Finding Happiness… A Teenager’s Point Of View

PT’s dynamic Teen-Writer, Avan Navdar shares the battles every teen has to face, in the form of pressures, to be able to finally find happiness!

“I want to refresh my mind, clear all my problems and just have fun in life.” – A Teenager

Being a teenager in today’s world is hard. You are expected to live up to everyone’s expectations – family, school/college, peer groups and society at large. As per a survey published by WHO, India recorded eight lakh teenage suicide cases last year. The daily stress accumulates and gets to the teens… and when they find no respite, they feel choiceless and helpless. But it’s important to be self-aware and not get stuck in a moment you can’t get out of. Help is always at hand – a little support from loved ones makes all the difference. Even so, God helps those who help themselves. Here are a few typical ‘Pressure’ situations that render most teens frustrated, but we should know better…

 Exam Time Pressure: “It’s too much!! I feel like tearing my books, screaming wildly and just crying for a whole day.

The competition these days is crazy. You better get to the top or you’re gonna be left behind. Alas, our Education System is based on memory, not the ability to grasp and apply concepts. There’s not much we can do so we need to make our peace with it and not obsess about it and ruin our mental health and peace. Being prepared is the solution to not feel pressurized during exams – a little every day as opposed to everything one week before the exams. Meditation helps maintain focus. Try to cultivate three kinds of hobbies – one that helps you keep your sanity; one that helps you helps you earn a living; and one that helps you keep fit. If extra classes aren’t working for you – leave them. And, never ever compromise on your sleep.

Project Completion Pressure: “My projects just don’t seem to end. I may as well date my homework, because I spend most of my time with it!”    

Be it school or college, it always feels like you’ve bitten off way more than you can chew! Deadlines become nightmares as incomplete academic and extra-curricular projects loom over you. The solution here is to prioritisation (what you can manage) and time-management (making workable schedules and sticking t

o them). Should you fail, as you are bound to in the beginning, don’t be too hard on yourself. Failures could be stepping stones or stumbling blocks – it all depends on how you work it.

Peer Pressure: “It feels more like a Judgment Party than a Birthday Party.” 

Everyone wants to be the smartest, look the coolest, be the most popular gal/guy on the block. While some are just slightly affected, others take it too seriously for their own happiness and well being, getting obsessed with what others talk about you to your face and behind your back. The best thing you can do is ensure you’re choosing your friends based on the right criteria. If it’s superficial and based on insecurities, it’s gonna end badly. Even so, take it easy, the right people will find you. Don’t succumb to peer pressure – be smarter than that. Doing harmful things to yourself just to ‘fit in’ will leave you feeling more lonely and insecure than ever. You always have a choice. Make the smart decision. Also, learn to spend time with yourself – start out with just ten minutes of me-time, daily. Surround yourself with real, positive people, those who will be honest and give you reality checks, those who will help you get back up when life knocks you down. 

Relationship Pressure: “I like this guy and he likes me back, but he’s flirting with twenty other girls!” 

Relationships can be stressful. Once the initial honeymoon phase is over, it gets tough to accept them with their flaws that they refuse to acknowledge or change! That is when the problem begins. Hopefully you can be honest with your partner and settle matters sensibly. But sometimes, when the toxicity, unhappiness and stress just keeps increasing, it’s best to let go. As sceptically as my fellow teenagers might react, but sometimes approaching our elders helps – their wisdom can truly help us clear our heads. Most importantly, they will empower us with their love and support. If you get cheated on or dumped, don’t blame yourself. In relationships, time is the best healer – just hang in there without giving in to ‘going back’ and the right person will find you. One can only be truly happy in a relationship where there is complete honesty and transparency.

Family Pessure: “My mom wants me to be a lawyer, my dad wants me to be a doctor, but I want to act!”

Today’s career options are mind-boggling – there’s so many options other than doctor, lawyer or engineer. We can choose who we want to be but our dreams get crushed under others’ expectations. Here too, if we play our cards right, things can go in our favour – always talk to your parents in details and with a plan. Explain to them if you’re going to be unhappy twenty years down the line, what’s the point? To teenagers whose family is too overbearing to hear them out, I’d say never give up trying to talk – pursue them till they give up. And speak with conviction, transparency and honesty. Give it a try – you could end up surprised!

Societal Pressure: “I’m fat, NOT ugly!!!”

Society is a great influencer. As teenagers, we realise that everyone gets labelled. Society’s concept of beauty is skin deep. Remember, nobody has the right to label you. There is nothing more beautiful than a genuine smile from the heart, and there is nothing more attractive than your confidence – that beats every single high-end brand that some teens furnish. Nurture your personality more than your looks – coz the latter will fade with time, whereas personality only gets stronger. Embrace yourself with all your flaws and you will find happiness within. If you want to really stand out, take up a cause and dedicate some time to it weekly. Find your strength in prayer – it invites positive vibrations and makes you content in who you are.

Most importantly, remember – ‘Happiness is an inside job’. It can only be found within yourself. Your happiness is your responsibility. The moment you choose to be happy for yourself, to do things for yourself and be honest with yourself and in your relationships, you will be a happy teen!

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