Tyler is a 16-year-old from Denver, CO. She enjoys reading and traveling, one day she would like to pursue a career in Business Management.
If you listened closely to the conversations of teenagers, they aren’t talking about how high school is the best time of their life like movies have tamed us to believe. Honestly, most of us are secretly talking about how we are longing for the days when everything used to be so simple, so carefree. Some of us even fish out our old yearbooks before the teenager years began and try to remember the beauty of being 12.
Although the word hasn’t crept its way into most dictionaries yet, a tween is a person who is not a kid anymore, but hasn’t exactly reached the threshold of being a teenager.
Yes, being a teenager definitely has its perks. There are dances, you get your license, you can get a job and there are a lot more options. But all of this comes with a lot of responsibility and a lot of stress. Lately I’ve realized that it’s not always fun and games when a joyride with friends got me in a car accident, I have to get myself to and from work everyday and college mail has built up in my room sky high. My advice to anyone is to enjoy your childhood while it lasts, before you know it, the real work is going to begin. If I had to choose one age to be forever, it would probably be when I was 10-12.
Being a tween is a great time in a person’s life. You are too young to begin stressing over college applications, and too old to have your parents chaperone your outings with your friends. You have plenty of free time and it feels like anything is possible. Being a tween is something a person shouldn’t take for granted, because when you turn 13, 14, and even 15, well, that’s when the real works begins. You are going to fight over curfews with your parents, stress over final exams, beg for a car, and enter the notorious world of dating.
I remember having my locker decorated when I was 12 and everyone singing to me “Happy Birthday.” Friday nights meant sleepovers at friends’ houses and staying up all night playing truth or dare. Saturdays were for shopping at the mall, Sundays were for relaxing at home. I remember the excitement when I discovered I could fit into the clothes of the juniors’ section of department stores, I developed my first crush and I noticed that parties were beginning to become “boy-girl.” A stellar report card earned me a large wad of cash from mom and dad.
When you become a teenager, all of this stuff begins to disappear slowly. Good grades became expected from me after I brought home a good report card regularly. School started to become a huge chore. Unfortunately, parties began to involve drugs and alcohol. Birthdays didn’t come with decorated lockers as classmates circled me to sing happy birthday.
Of course being a tween is not all fun and games either. It’s irritating to want to grow up and to want everyone to stop treating you like a kid. And this age is when self-identity becomes a huge issue. It wasn’t fun entering the world of obsessing over the way I looked and beginning to compare myself to my friends. I went through various phases and my friends began to change too as we all had to face the reality that everything changes eventually. It took a while to get used to this and to realize how to deal with it.
But overall, what I remember is having the freedom to do whatever I wanted when I wanted to do it. I never had to miss out on a night of fun because I was grounded or at home studying for a test. Peer pressure didn’t completely take its toll yet. I had a while before I got the “it’s time to focus on your future” talk from my parents. Everything was fun and simple. Sure it was a rollercoaster, but it only accelerated when I entered the real teenage world.