Teenage! What do you think?

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By: Aisha Asif

‘Teenage’ when we hear this word it portrays a young person of the age between thirteen and nineteen, having cell phones and a bunch of friends enjoying themselves. Some people may portray it differently, may be a person gambling, cheating or stealing. Every person has different perceptions about things because everything has two aspects, advantages and disadvantages. Let’s see how different people think about teenage life.

Let’s first talk about people who think there are many disadvantages of being a teenager. On a Sunday morning one of my uncles came to visit us. We were talking about Yusra, one of my cousins, who is a spoiled teenager, according to them. What my uncle said was very interesting.

“Teenagers of our nation are all spoiled! I don’t like this phase of life at all especially the freedom. In this age a person is most prone to adopting bad things. Look at Yusra, she even smokes because her friends do. I’m afraid that someday she’ll start taking drugs and just look at the way she dresses. In fact none of the teenagers even wear a dupatta these days. And then I’m disappointed to see the mosques these days. There are very few teenagers there. Our youth is moving away from deen.”

My father also joined the conversation. “You are right my brother! Look, recently Aisha bought a new mobile and now she wants another one just because she doesn’t want to lag behind her friends. Their demands are infinite; they need air conditioner no matter what happens, they need the most expensive cell phones and accessories. They don’t want to do any work or take on any responsibility. Look at my son … he has become a couch potato watching Ten Sports and ESPN all day. Healthy activities are fading away from our teens’ lives and then when we complain they think that we are restricting them from the so-called basic necessities of life. In this age they see everything glittering and glamorous.  They neglect the negative aspects of a situation and then afterwards they regret. Poor children. Entering this phase they feel that they are grownups and so they believe that whatever they do is right, despite being well aware of the consequences.”

He paused and looked at Sara, uncle’s daughter who shared her father’s views. She started, “I know I’m a teenager too but I feel there are some drawbacks to being one. You have to be so conscious about your appearance that I’m sick of it now. I have left mascaras and lip glosses even though my friends taunt me. We do all this to make ourselves look attractive to boys! This is a hard thing to resist especially in this age.” Sara didn’t say any more but she had stated some good points.

Another aspect of this topic was unveiled to me the next day when I was sitting encircled by my friends. One of my friends Hadia replied after listening to what my uncle had said, “Are you kidding me? This is the coolest age of our life. We explore many new things about life and nature. Just think about the freedom we get. I don’t think we will have this kind of freedom in any other phase. We have no responsibilities, we are free from all those in-laws relations. What if we make a mistake? It doesn’t affect many people. We always have a chance to improve ourselves but as we go further in life there are no chances only dead ends.”

Sana, who was also listening agreed with Hadia. “Count me in Hadia. We are cool, young and pretty. What else do we need? We can experience various adventures, stay awake late at night, go to exciting places, go for shopping and eating all the yummy fast food. Imagine doing it with a kid holding one hand while two walking behind you holding your shirt, gross! Apart from that we have many goals to achieve and, like Hadia said, we have a lot of chances to change them too. We have chances in almost everything. I use to dream a lot about this amazing carefree life and I feel like being sixteen is a blessing for me now. One more thing, we teens are very emotional. We get hurt or become happy very easily on small things. I think life is very good.”

This was the end of our controversial issue and I was surprised to find that every person thinks pretty differently from others. Personally when I was sitting in the class with Miss Sana discussing this topic, I saw the whole board filled with our ideas. In my own view our youth have a lot of mind power and creativity, the only thing lacking is practicality.