Learn from your teenage hardships

Let your troubles help, not hurt you



  Author C.S. Lewis once said:  “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”

  Over the course of my nearly three years as a high school student, I, like most others, have had my fair share of disappointments.

  Daily struggles like grades and tests float above our heads for years. Deeper and more substantial problems with relationships and families also weigh us down.

  In the process through our teenage years of learning ourselves and figuring out this journey called life, hardships without a doubt are nothing less of a struggle.

  I will never forget the day my life proceeded to fall apart before my eyes on Nov. 29, 2016.

  As a sophomore in high school, I didn’t believe a level of “rock bottom” like the one I experienced was attainable for a second time.

  Little did I know, over a short year later, I’d find myself in a similar place.

  Perhaps the most dispiriting aspect of this reality is the extent of my efforts to grow out of a dark place in my life, only to find myself back a short while after recovering.

  From the countless hours I spent with friends, to the days I woke up tired and dejected but continued to push through, to the hours spent in counseling, all my efforts felt nothing less than fruitless.

  Despite these feelings, I chose to take a different approach and embrace my life fully for what it is, even the difficult and saddening aspects.  

  The single most substantial lesson my teenage years have brought me is the realization of an imperfect, unpredictable life.

  Coming to this realization doesn’t assist the hurt and pain that come along with hardships, but rather it gives a rational reason to situations and problems which remain greater than the individual.

  As high school students in Granite Bay, an upper-middle class community, we forget that many of our problems as adolescents are still pertainable to those in other communities.

  As a society, we’ve been conditioned into constructing a perfect life for ourselves.

  The idealization of celebrities, models and athletes surround us. We love success stories, but we forget that behind every success story is a human with an imperfect past.

  Personally, I believe it is crucial to come to this understanding.

  Rather than seeking a perfect life, we should embrace life for what it is – imperfect.

  Now don’t get me wrong, I believe it is more than possible to create a life we love and enjoy. But in all reality, life remains imperfect either way.

  Despite life’s challenges, I cannot stress the importance of not giving up.

  A cliché statement itself, but in all seriousness a key to forming a stronger and happier self.

  Having personally been on the other end, a place of giving up, I can say with my whole heart and mind that giving up is not a solution to life’s hardships.

  We’ll make mistakes. We’ll hurt others and ultimately ourselves. Strangers and even those close to our hearts might hurt us. We’ll experience rejection and disappointment. We’ll even fail a few tests, and lose some games. And while none of this seems appealing, they’re simply the hidden realities in an imperfect life.

  Accepting an imperfect life in no means correlates to accepting detrimental treatment from others. And the acceptance of an imperfect life should under no circumstances allow us to enter dangerous situations.

  We live a life that consists of people with tremendous dual personalities. Humans who say one thing, yet act the opposite. People who say they care, yet purposefully cause others immense pain.

  We live in a life which also consists of people accepting this for what it is. Hoping for growth and maturation from others, simply out of compassion and forgiveness.

  Although crucial to some extent, still a dangerous game indeed. One which can result in astounding amounts of emotional and mental pain.

  Despite this imperfect life, ensuring proper treatment of oneself from others is imperative for self love and happiness.

  Ultimately, through the hurt, pain and frustrations of our teenage years, we each have the dexterity to find and create happiness, all while straying away from the overbearing ideas of perfection.