Do you feel your teenage life was different from others?:

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I've been reading all these life development articles talking about the common pubertal, cognitive, and social changes that occur during adolescence or teen years. Do you think your life as a teenager was different from what was normally expected to happen to a teenager? For example, did you constantly feel you were being watched by an imaginary audience, did you feel you couldn't be hurt by things that would hurt other adolescents such as drinking and driving, did you have a crises of identity(religious, political, etc), was there a concern for your body image, did you feel uncomfortable or useless when sexual changes came too early or too late, did you often make impulsive decisions based on emotion rather than rationality, did you often rebel or have fights with your parents, did peers influence you more than your parents, did you engage in any sexual urges etc. (BASICALLY ANYTHING you think made you different from others of the same age).
Proud Canadian
So far, I'd say it's sort of different, but not quite far a tangent.
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
3 LoniJay28th Nov 2011 07:19:32 PM from Australia , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
In terms of the activities I did? Yeah, I think it was different. I never really liked loud music, parties, alcohol, or drugs, and I never had a serious boyfriend, while a lot of the 'typical' teenagers seemed very into those things.

But was I, personally, different to other teenagers? I thought so at the time, but when I look back I don't actually think so.
Be not afraid...
Avatars may be subject to change without notice.
I was not even into alcohol or other recreational drugs, nor did I actively seek out sex. (Which I was a bit more interested in than drugs, but knew risks like pregnancy and STD transfer were pretty serious.)

So, that alone makes me teenage life quite different from that of most teenagers I went to high school with.

EDITED IN: That and I was not that influenced by my peers as I was not a very social person to begin with. My parents (as well as teachers) were a more significant influence.

edited 28th Nov '11 7:21:44 PM by HiddenFacedMatt

"The Daily Show has to be right 100% of the time; FOX News only has to be right once." - Jon Stewart
5 Rynnec28th Nov 2011 07:29:18 PM , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
What Loni Jay said.

I did make a quite a few decisions based on impulses (then again, so does everyone,regardless of age), and have had fights with my parents on occasion (for far more pettier reasons, and they were often the instigators), and of course had a highschool crush. Other than that though, I more or less kept to myself during my highschool years.

edited 28th Nov '11 8:57:19 PM by Rynnec

"I'll show you fear, there is no hell, only darkness."

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Three-Puppet Saluter
Aside from my being a total square (which everyone seems to be mentioning on this thread), I actually enjoyed high school. I don't think that's supposed to happen.

edited 28th Nov '11 7:35:59 PM by DomaDoma

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7 TheEarthSheep28th Nov 2011 07:48:17 PM from a Pasture hexagon
Christmas Sheep
Just going to throw this out there: Doesn't every teenager think they're different from all the others?
Still Sheepin'
8 MarkVonLewis28th Nov 2011 07:53:24 PM from Somewhere in Time , Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
The Scion of Dionysus
Honestly I was pretty damn happy and comfortable with myself my teenage years. It's only recently I've had some insecurities and all that.
"I'm not slurring my words - I'm talking in cursive! It's classy!"
  • not being in school past 13
  • social isolation
  • Never trying drugs or drinking. Or sex (but this through awkwardness and internal conflict rather than lack of interest or opportunity.)
  • having time to learn how to think (through programming), rather than blundering continuously through ill-defined social interaction and status problems
  • possibly, being rebellious against everything including rebelliousness.
Avatars may be subject to change without notice.
(then again, so does everyone on a , regar, regardless of age)
... what?
"The Daily Show has to be right 100% of the time; FOX News only has to be right once." - Jon Stewart
Gunpla is amazing!
Considering I was a nerd who stayed home most of the time? Duh.

I'm 21, almost 22, and I still have not gotten drunk once in my life, let alone underage.
12 Rynnec28th Nov 2011 08:57:41 PM , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
[up][up]Grammar mistake. Don't worry about it.
"I'll show you fear, there is no hell, only darkness."

My twitter
Well, all the things listed in the OP seem to be things that most people go through, to some extent. I think I may have been conspicuous, like many other Tropers, due to a reduction (or outright absence/irrelevance) of these things.

Let's go through the specific examples:

I don't quite understand the "imaginary audience" thing. In fact, bar about six months when puberty first hit (pretty hard, too) I disregarded even the real audience, for the most part (and even when I was playing up in front of people, it was not a show for all or a cry for attention, but rather messing around with my friends or trying to create entertainment at school).

Re: drinking and driving, I at first disdained those kids who were getting drunk. The drinking age is 18, but it doesn't tend to be paid much attention; there was the poorly-behaved crowd who started drinking (and smoking) around 13 or 14, some who were drinking (and pretending to be really drunk) to seem like adults or excuse shameful conduct, most people were at least into it a bit by the time they were 16, while I (as well as most of my better friends, and sensible acquaintances) didn't drink at leisure until I was (and they were) around 17 - probably, to some extent, to distance myself from the less-than-dignified stuff surrounding under-aged drinking in our peers (and from conversations I've had, others had similar motivations) - and, by that stage, my parents were perfectly happy for me to do so because they knew me and trusted me to be responsible. So getting drunk, and having problems because of it, never was a danger for me. Driving... Well, I was too lazy and uninterested to go for my learner's license when I was able to at 16, and then the conditions for starting to drive changed, making it such a nuisance that I've still not even attempted - I'll probably get a motorcycle instead, anyway. A few dimwits around me liked to do burnouts and took pride in their cars (which weren't really very impressive, and were bought by Mummy and Daddy, so it seemed kind of misplaced). Most people either weren't going for their license, or were and weren't making any sort of deal of it. Riding in friends' cars was a rarity.

Religious, political, etc. identity? Well, from about the time I finished primary school, I listened almost exclusively to gangster rap, and this continued until about the time I finished middle-school (when I started to listen to other stuff), and I stopped listening to it entirely some time later. Whether this was representative of any significant personal change would be doubtful, though - I was always one of the kids taking difficult subjects, talking about video-games, ridiculous hypotheticals, and science homework with friends. Maybe the change in music represented some maturation on my part - I had to some been enamoured with the violent imagery and the like, and I guess I grew out of that. That said, lately, I've been listening happily enough to some of the stuff from my younger days. In other respects... Well, I don't know of a change in identity, but rather the appearance and development of awareness of an identity regarding my political and philosophical views and my place in society, certainly took place (a gradual process, I think). Before then I was just a kid, after all.

Never really cared about "body image" (I only bothered with removing my neckbeard (for some reason, that was the first place facial hair started to grow, and always was fastest and thickest) because my parents scolded me), although I enjoyed being a head taller than everyone around me for a while, and was also happy when I started to get some muscles. Sexual changes never came "too early" or "too late", as far as I can recall. Sexual urges? Well, I never really acted on any, unless you include porn (and I got caught once, when I was in primary school and only looking out of curiosity, and never was caught again). Perhaps this is because everyone's sexual activity was either hidden under the excuse of "I was drunk" (no you weren't) or silly teenage romance, neither of which I ever got involved in.

Impulsive decisions based on emotion? Not really. Stupid behaviour based on whims and boredom? Maybe a bit, but I sorted that out - it was bad for about a year (I got vaguely threatened with expulsion, once) but I honestly don't feel that I ever did anything really bad.

I didn't really rebel against my parents. They were never remotely strict, and the only real sources of conflict were staying up too late, never studying, refusing to do chores, using the computer too much, or fighting with siblings. This conflict was always short-lived, although there were some instances of ridiculous animal-rage, loud yelling, and breaking things. I no longer have such a temper.

I couldn't say that I've been particularly influenced by either my peers or my parents. Usually, the peers whose views I care about, and my parents and other relatives, have similar or at least compatible views with me, when it comes to most things, and if not, are at least tolerant of difference. I've roughly found my own way, and it just happened to be acceptable to the people that I respect.

Otherwise... Well, there was a difference in interests and recreation, I suppose, but that's superficial. I always had my group, and a few friends doing almost exactly as I did. I think I was a bit different to most people, but not really "weird" - just in the minority.

edited 29th Nov '11 3:24:52 AM by ekuseruekuseru

14 InverurieJones29th Nov 2011 03:29:32 AM from North of the Wall. , Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
'80s TV Action Hero
Looking back, I'd have to say no, not really. I think all teenagers think their teens are different while they're going through them, regardless of how cut-and-paste they really are/were.
'All he needs is for somebody to throw handgrenades at him for the rest of his life...'
15 MrMallard29th Nov 2011 03:41:47 AM from Australia, mate
As rare as dolphin's teeth
I am still in my teen years, and I consider my teenage experiences to be far different.

I have not drunken enough alcohol to get drunk, I have had a few crushes but have not actually had a relationship yet. I do not drive, I do not go out, I just stay home because no-one thinks i'm fun.

I consider my current teen years to be below average. I just want some real friends and to have some fun.
Video games, man.
16 InverurieJones29th Nov 2011 03:44:23 AM from North of the Wall. , Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
'80s TV Action Hero
[up] You sound like a lot of people I knew in my teens. Don't worry about it.

edited 29th Nov '11 3:47:30 AM by InverurieJones

'All he needs is for somebody to throw handgrenades at him for the rest of his life...'
Cogito ergo cogito
The question assumes that there exists a category: 'everybody else' or 'other' with some common denominator.

(Technically not being me is a common denominator for 'everybody else' but I hardly think that is enough to make generalizations...)
'It's gonna rain!'
[up]I hear you, man. There are at least three "other people" who don't fit the category of "not being me".
Woefully Ineloquent
I spent the first half of my teens still playing with dolls, using curtains as togas and spending hours on a swing... At the age of 14, I was yet to start behaving like a proper teenager. (Some of my classmates, meanwhile, were taking up smoking, getting drunk for the first time, and dating their first boyfriends.)

The second half of my teens was mostly characterised by the fact that I dropped out from school at the age of 15, and that's already enough to make me radically differ.

edited 29th Nov '11 5:37:42 AM by fanty

Individual liberation is an illusion.
20 HellmanSabian29th Nov 2011 08:07:04 AM from The United Kingdom , Relationship Status: Maxing my social links
Ask me if I'm procrastinating, I dare you.
Seeing as I am still technically in my teen years, I feel my adolescent years were no different from what you guys put. Drink, drugs? Lol nope. Sex? I never had a chance in hell really, so I forgot about it. Social life? Not really, I'm boring. Friends? Luckily, I made some really good ones. Lastly my parents and family, they were awesome throughout all of it so I never really rebelled.
"Free will is a myth. Religion is a joke. We are all pawns, controlled by something greater: Dank Memes. The DNA of the soul." - Monsoon.
21 InverurieJones29th Nov 2011 08:41:22 AM from North of the Wall. , Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
'80s TV Action Hero
"The second half of my teens was mostly characterised by the fact that I dropped out from school at the age of 15, and that's already enough to make me radically differ."

That is fairly unusual, at least around here; leaving school before 16 is illegal.
'All he needs is for somebody to throw handgrenades at him for the rest of his life...'
I've never been very social, and in some ways I was younger mentally than most of the other kids, but there was nothing really seriously different. I never did parties or hanging out outside school, but there are enough others that applies to for it to not be that notable.
Obsidian Proboscidean
I think my life was different, but I don't know if I myself was different than others. Maybe not.

I didn't socialize much with people my age (I spent more time with adults), or really go out on Fridays and Saturday nights (I spent it doing homework, reading, or practicing music, writing, and drawing). I've never had a boyfriend (probably due to lack of trying to get one, because the way the other kids did dating didn't sound all that fun to me), and I tended to keep people at arm's distance (just close enough for conversation, but not too close), so I didn't really acquire any best friends from high school.

Also, I never really ran into a "Mean Girls" type situation or any of those other "teen movie" type situations you see in high school themed TV serials and movies. I ran into all that drama in elementary school (and a little of middle school), so either the kids were more mature, or I'd gotten so used to it I tuned it out, or I was better able to avoid it, so I didn't see it.

I've never tried alcohol (I can't get past the smell of it), and I didn't have very much in common with my peers, not even the ones taking eight AP courses (as opposed to my measly three). Though, I really tried to force myself to be interested (and not just feigning interest to be polite), but it eventually made me unhappy, so I stopped.

For those with whom I did have common ground, it seemed that I just fell short of being "acceptable" I now realize this may have been because I was rather emotionally distant, because I was under the impression that emotions made people uncomfortable, so I should show them as little as possible.

I didn't fit in with the jocks, though I liked to exercise (I just didn't like having to follow all those rules of games, I guess). I didn't fit in with the crowd who acted outrageous (because I didn't feel like having to be "on" twenty-four seven). I didn't fit in with the nerds because I didn't have the "right" interests. I didn't fit in with the "popular smart kids" because they acted like I was ruining my future by not taking eight AP courses and going to one of the more prestigious universities (also, they looked at me sideways when I said I wanted to major in art). I didn't even fit in with the artists because I didn't like to draw anime (and that was a big thing) or act like a Manic Pixie Dream Girl (that was another big thing). I didn't even fit in with the other black kids at my school, but that's another story.

Eventually I realized I probably wasn't going to fit in anywhere, and high school was only four years out of a possible lifespan of 80 years (maybe more, since quite a few people in my family have passed ninety). So I just said, "Well, I'm not really here to make friends, anyway" (but not in that super Type A way that reality TV contestants say it) and concentrated on other things.

Fitting in is not the goal I should be aiming for, anyway, so I no longer worry about this as often as I did in the past.

edited 29th Nov '11 12:18:55 PM by BlackElephant

I'm an elephant. Rurr.
Woefully Ineloquent
That is fairly unusual, at least around here; leaving school before 16 is illegal.
It's illegal around here too, but the school authorities absolutely didn't care (May be related to the fact that I went to a minority-language school). Actually, they cared so little, that they even allowed me to withdraw my documents from the school, which is also illegal (they are supposed to stay at the school for 8 years after you've left).

edited 29th Nov '11 12:23:57 PM by fanty

Individual liberation is an illusion.
25 annebeeche29th Nov 2011 12:25:11 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
I am pretty sure that most teenagers do not throw away their lives on drugs and getting drunk and promiscuous sex, and the ones that do just happen to be a vocal minority. :/

edited 29th Nov '11 12:26:39 PM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion.
I shall watch down from the goon heavens.

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