What is the most painful period of life? There can be many variants, but by general consent adolescence is considered to be the most difficult time, as the most unpleasant situation is that when you have the wish, but do not have the way. In the childhood you have little opportunities, but your wishes usually coincide with the things available. A grown-up has got developed wishes and wide possibilities; at least, if he is unhappy, it is he himself who is responsible for that. But adolescence is the time when you have already cast your glance at the mysterious world – but can’t explore it properly, can’t touch what you see. This is the problem with a young person: too many dreams for such a modest range of choice. Parents are not the root of all evil, as many teenagers think. The root of all evil is the conflict between “I want”, “I can” and “I must”. Parents just intensify it representing the authority of earlier years which is to be broken for the new authority to come. Those who used to be children rebel against being children, weak and not taken into account. Goethe compared this period to a big tiger in a small cage, who knows that it will be out of it very soon — impatience and hostility to the circumstances, which seem unbearable.

The problems of adolescence are carefully studied by psychology. This time is generally called “a teenager crisis”, and they distinguish several characteristic features of it: negative attitude to the norms, traditions and authority; antisocial behaviour, and manifestations of blank refusal to conform to the majority; search of referent groups, identification; conflicts with parents. From the physiological point of view, this period is characterized by rapid growth of body, sudden changes in pulse and blood pressure, uneven level of hormonal activity. All this contributes to sudden changes in mood, sensitivity, being intolerant to other people’s words.

All the teenager problems are universal: thirst for love and understanding, need for freedom and being unique, search of one’s own way in life. When you are seventeen you can’t believe that there are millions like you – you think you will be different from masses of people. This causes deviations in behaviour, discipline at school, riot against the authority of the teacher. Many teachers say that children from 14 to 17 are the most difficult group to deal with as they can do something just because you don’t want them to. I think, the best way out is to be like the romantic ideal of that period yourself – to be strong, free, self-confident, and unusual, so that your lessons would be like a gasp of fresh wind in the school routine.

Perhaps, adolescence is the most painful time for the majority of people, but I have come to the conclusion that the most painful time is that you suffer from just now.


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