Best Years of Your Life

by , Thursday December 1, 2016
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Best Years of Your Life

Your teenage years are the best years of your life

This is a speech prompt I had in English. This is what I thought about it.

It is often believed that the most fulfilling stage of a person’s life is during adolescence, an idea which many people will agree or disagree with.

 

You aren’t a child anymore, but you aren’t an adult yet. You are too young to try some things that adults do but you’re too old to have fun and play.

 

Upon reaching adolescence, a majority of teenagers are expected to be introduced to ‘adult life’ and begin to fend for themselves, something which often leads to unhappiness. This can involve finding a job and starting to support themselves financially, especially since many parents stop giving their children allowances at this age.

 

Although jobs may teach teens important life skills such as responsibility and independency, teenage students who work 12 or more hours a week are more likely to use cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs than their classmates according to studies,. They have lower expectations for educational attainment. Working has a significant impact in terms of academic engagement, academic outcomes, drug use, and delinquency. Teenagers also get less exercise and sleep and spend less time with their family.

 

In addition to taking on more grown up responsibilities, teens are challenged with the task of discovering who they are. What college do you want to go to? What do you see yourself doing in ten years’ time? What subjects will you choose which will dictate the rest of your life? Teenagers must live in a prolonged state of uncertainty that can be extremely unsettling: they are beginning to emerge from the cozy world of magical thinking into the excruciating reality that you don't always get what you want, authority figures are often just plain wrong, and friends can betray us. Their bodies are unpredictable. Their hormones are whacked. They lack impulse control and this gets them into trouble. They can't predict how they will feel from one day to the next, sometimes one minute to the next.

 

Research carried out by Cambridge University found that only 29% of 15-16 year old students said they were ‘happy’, but, when questioned ten years later, 84% said they were ‘much happier’ now, meaning in the present day. This shows that a low percentage of teenagers are happy, and an even lower percentage would agree that their adolescent years were happier than their current ones.

 

One of the main reasons for this is bullying. Bullying goes on at all ages and in all locations but the intensity of it during school years can be seriously traumatic and there are very few people that escape those years without falling victim to it. With peer pressure forcing you to conform to standards and hobbies or face a backlash, teenage life is a minefield. And the bombs are particularly nasty if when you step on them.

 

According to The Annual Bullying Survey 2015, 69% of young people have witnessed somebody else being bullied and 43% have seen it happen at least once a week. 43% of young people have been bullied and 44% of those have been bullied at least once a week. 74% of those who have been bullied have, at some point, been physically attacked.

 

Some people may say that being teenager is boring because you don't have the right to decide things for yourself, you have to ask your parents for permission for many things, and you are not allowed to go to some places. Nearly every aspect of their lives is out of their control: among other things, whether or not their parents are together, the level of dysfunction in their households, where they will live, how much freedom they have to socialize. They must often depend on unreliable adults to get to school on time, eat properly, and to meet the demands of a world that is dictated by schedules, application deadlines, finicky systems, and unexpected financial costs.

 

Due to this, I believe that my original statement – teenage years are the best years of your life – depends purely on your popularity ad self-awareness, in addition to any supportive or successful influences who you can learn from.

 

If this is supposed to be the best time of my life, I’m not going to look forward to the rest of it.

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