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TEEN SPIRIT: WHAT’S IT REALLY LIKE TO BE A TEENAGER?
15-year-old Ellie Wilson says “The problem with being a teenager is that one minute we’re up and then we’re down; one minute I want to shout the house down, the next I feel very happy.” The turbulent process of becoming an adult is one that for generations has baffled parents and scientists. When almost every other species manages the transition from infancy to adulthood with relative ease, why do we seem to find it so hard? First we blamed hormones. Then scientists found that the human mind undergoes a massive restructuring during the 12th to 25th years. Between childhood and adulthood, critical physical changes are taking place. These result in behaviours that parents might have thought were designed to cause them pain, but which are in fact vital processes in the brain’s development. The truth remains that science offers a rational explanation, but it doesn’t make everyday communication with teenagers any easier. Which is where Lovegrove and Bedwell step in. These friends published a book, Teenagers Explained, that was designed to help adults understand adolescence. Because “there are things we talk about that adults just don’t understand.” “Try to let us make our own mistakes,” pleads Lovegrove. “If we don’t get to make our own mistakes when we’re young then, at some point, as soon as you’re not around, we’re just going to explode. It’s OK to be concerned and to ask questions but please don’t question us on everything. Do try to talk to us and make an effort to get to know us, but also understand that there are some things we don’t want to talk to you about.”
Charlotte Philby, The Independent, 14 July 2012
The song deals with consumer culture in the United States.
What were you doing yesterday at 2 a.m.?