By: Joyce S.

     Being a teenager is a roller coaster of experiences, emotions, and responsibilities. Whether you are about to become a teenager, or already are one, this list will hopefully prepare you for a period of joy, sadness, and utter confusion.

The Worst Things
1.     Drama
All of the teenage dramas on T.V. are not as exaggerated as you may think. The “he said, she said” style drama multiplies as soon as you enter high school. Be careful about getting caught up in rumors and relationships, they might take over your life.

2.     Stress
Whether caused by school, social obligations, or other things, stress is a part of every teenager’s life. Finding balance between freedom and responsibilities is the key to making the best out of your teenage years.

3.     Everyone thinks you're up to no good
No matter how sweet or innocent you are, being a teenager, I think, causes adults to look at you with a higher level of suspicion. Whether you're in a store with a group of friends or studying alone, just know that adults somewhere are always watching you. No pressure.

4.     Getting a job
There comes a day in every kid's life when they have to get a summer job. Parents say it “builds character,” but most importantly, it stops you from lying around the house all summer. It's time to gain some responsibility and say goodbye to free time.

5.     Using your own money
Unfortunately everyone can't mooch money off of their parents for their entire lives. Learning the value of a dollar is a painful lesson to learn, especially when your favorite store has a sale.

The Best Things

1.     Finding yourself
Finding yourself is one of the most significant events in your life, and most people do this during their teenage years. Once you're more independent, you are finally able to discover what you want, like and need.

2.     New experiences
Life opens so many doors the older you get. New friends, new places, and new emotions are all around just waiting to be found. This time is the perfect time to “seize the day” and take risks.

3.     Not paying your own bills
Unlike adults, being a teen means you don't have to worry about the stress of dealing with bills or any other big life expenses like paying for a house.

4.     More independence
Eventually adults do begin to trust you more, and you can finally learn what it means to be independent. Sometimes it's nice to wade through life, paving your own path.

5.     Driving
In America, driving is one of the keys to freedom, and in most states, once you turn 15, the road is now open to you. This important skill is one way to feel like an actual adult, while still being able to enjoy life as a kid.

      While there are both ups and downs to teenage years, I think there is so much to look forward to and learn. Make the most out of life, no matter your age. Good luck on your journey and know that good things are to come.

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