Top 10 Struggles of Being a Teenager

Being a teenager is great in many ways, but we have all had these common struggles. Remember how rough high school was or is for many of us? It was the first time we had to learn how to balance school and life! How about learning to find our own clique? It’s a time when many of us were/are going through transitions so finding your tribe may be difficult.

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Top 10 Struggles Of Being A Teenager

Some people say it’s the best time of your life; those who are going through it, however, know a different story. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Struggles Of Being A Teenager.

For this list, we’ll be taking a look at the most annoying, frustrating, and/or difficult things about some of the most formative years of most people’s lives.

#10: High School

It’s almost cliché, but things become cliché for a reason. High school is notoriously rough. It is almost impossible to schedule work and play, and suddenly your workload is turned up to 11. But on top of it all, you might have an after-school job, sports commitments, and friends you want to see. At least as an adult you have some say as to what institutions you have to spend 8 hours of your busy day at, but as a teenager you are required to go, and have little to no input about the options. The best you can hope for is a tight crew to support each other through the days until graduation.

#9: Working Lame Entry-Level Jobs

If you’re looking to save money, and an allowance from your parents is not forthcoming, a job is your only option. However, it’s pretty rare that you’ll swing something interesting - things like lifeguarding requires qualifications and years of training, in most places. Sure, lots of people have to climb the ladder, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck starting at the bottom. So, that means you’re stuck with the grunt work: fast food, mowing lawns, tree planting, washing dishes, house-keeping at hotels … sigh. Hey, if there is one upside - in the long-run – you’ll never take those positions for granted again. Too bad character-building doesn’t necessarily translate directly to the old resume, right?

#8: Finding Your Clique

Making friends when you were a kid was SO easy. Walk up to the other kid, introduce yourself with your name and age; maybe mention your favourite TV show and colour, and boom! Someone to play with. As a teenager, not so much. As teenagers begin to find themselves, tastes and interests are more nuanced. Worse, sometimes you find out what you like isn’t “cool” anymore. What then? If you’re lucky, you can find a group of friends who likes you and what you like no matter what, be that nerdy things, sports, or just shopping and hanging out. It’s great when it happens, but finding that group can be devastatingly hard.

#7: The Pressure of Planning Your Future

Life planning is generally hard for everyone – even adults find it daunting! As a teenager, it’s worse. This is for most people the first time they’ve had to plan further than a week or two into the future. By the time you graduate, you're supposed to have figured out exactly what you want in life and set off down that path: Do you go to university? How do you apply for loans, and can you pay them back? Is a trade from a college a safer bet? Should you just work, or travel? Ahhh! Take a deep breath. Little secret: You’ll never have it all figured out. So make plans, but don’t stress too much.

#6: Bullies

They can ruin your day, or your life – or so it feels in high school. And it's not just physical threats; gone are the days of the tough kid looking for lunch money. These days, going home doesn’t mean you're safe. Cyber-bullying is an increasing problem in many places, and online harassment has in some cases proven to cause symptoms of PTSD. It’s bad enough from anonymous trolls, but if you know your tormentor, it can be even worse. Kids can be cruel, but let’s be honest: sometimes the teachers are bullies too. Fortunately, there are helplines, and no one should ever feel ashamed to call if it just gets to be too much.

#5: Parental Expectations

By and large, parents want what is best for their kids. Problems arise when what they want for you isn’t what you want for yourself. It takes time to earn the respect of your parents, enough so that they trust your decisions – if at all. And unfortunately, for some parents nothing ever really seems good enough: your grades are okay, but not top of the class; you’re a good kid, but they don’t like your friends; you have an ambition, and they don’t think it’s right for you. Ultimately, only you live your life; so hear out their advice, but you’re still responsible for your choices and what you do with that advice.

#4: Unrequited Crushes

It’s a scenario that has fuelled countless TV shows, movies, songs, and of course lonely sighs. Nothing is worse than crushing on someone who just doesn’t feel the same way, and in the microcosm of middle and high school it can feel like torture. Maybe you see them every day but they don’t know you exist, maybe they know you … but they’re already with someone else. How is someone supposed to ever get a date in these conditions! You feel everything so intensely as a teenager. We all know that you have to respect when a person just isn’t that into you, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

#3: Peer Pressure & the Need to Be Cool

On top of the workload, navigating bullies and the fact that you can’t seem to catch the eye of your crush, there is a desperate need to just be cool. Face it, everyone is trying to fit in somehow. You want the right clothes, the right gear, the right friends … it's hard to keep up, and trying to keep up can lead to doing things that you don’t necessarily want to do. Best case peer pressure, you do something minor that you regret. Worst case scenarios can come with a hefty punch, like drugs and alcohol, abuse of which can seriously mess up your life.

#2: Too Young to Be an Adult; Too Old to Be a Kid

Any wonder why teens are moody? The mixed messages of “grow up!” and “be responsible” are cut at the knees with constant assertions that you’re too young to know better about anything … it’s enough make anyone's head spin. Also, teens are all tarred with the same brush, and everyone thinking the same - usually worst - of one entire demographic doesn’t generally help matters. Of all the awkward paradoxes that riddle this time of life, this one might be the worst. Seven years of this, and then you’ll be taken seriously? Good grief.

#1: Puberty/Hormones

It is the worst – the worst! Everything about puberty sucks. Your body seems hell-bent on betraying you at every turn, with acne, voice breaks, and the rest; growth spurts that make you feel like you’re walking like a newborn giraffe; and moods that swing so drastically they should have their own theme-park ride! Also, the new hormone rushes mean real changes in your brain chemistry, including some nasty ones, like depression. The good news is that it will eventually balance out again, you’ll get used to the new you and the brain chemistry - in most cases - settle. Bad news, you’ll have to wait a few years. Ugh. Bring on the twenties!

Do you agree with our picks? What do you think is the worst thing about being a teenager? For more life-altering top tens, published every day, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.


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