What happens when you ask ex-teenagers to send in a story from their teenage years??? They turn in stories that aren’t just funny but pretty sad and just there.
We asked people to anonymously share stories from their teenage years and they did. The goal is to remind today’s teens that they aren’t alone and well, no one word can best describe teenagehood for everybody.
These stories are a way to let teenagers who read them know that people have gone through similar situations – no one is forcing down any moral lessons or motivational speech down anyone’s throat…. They just need to know what they are experiencing is normal and that they are not weird. So, read, share for others to read and share your story too.
Teenagehood = insecure and unsure days.
I think of insecure and unsure days when I think of teenagehood. I wanted to be everywhere, to be everything really. One minute I wanted to be slimmer, the other minute I wanted to be as round as my mommy because some guy said so. I wanted to write, design, decorate, teach and do everything.
One thing I think I like is that I think of books. They’ve stuck with me or maybe I’ve stuck with them to date. I read characters like me and received clarity, I explored with them, and I laughed too.
Now, they influence nearly everything I do. Hectic but interesting times now that I think of it. Grateful for the gift of hindsight.
A case of being shy, scared, and we’ll never know.
I don’t know how but now that it’s time to talk about an event from my teen years and I see that I can’t really remember any remarkable thing. It feels like that moment passed without me savouring it and enjoying it.
For the most part, I was basically the shy, moody babe that liked reading novels and doing my best in school. Shame??. But I will share this one cause it just came to my mind now and it still amazes me. So I was 13 and apparently, this boy liked me.
It was during the era of 2go and we bonded over the holidays cause that’s when we started talking. I genuinely actually felt he did. Note that I was new in this school so we hadn’t really talked physically. School resumed and I was eager to meet him but he kept dodging.
Every day it was one excuse or the other. One day when we talked on the phone, my airtime got exhausted and so the next day, he sent someone to give me card (airtime).
Decided to go appreciate him in his class and this boy legit ran, never seen anyone run like that? and that’s how we ended up never talking to each other till we graduated. Still don’t know if he was shy or scared of me.
When shyness steals from you.
Growing up I was a very shy person; I wasn’t so good at public speaking, so when I found myself in my principal’s office amidst other candidates selected for the post of assistant head girl, I was all tensed up.
I was so nervous that I couldn’t answer the secretary’s questions and I was asked to leave. That’s how I lost that chance. I felt really bad – I still do. I wanted to be more than just the punctuality prefect, but shyness stole that from me.
A Dennis David story.
My name is Dennis David. And anytime I’m called on to share my story growing up, I usually talk about the struggles, challenges, and trying part of it. But I will be sharing these same stories today, as part of my success story. Well, it will still sound as challenges but trust me, these challenges have helped shape the man I am, I am becoming, and looking forward to being.
It was not a funny experience at all as an 11 years old boy growing up without the love, care, and affection of his parents. I’m the 3rd child of my mother and the 6th of my father and I was tasked with the responsibility of looking after my 3 younger sisters. I will go fishing every morning alone, to catch some fish afterwards, I will sell a few and use the money to get foodstuffs for my favourite meal (Egusi Soup).
Every evening, I will gather them to tell them moonlight stories and play some night games with them. So, I became their father, mother, friend, and elder brother too. Life is tough being a child without parents but we scaled through and now, I’m a career coach, an actor, a writer, a parent-children relationship advocate. So, my challenges became my success journey.
Sneaking a guy out of the house.
When I was much younger, I had this boy I liked. He was much older than I was, and I just felt, oh well, I was in love. He came over to see me on my mom’s birthday and we were both alone in the house. After a while, he made a move on me and stuff happened.
Mind you, this was my first time and I was a novice, in all this but he didn’t care. My grandma came home early that day, and he sneaked out through the back door.
The moral of the story, be informed, don’t do stuff that you are not ready for and don’t let any friend, male or female pressurize you, most especially when you think you have feelings for the individual.
Finding a safe space.
I escaped becoming a lesbian and sexual abuse as a child 3 times (that I can vividly remember). The company you keep matters!
I could share this with nobody! Not even my mum. God gracefully helped me by using the children teachers in the church to teach me the right things and walking in the ways of the Lord. The God way is the surest way!
The long-headed little man.
My story… I suck at storytelling, hmmm what would it be? I’d call it the long-headed little man.
Many years have passed now and my head has gotten quite rounded so you might not be able to relate, but there was a time in my life I was really small and had this very ugly-looking head best described as oblong. I was laughed at for having that head, especially at salons when I went to get a haircut, and also at school.
In school then, I was quite small and smart ? but I was not immune from the Jokes. One that particularly stuck was how they would repeatedly laugh at me for putting my school shorts on my abdomen. I never thought that was the case, I always thought I had a high waist but I got laughed at a lot cos of my size and head.
I would go on to gain admission into the university and get degrading comments like “your mates are still in secondary school,” “are you even up to 15 years?”
Why am I telling this story?
While I got these a lot, I cared less about what they thought or said about me. It never really got to me, but I know there are a lot of teens out there who get this kind of treatment and it breaks them or changes them in unpleasant ways.
It’s a cruel world out there, you can’t determine how people act towards you, so the most important part of everything is not what was done to me but how I ensured it didn’t get to me, I reckon a few teenagers might need to hear this: So I simply embraced who I was, I was the skinny, not so fine, oblong head guy from a poor background, things I couldn’t really help, but more importantly I was also the best student every year, (they would have to live with that too) – this was in my hands.
I chose to study, do my homework, and just be focused cos I understood what I wanted. I got self-esteem from the things that really mattered – giving value and being valuable. The small skinny, long-headed guy would go on to be the timekeeper and head boy and the rest they say is history.
In summary, self-esteem in children is really important. Now that I think of it again, it’s what got me through the teenage years of getting mocked for having a long head or being too small for age. There I was thinking I was cute and smart enough. Every. Single. Time.
And once again, it’s a wrap. Don’t forget to leave a comment sharing your thoughts on any of the stories. Again, these stories are a way to let teenagers who read them know that people have gone through similar situations.