It Ain't Easy, Girl: Being A Teen in 2018
Growing up a teenage girl is a common subject in conversations, movies, books and songs. Although this may be an entertaining topic, it is a serious matter, especially to me, a teen girl in 2018. A girl’s teen years make her into the woman she is going to be, which is why they need to be taken seriously.
When you are a child, your parents hold your hand and guide you over every bump and curve. When you are a teen, the last thing you want is their help. You are an independent young lady who can and will change the world and you do not need any parents or grown-ups to help you. You can do this...alone! It may sound completely ridiculous but it is the truth.
Just as life begins to teach hard lessons, and demand responsibility, the teenager’s mind is already at a disadvantage. Every little thing affects her whether it be a comment, a cute boy’s wink or an unpopular Instagram post. Everything has an impact. Because teen girls tend to overanalyze, they carry their thoughts around like heavy weights.
“Be yourself”—a popular mantra demands us to be original and unique. At the same time, there is an equal amount of pressure to fit in with everyone else. The problem this creates is that we struggle to know who we are or who we want to be.
We become different girls with each of our different friend groups. We leave the house with our hair combed, our party dress ironed and our makeup on fleek. When we come home our makeup is off, our hair is thrown up in a messy bun, and the baggy sweats are on. You may not even recognize us after this transformation. It’s terrible to think that we change so much walking in and out of our front door each morning.
This comes with living in the 21st century. If we are not vigilant, we will be snatched up. We will end up enslaved by technology and dominated by new trends and fads. This is clear with every new Instagram and Facebook post. Can we truly say that the comments and the likes we get do not affect us?
Now, I haven’t even mentioned the difficulty of being a Catholic teenager in this world. As teenagers we become aware of the world outside our Catholic bubble and it is very appealing. The type of person we feel pressured to be in this “outside world” doesn’t conform to the ideals of the Catholic world. We live in a bubble, and inside this bubble are Catholics. It seems dull and full of routine and prayers and sacrifices. And outside the bubble? Well, it’s fun, it’s normal, it’s free, it’s exciting...I mean what teenage girl wouldn’t want to be approved of by the outside world?
During our “rise to popularity” and increase in followers, sometimes we hurt people that we love. In the moment, though, self is all that matters—nothing else. This selfish mentality collides with the spirit of generosity and integrity. We are so caught up in being a somebody in this world that we end up being a nobody in our Catholic bubble. After friends, boys and drama, there doesn’t seem to be room for what really matters: our Faith.
Teenagers want trouble and danger! We want anticipation and risk! We live for rebellion; it’s part of our nature. Teens who are indifferent to religion are not concerned with a higher power. But in the Catholic girl’s mind, she always has to choose between God and the world.
In a way, she’s luckier to have a choice but it makes life more difficult and often confusing.
Then there comes a time in our life called “growing up”. We open our eyes, we see the truth: we don’t have to be confused with how to act in the world as opposed to in the bubble. In fact, it doesn’t matter whether there is a bubble or not.
Where before I saw myself as either the girl in the bubble or the girl in the world, now I know that I am one girl no matter where I am. I am realizing the most important thing is being the daughter God wants me to be. I thank Him with all my “grown up” heart not only for this enormous realization but also for His tremendous creation of teenagers. They are the most important instrument of our time. They are our next generation.