Dear Teenager

Dear Teenager,

TeenagerI get it.  Those jerks at school just keep on pushing and don’t know when to back off.  I don’t know why they target you, because you really are a good kid.  Your parents aren’t who you need them to be either.  Either they are crazy strict and don’t let you breathe…or they are so busy with their lives that sometimes it seems like you don’t exist.  Maybe you’re even dealing with some sort of abuse:  verbal, physical, sexual or a horrible mixture of all three.

When you are a teenager life is filled with drama…and I don’t mean that in any sort of demeaning or belittling way. It’s just a lot to deal with. On top of the people at school and home you are still expected to not only go to school, but make good grades. You might even have a job outside of school too, and are expected to pay for your own car and gas in order to get to that job.

Don’t worry if you’ve messed up big time. Wrong choices don’t mean that your life is over or on some sort of preset outcome. There is still time.

There are so many ways to deal with what you are going through…and none of them seem like a good option to you right now. I can promise that how you deal with this drama and the decisions you make today, have a huge impact on the rest of your life. Choose carefully.

Dropping Out Of School

TeenagerSchool is important. I know you think that a GED is the same thing as a diploma, but the truth is that it’s not. It signifies who you were and is difficult for employers to over look. A high school diploma is huge, because of what it signifies. It’s physical proof that when things get frustrating or tough, you aren’t walking away. You aren’t a quitter.

The Internets

TeenagerThings are harder than they were when I was a teenager. I didn’t have to deal with Twitter or Snapchat. Contending with an online presence and a never-ending steam of expectations and opinions didn’t exist. You are tougher than I was as a teenager though. Raised in this culture, you know of its superficiality. You are smart, talented and very capable of making your life amazing and successful.

Teenager Sex

Oh yes, I’m going there. Sex is complicated. On one hand, if you’re doing it right (right person, right time and yes, right technique) it’s pretty amazing. On the other hand though….bleh! I honestly wish that TV would portray sex what it really is…which is messy (in all aspects).

TeenagerThe risk of becoming a teenage parent is huge, no matter if the girl is on birth control and the guy wears a condom or not. Seriously, Google it because it’s so incredibly common. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Not because it puts you on a preset outcome (I told you that above…pay attention). Being a parent just makes everything so much harder, trust me. When you are a teenager you already have enough challenges.

I can’t even really touch on STDs. Let’s just say that one of the many reasons I’m thankful to be married is that I don’t have to worry about STDs. Infection is rampant and being able to ask someone for their lab tests would be a necessary evil before having sex. If you can’t talk about sex and all its messy factors with that guy or girl…you should’t have sex with them. Seriously.

If you’re not a virgin anymore, that doesn’t mean you have to keep having sex. No, you don’t have to proclaim  yourself a born again virgin. You can just decide that you want to wait before having sex again…it’s that simple. The person you’re with should respect that…and if they don’t then honestly they aren’t worth your time.

What Are Your Goals?

TeenagerMake a good choice today. A strong choice that will catapult you to where it is you want to go. Don’t sell yourself short. If you have dreams that seem too big that’s great! Don’t worry. There is a way to make that dream a reality. The world has resources and there are people who can help you find them. College isn’t a crap shoot… You could go.

Remember too though that you don’t need college to be successful. There are plenty of jobs in which you can make a good living, without the debt and time that college requires. It all starts today though and how you are going to respond to life’s drama.

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