TeenVoices: Back to School: What Teens Want Their Parents to Know

  • That alarm going off in the morning isn’t easy to hear. Not only do we want another five minutes… we need it. It can be difficult to transition from the “sleep-ins” of the summer to the early rises for school.
  • First day appearances are important to us. We want to make sure we show our best selves on the first day which can be hard when complicated by teen struggles like acne, bad hair days and a lack of self-confidence.
  • Cafeteria politics. With new class schedules, it’s not a guarantee that all our friends have the same lunch time, and there is somewhat of an unspoken rule that where you sit on the first day determines the rest of the year. It can be difficult to choose where to sit and find new friends within the first few minutes of lunch. 
  • Going back to the structured routine of school after the freedom of the summer can be tricky. It’s strange to go from free-flowing summer days to having lunch at a certain time and even having to ask to go to the bathroom.
  • Homework! I could go on about this one for a while. It is hard when teachers assign lots of homework, especially when we have multiple classes to worry about and extracurricular obligations.
  • Time management is a learned skill. It may take us a while to find our groove when it comes to balancing schoolwork, sports/activities and free time.
  • Tests, tests, and oh, did I mention tests? Tests are frequent and can be quite stressful, especially when there are many tests all within the same week. While we know that parents may not like the grade we get on an exam, we want you to know that the material is challenging, and we do our best.
  • Social aspects. School is so much more than just academics. It’s a mixture of trying to find the right friend group and feeling comfortable with who you are. It’s not an easy process and there is no formula to get the “right” answer. We are still discovering ourselves.
  • We will make mistakes and might not live up to perceived expectations. We need your support and understanding during these times. A discussion and collaborative approach on how to improve things is better than feeling failure and disappointment.

Really the list could go on and it varies from person to person. Just know that high-school really is hard in all its different aspects. Support and patience is valued as we go through all these back-to-school challenges.

Hannah Adamson is a senior in high school. She practices meditation and takes ThetaHealing courses with Reshma Shah in Westfield, New Jersey. September 2018

Teen Voices: The Family Connection

by Hannah Adamson

Sitting in the kitchen with my 92-year-old grandfather, listening to stories about driving tractors, plucking strawberries and carrying water from the well, I am reminded of the challenges and lessons embedded in my family’s past. While Grandad may not understand iPhones or the internet, he knows more about life than I possibly could at 17. With this in mind, I feel it is invaluable for teens like myself to take time to listen to our own histories and spend time with family.  Continue reading