Viewpoint: Dare to strive

Published December 5, 2020
Illustration by Muhammad Faizan
Illustration by Muhammad Faizan

Yes, being a teenager does seem like a formidable roller-coaster ride, where every single soul is shaken into bits and pieces, and our emotions are sacrificed in a quest to harness the monstrous challenges of the burdensome 21st century. I would like to share a few teens’ problems and some dares to tackle them so that we make delightful and worthwhile memories without losing a part of ourselves during this merciless ‘teen process’.

Let’s begin with ‘studies’, 90 per cent of the intense stress and tension that teens face is due to the unbearable pressure of studies and career choices. Teenage is the where we have to decide our career — if your parents grant you the luxury of free choices, which in most cases is out of question.

Anyway, we have to plan and pursue our career, which means that we have to cope with the fact that we need to work real hard. It’s really not easy to study with a mind that is about to explode with thoughts of countless complex problems and strenuous sky-high expectations, but the sooner you take this dare, the better it would be. You know how they say it, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

Although deep down in your heart most of you agree with me, only a few would dare admitting the value of academics and diligence, and that is because of the second challenge faced by we teenagers — ‘peer pressure’. Obviously, who doesn’t want a group of nice fellows to share a chat with? However, in order to fit in and make friends with, teens have to go through a lot. Suppressing your inner voice can be part of the toll demanded for bridging gaps.

Other compulsions can be proving yourself worthy enough by doing something horrific or even blatantly obnoxious; either way, you would end up in trouble. Once again, the solution hides in a simple dare of self-confidence and mutual respect.

Friends are people who understand you, respect you and help you through the difficult stages of life and anyone who does not meet these criteria does not deserve your time and energy.

The notion of self-assurance is gravely misunderstood by some teens, who use their snobbery to humiliate and harm others which leads to the third issue of teens — bullying. According to reports, one third of the youth is traumatised by bullies in one way or another. Bullying seriously affects a teenager’s physical, emotional and mental growth, because they start focusing more on battling or escaping the bullies than on their future goals and loved ones. I suggest a definite, but daring solution and that is to ‘know thyself’.

It’s not about knowing your strengths, it’s to know your weaknesses too. Focus on your ‘circle of influence’ and never let outside forces endanger your physical or emotional self. It is also important to keep your parents in the loop and gain their trust. Next time you go through something traumatising, open up to your parents and let them know what’s happening.

Regardless of all its challenges, teenage life allows you to learn, grow and enjoy, so it’s always a good option to cherish all the amazing moments and capture them, because time doesn’t repeat itself. The only key to thriving in this phase is by balancing activities and relationships and putting your best foot forward with pure intentions.

My last dare is to be brave in hard times. Remember, “A bad day does not make a bad life”.

Published in Dawn, Young World, December 5th, 2020

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