As a parent of two teenagers, I do realize that for most teens the title of this article would not be said in an enthusiastic manner. It might be more like a horrifying scream. Deep down, though, teens are excited to get back to the halls of school with their peers and out of earshot of their parental units. The waking up early and the mounds of homework they could do without.
Don’t fret teens. This school year is going to be amazing because you are going to make it happen. As Ashton Kutcher said at the Teen Choice Awards, “Build a Life, Don’t Just Live It”. True, there are some things out of your control like the fact that you have to take Math and Language Arts, but find the things in your life that you can control and go for it. Some of the things that I hear teens complain about are: 1) too many extra-curricular activities 2) too much homework 3) bad grades, and 4) parental complaints.
Here is my humble advice… If you feel overscheduled you probably are. Talk to your parents and let them know how you are feeling. Perhaps you can opt out of one of your after-school activities. As far as homework goes, you can’t get out of doing it so just do the best that you can. Learn good study habits so that you work smarter rather than work longer. If you have bad grades, I hate to say it, but maybe you should spend a less time on the computer or game console. If your poor grades come from lack of understanding rather than lack of effort, though, reach out for help. See if there is a homework club at school, a whiz student who might help you out, your teacher, your parents might be able to lend a hand, or maybe a tutor. And yes, I do claim that you have control over your parental complaints. If you know what they always complain about, then make some changes so they can’t complain. It feels good when your parent walks in ready to complain about a messy room but it’s actually immaculate. Your parents might be so surprised and happy that they treat you to ice cream!
The one thing that I beg of all of you teens that are heading back to school is to thoroughly enjoy this year! You are only a teenager once. You will have plenty of years to be an adult. Now is the time to explore life, try new things, make friends of all makes and models, and make the most of everything you do. Realize that your school is only a small portion of the world. When the going gets tough, think about life after middle and high school. YOUR possibilities are endless. I’ll leave you with a quote…
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt
With Heart, Sheri