Identity Crisis: The Teenage midlife crisis
By Erica C. Bowman
There are many issues that face today?s teenagers. Probably one of the most common is the issue of individualism or identity. The teenage years harbor some of the most confusing and impressionable years in the life of any human being. There are many expectations, both individual and societal, that play a large role in the development of each teenager. Though most teenagers find their way through these difficult years as their own person, there are some who never seem to fully understand who they are. This misunderstanding can lead to many problems in adulthood.
When a child is born they are catered to for about three or four years. Once the child embarks on their first journey away from home (school) there are some changes that occur in the child. For the most part these changes are minimal, for the child still retains the innocent nature not to care or understand the art of conforming to those around him or her. Once a child enters the pivotal time in it?s life called adolescence that confident child becomes an awkward teenager. What once never crossed the mind of that child now weighs heavily on the mind of that teenager. The most important thing for a teenager is to be liked by others. The easiest way for teenagers to be liked by others, they seem to think, is to conform to what others do. So the pattern begins.
Teenagers create expectations for themselves by looking at famous people or perhaps even some of their peers. Teenagers will starve themselves to be thinner, but overpriced clothing, and even acquire the same interests as others, but to what end? The instability of caused during this time in a person?s life causes them to be less sure of themselves than ever before. In an effort to be liked or popular or just simply not hated, teenagers ten to give up their right to think on their own. Many just do what others say. This is a dangerous habit. There are so many unspoken expectations both that teenagers set for themselves and that society sets for them. Society has set an expectation that there is a certain ideal for a girl or guy to base their morality, beliefs and behavior on. Though these are small parts of these expectations, these are unreasonable expectations that cause teenagers to set unrealistic expectations for them selves. The intolerance of individuality leads to pain and the mindset that different is wrong.
Insecurity is a great problem for many adults. The inability to find oneself can lead to depression and self-destruction. Teenagers are given a very difficult job-to figure out who they are. This may very well be one of the most important decisions or discoveries that any person can make. Though society is pushing expectations in our faces, I think if teenagers base their decisions on who they want to become, they will find the best choice is to be an individual. When one knows them, they can only then truly begin to see the world around them. It seems the only war we are raging is the war against ourselves. Today?s teenagers can change the world. Celebrate the differences in people.