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As a child you constantly hear adults complaining about teenagers. How they are
antisocial, grumpy and impossible to get along with. I always thought to myself, Ill
never be like that, why would I be? For it seemed to me that teenagers (teenage girls
to be precise) were this way because they cared too much about how they looked,
make up and hairstyles were the second most important thing in their life, and the
most important thing was boys. Now that I am a teenager, I can say that although
these things are important, they are not the reason why being a teenager is so hard.

There are a lot of changes between childhood and being a teenager, and many of
them are unexpected. For me, the most dramatic change has occurred recently. I
have started to see the world as a new place. A place where drinking and drugs are
common problems, peer pressure isnt something you are warned about but a daily
factor in many of your decisions. Friends you have known since forever begin to do
things you dont agree with, and eventually they turn into strangers. And the secret
thoughts and fears told to you by your best friend are no longer about life, but about
death. Suicide isnt something you hear about on the news, it is now what keeps you
up at night when your friend doesnt reply and you dont know why. You worry about
them, about school, about what other people think of you. You put on a brave face to
the world, and cry yourself to sleep in the safety of your own room.
Happy, sad, angry, confused and scared. They used to be the extent of your emotions,
with a few others occasionally appearing in special circumstances. Now you dont
even know how you feel. One minute you can be happy, relaxed, calm and cool, but
then one short text message can leave you angry, jealous, scared, worried, and
frozen. They dont tell you when you turn thirteen that feelings can bounce and
change in seconds. I think we should be warned. Wouldnt you like a letter in the post,
telling you what will happen? That things will be scary, confusing, and differentbut
that you will make it through? We need something to hold on to when life is slowly
slipping away, being replaced by something we cannot understand. Tell your friend
today that they will make it, make them smile. Because we need our friends, and we
need to keep smiling. Listen to a happy song, tell a funny joke, just hang in there and
never give up. Written

The author's comments:

I wrote this because I thought what I wrote needed to be said. I needed to see if
anyone else agrees with me or feels the same way. I hope that people will gain hope
when they read it and that anyone out there who is lost will realise that they aren't

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