Sometimes it is difficult to explain to others, what being a teenager feels like. It’s almost like, everyone has forgotten that they went through the same age once, they faced exactly what we face, yet they don’t have anything relatable. Right?
Welcome back to Zen Habits, let me walk you through the teenage via a teenager perspective.
Life used to be so easy. If I was an oracle, a god/goddess, I could conjure wonders. Now what I get is hysterical laugh out of the blue, parents and teachers basically imparting some rudimentary sex education advice, expressing an opinion on Syria either makes me a nerd or a lunatic among my mates.
YA, THAT’S ME. So me. Wondering what life is all about and what I am doing in this messy earth. Hello again, this is Bapin and I’ll (via this article) tell you what I am as a teenager and being in a world of science I’d like to include it to make myself justifiable. So what I feel ……..
BEING AN EPHEBIC
It’s so unfair. No one understands you. People who actually have no idea tell you what to do all the time. About anything. Everyone patronizes you or exchanges knowing looks when you say something significant. No one sees you as an individual any more but just as some kind of generic blob. No one is there when you feel really lonely. No one is there when you discover something completely weird about the world. No one is there when you are too tired to pick up the remote control. No one gets quite how boring all of this is. Many irrational fears, hopes and denials come from this nowhere land and to start the journey of separating from your parents, you may react in all sorts of strange ways. You, as a juvenile may feel suddenly out of control. Of yourself as well as of your parent.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND MY BEHAVIOR
Why won’t my teenager go to bed, and why can’t I get them up in the morning? A common question everyone’s parent will ask I assume. Well, there is absolutely a biological basis for this. In many other mammals, like baby rodents, sleep patterns shift during the adolescent period. From puberty to the end of the teens, the circadian clock is actually programming them to go to sleep and wake up around three to four hours later than adults. This is a problem, as we are relatively sleep deprived when they wake us up at 8 am. It’s something they might want to think about as a society and in education systems, as chronic sleep deprivation is certainly not helping teenagers do their biggest job, which is to go to school. We know how important sleep is for consolidation of memory and learning. It’s all about strengthening synapses, a process which is chemically impaired in a sleep-deprived brain. This could be a reason for the fights, too – everyone knows that sleep deprivation makes you emotionally impulsive.
I am not tidy? Well, science will answer on behalf of me. Tidiness needs a sophisticated level of cognitive control, and the way my (teenage) brain is connected means that my planning is not very good. Parts of the brain connect to each other through synapses, which are insulated, just like electric wires. That insulation is a fatty substance called myelin, which is created over time. The process takes years, and it starts at the back of the brain and slowly moves forward. The last bits of the brain to connect are the frontal and prefrontal cortices, where insight, empathy and risk-taking are controlled. This means that very smart adolescents will do very stupid things in a very impulsive way. I don’t think the organisation is a high priority for most teenagers. We have other things to worry about – we are messy because we don’t give ourselves enough time to tidy up before we run off to do something else.
AM I SO VAGUE?
The risk-taking behaviour and impulsivity we exhibit because we don’t have full access to our frontal lobes can cause mood swings and fuel conflict and anger. Adults can respond to this behaviour in an angry fashion themselves. While I’m not condoning our (teens’) erratic behaviour, the hope is that by understanding what is going on inside their child’s head, parents will be a bit more patient and might be able to stop themselves reacting and setting up a vicious cycle by alienating their child.
We are at an age of self-discovery and novelty-seeking behaviour, and it’s natural that we will start to cut ties. We need to become independent, but we live in a very complex world, and no other teenage generation in history has had this much stimulation and exposure to the many potential stresses that arise from their being online. Ya, that’s true I acknowledge smartphone do induce stress! Girlfriends do wreck your brain out with some random texts. And guess what screenshots become prior proofs with no strings connected. That’s a joke. Yet we survive to that nonsense all alone.
WE ARE THE CHANGE
For me with so much complexity in the society we live in. Peers with success and without doing have influence. We do think about our future unless we are into so-much of teen love- selfless but ya dubious. For some this age do bring valour and passion for the country or something they admire too and really if honed with precision- a gem is what we get!!!
Time is changing as we proceed in the unknown future and what troubles me the most is not myself, not my career rather my parents, and I’d vouch for anything for their happiness and safety, and as a teenager, I’m proud to be sensible and not so sensible. That’s what separates me from all ages, and I admire it- the holding off, the being sure but not too sure. What is required is the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them: this is ultimately fine- it always keeps the way beyond open!!!!!!
I hope career and personal life in all the infantile will be in track. With such an optimistic view, I bid goodbye until next time. ADIOS…
Bapin Kumar Panda