Life of a Teenager Today
It’s been a rough week, where the reality of the struggles teenagers face has been shown to me over and over.
As teachers, coaches of youth & Parents, I implore you to remember that being a teenager is HARD. For many...REALLY HARD.
A friend posted Avril Lavigne’s new single “Head Above Water” on her IG feed. This was the day after I found out a friend of my teenage athletes had committed suicide. Being a fan of her, I immediately downloaded it and found myself putting it on repeat...over and over.
My own story of that time in my life is one filled with many indescribably tough times. I remember feeling just like the song describes...drowning and not able to keep my head above the water. Thankfully, I had a couple of key people in my life who were there for me, especially through junior-high---a seriously difficult time in my life.
As a mentor, coach & confidant to so many young women through my adult life, I feel incredibly lucky to be able to use my experiences as proof to them that life does get better. To assure them that high school is merely a blip in time and while some adults will remember that time period as the “best time of their life”, for many of us, it was not. I can empathize and listen and be proof to them that these incredibly hard times WILL make them stronger, make them more resilient and ultimately make them more powerful and driven to succeed in the future.
With our assurance, support & guidance from a young age that being strong in who they are and in their convictions, and with a strong family connection and lots of love, they will find a way to navigate this time and make it through.
So to all the teachers, coaches & parents of teenagers...know that this time in your child’s life may be incredibly difficult. They may be navigating social dynamics of incredible complexity. They are dealing with social rules that change daily. They may be putting incredible stress on themselves trying to achieve top grades. They may be trying to fit in with their grades, their clothes, their car & who their boyfriend or girlfriend is. Not to mention the added pressures they may be facing around their sexuality, their sexual activity and the never-ending pressure society puts on them to be older than they are.
I am continually blown away by how life teaches me lessons at just the right times. This week has been a doozie but ultimately has allowed me to be there for those that needed me and a reminder to always keep things in perspective. It has reminded me to hug and love on those who need me and to cherish all the moments we have together.
Life truly works in mysterious ways.