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October 22, 2011

Teenhood Today: Relaxation a foreign concept

Daily Star

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Relaxing? I don't even know the definition anymore. Between sports, school, music, writing, homework, school plays and eating (yes, eating gets its own category), I barely have time to say, "Can you pass the whipped cream?" to my family.

As a teenager, there are so many opportunities, so many open doors waiting for us to open. Such as the door to becoming an author, the door to becoming the president, and the door to the pantry.

I am easily overwhelmed, so when all of my teachers assign essays that are due the next day, I get edgy. My feet start to tap, my eyes begin to twitch, and my stomach tries to imitate a bear. How am I ever going to write 10 essays in one night? As it is, I don't get home until eight o'clock!

How about, in my friend's case, when your coach drops the bombshell that you have a volleyball tournament tomorrow? Not only is it a tournament, it's also an hour away, consists of six other teams, will start at five o'clock, and probably won't finish until midnight?

Or how about our parents telling us to clean up our room? For some of you this may only take an hour or so. For me it would take a year, and that includes me skipping school, sleep and most importantly: meals! I can't even see my floor or the tops of my dressers.

I can see the bottom of my drawers fine (all of my clothes are on my floor). So when I'm told to clean my room, my eyes start to twitch.

Now I'm supposed to write 10 essays, go to my game, and clean my room? This is usually the time when I throw something: my pencil, an eraser, or my brother.

Come on people, I have a life, too! Why must you insist on jam-packing my schedule? Wouldn't it be nice to just sit at home with a family-sized bag of chips and a two-liter of soda with a good comedy playing on TV? Close your eyes and imagine it …

Now open them! POP! There goes your imagination bubble. Back to running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

In all fairness, we have to understand the teachers' point of view as well. I have seen my dad stay up late at night grading papers.

I know that some of my teachers don't get home until after I do, and then they have to make dinner for their families. I know that my parents would rather not have to climb Mount Clothing to wake me up in the morning (because who actually wakes up with their alarm?).

Sometimes, when I get too overwhelmed, I have to take a deep breath and then dive headfirst into the predicament with a chocolate bar in one hand and a glass of apple cider in the other. You should try it sometime. I know that I will probably still not know the meaning of relaxation, but at least I can stop throwing my brothers!

No brothers were harmed in the writing of this column.

Miriam A. Thurber is a freshman at Unatego Central School. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at