Being an Adolescent

You are Not a child. 

Much nearer to being an Adult. 

Not quite accepted as such, yet.

And Acceptance is a BIG issue.

Being ‘good enough’ remains so important.

Problem is – WHO do you need to be ‘good enough’ for.  Most of us at adolescence find it difficult to recognize any needs other than our own immediate ones.  In many ways it is a good time to be purely selfish since you are going through the greatest number of changes you will ever go through in your life time – and all at once – and yet at different times from your friends and peers.

That can be a major issue too.

So moving away from parents and family but moving on to WHAT?  And to WHO?

Adolescence doesn’t take kindly to support and telling, yet adolescence so wants to have someone close.

Friends come and go as they struggle with their BIG changes and issues, some are in parallel, others change direction completely from yours’.  That can feel like rejection – or it can be that you do the rejecting – and then sometimes feel guilty.  You swing between that NEED for independence back to that NEED to belong, to be accepted by others.  All depressing and confusing stuff at times.

But if you have ever been made to watch (or perhaps wanted to), one of those ‘Animal World’ docos on the ABC – that is the story of YOU.  Changing, growing, moving away and becoming the UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL you were destined to be – from birth. 

Nature designed us all to survive because your individuality is so very important to the world – you are a one-off, there will never be another like you, in all of time.   That’s powerful stuff, a little scarey , but it definitely makes it so important that each and every one of us lives up to our unique role in this world of ours.  Your job is to never forget it and never let anyone try and bring you down, if you do –remember you alone allow others to have that effect upon you.

Some words that may help:

• What other people think of me is none of my ‘business’  – only theirs.

• Other people’s opinions are always interesting as long as they never interfere with what I decide to do.

• The only important decisions and choices in my life are entirely my own, yours belong to you.

• Failure is never Fatal;  Success is never Final;  Courage counts for all.

• What’s on the outside usually hides what’s on the inside, the inside person is the real deal, NOT the ‘coat’.

An extensive survey was carried out in the USA about 8 years ago to discover what factors led to “happiness” for people.  Countless factors were included plus ‘own choice’.  The results were as follow:






These make very good sense of course on the smallest, as well as the largest, scale.  And a comment which was most common was “Contentment is more important than Happiness.”

Each one of us is made to achieve something, our brains need to have challenge and targets in order to achieve.  It may be achieving a clean floor rather than a filthy one, it may be achieving  talking to a new person today, or it may be achieving a lifetime ambition: the ‘Dream’.  But whatever ‘it’ is, the 5 factors work together to bring happiness, or contentment.  I like the word satisfaction too.  If you are satisfied with what you have set yourself to do, worked toward it and achieved it, you will feel good about you and your world.


A very rich young man turned 21 and was given a lavish party, a flash car, apartment, Shares for his birthday.  His parents gave a speech each about all they wished for their son.  Then came grandpa’s turn, he said:   “Son I wish you a happy birthday and I wish for your future some Failure.”  Gasps from the party, but he went on: “The only way to grow and really find yourself is not through others doing it for you but for you to fall flat on your face in trying to achieve something. Once you fall you rely only upon yourself to get back up, dust off and try again – and again – in the face of failure, to get where you want to be under your own sweat and determination. That is what builds you into the great man you were born to become, not through financial wealth.” He was cheered by many, though frowned upon by the few who didn’t get it.

Achieve what you want to achieve – but first you must have goals or targets in order to achieve them.  Never be put off by failure it isn’t Fatal. Keep the goals small, or make them large but use those 5 factors to get ‘there’ throughout your adolescence – and for the rest of your life.

Oh and make sure you have plenty of fun along the way, adolescence is about freedom to be who or what you want to be, it can be the happiest time of your life – if you choose it to be so for you as an individual.

If you are having problems with doubts, confusion, addictions, depression or anxiety, call 131114 in Australia for telephone counseling or KIDS HELP LINE: freecall 1 find a good mate or close adult and ask if they will just ‘listen’ for a while.  Or talk to your GP and see about getting some counselling help from a psychologist.  I think you might be very surprised at how much good it does for you to simply talk about it, rather than bottling it inside.  Writing it down as a letter to yourself or to ‘anyone’ too can be very helpful in getting it OUT.