Category Archives: friendship

Is there too much pressure on teenagers?

Recently I’ve started thinking about the pressure put on teenagers, pressure from teachers to do well at school, pressure from parents to do well in life and the age old pressure from their peers. Last night, I was speaking to a family friend’s sons, their ages are all different at 16, 14 and 10. It was fascinating to listen to each of their problems, the 16-year-old was terrified about his GCSE results next week, the 14-year-old was nervous that he wasn’t going to make the right GCSE choices for next year and the 10-year-old just wanted to learn how to play snooker. The latter was the only one I slightly envied.

As we grow the decisions we make become more important and I’ve always wondered why at the age of 16, we are forced to start taking some of the most important exams of our lives and making the most important choices too? Weren’t we always told not to grow up too quickly? At 16 my main focus was boys, my friendships, starting going out and having a good time. These spirits dampen when you have teachers breathing down your neck explaining you will not get into sixth form and therefore will not go to university. At the time I had bigger things to worry about, I had spots, hormones, fights with my mother and I was going to the cinema with a boy on friday night, so where would I fit in my coursework?! By 17 things slightly change, the first serious heartbreak, the first time you get really drunk, the problems worsen and so do the exams. A-levels were the toughest exams I ever did and there’s no half-arsing it, it’s all or nothing. I didn’t work very hard during my a-levels and just scraped it to get into university, but sixth form was probably the best time of my life. The nerves on exam day did however finally kick it into gear for me that I needed to work really hard! If I could go back and speak to my 17-year-old self, I would say to work harder at school, the people who are so important to me that I wouldn’t remember their names and not to worry that boy who broke my heart would get his just desserts. To be honest though, I probably wouldn’t have listened.

The mistakes we make as teenagers make us who we are as they teach us valuable lessons. If I had worked harder at school, I would never have been so nervous on exam days, if I hadn’t crashed my car into a tree, I wouldn’t know the value of wearing a seatbelt and if I hadn’t thrown up in my dad’s car, I would never have learnt I can’t drink tequilla!

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Filed under Education, friendship, teenage behaviour

Old friends are the best

From the age of around 18, you learn to deal with friends going away for long periods of time. Gap years and friends off to different universities all around the country becomes the norm. I have a group of eight best friends that I went to school with and we all study or work in different parts of the country. The majority of us have been travelling at some point and we’ve all gotten pretty good at saying goodbye. This however, never makes it any easier and we always all get knocked for six when one of us goes away again. As I write, I am going to see off one of my best friends tonight as she is leaving for the states for six months.

I suppose I never helped myself by not moving away to go to university, I stayed in my hometown and watched my favourite people around me move away. I moved into my own place that was closer to campus but still only ten minutes from my parents. School and sixth form was a blast for me, seeing my best friends every day, messing around in the common room, what wasn’t to enjoy? We all have the most fantastic bond and we all know that friendships that are as close as ours take hard work. We stay in constant contact with the help of social networking sites, groups and phone calls. We grew up together and therefore understand each other perfectly, our flaws, pet hates and exactly how to wind each other up. Arguements with us all are few and never last long as we are all pretty relaxed and can be one hundred percent honest with each other. I consider myself so incredibly lucky with my friends as I know it’s the kind of bond others wish to have. We love each other so much that being apart only makes it that much better when we get back together. There is no hesitation in my mind that we wont be there throughout all the other stages in our lives, marriage, kids, etc. But it’s also a given that they’ll be there throughout the bad times too, they are the best seven shoulders to cry on.  I’ve always said I have the best friends in the whole world, they just aren’t with me. But, when I think about it, they really are, we’d move mountains to see one another if there was a problem and are always on a phone for advice.  I know that although tonight my friend will be leaving with a heavy heart but with us all securely in it.

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Filed under friendship