50 stories by the end of February, I promise to promise to publish a fun post with cool quizzes, recipes, and quotes! 🙂
Here is the link:
By submitting a story, sharing our mission, or even just visiting the site, you have became a part of a bridge to help get others over a G——-A———–P, to help them find satisfaction with their life and accept themselves and others for who they are.
P.S Here’s the link again 🙂 http://teenvoices101.tumblr.com/