Slamming doors. Crying into my pillow over boys. Sneaking out at midnight. Getting my belly pierced too young. Screaming the house down because my skirt was “too short”. Being the best teenager I could possibly be.
Maybe right now it feels like the weight of exam stress is so heavy on your shoulders that your face couldn’t possibly manage to crease into a smile until your exams are over. I resent this. I resent that true happiness cannot be felt until a crisp, white sheet of paper reaches your sweaty grip with the neat, black A’s, that are so longed for, sit next to the list of subjects taken. I know you think that the summer ahead of sandy beaches, sunburnt shoulders and headaches from the wild night before will make it all worthwhile. You are in for a shocker. It won’t!
Sixth form. A levels. University. Degrees. Debt.
If you plan on surviving the above with the same dull face on just to get the grades then depression is all that awaits you.
Now don’t fret as I have the answers. Are you ready for people to see your teeth again through wide open smiles? Prepare yourself; this is good.
Unlock your bedroom door and open it up to the world of distractions that bare their ugly teeth at you behind the never-ending pile of notes, books and revision cards. Now venture into this world and allow some sunlight to tease your skin.
Put a stop to dragging your eyes across dead pages of text! Is your mum home, or maybe your dad? Go and explain to them Darwin’s theory of evolution or Carol Anne Duffy’s usage of language in ‘Havisham’. Maybe later you could set your anthology down and dare to have another hole punched through your ear because you can and because you are young and must live your life as a teenager the way you want to. The way you can.
Mistakes have to be made. You need to attempt to cut your fringe and end up with tufts of feathery hair sticking out over your forehead. Well maybe you could skip that mistake, but my statement still stands strong: make mistakes.
Ease your face into that creasing smile for me because now is the time. Now is your time.