My Teenage Story | by Barnabas Akinrinola

Teenage, the slice of time covering age 13 to age 19, is a period of time characterized by a lot of things such as naivety, puberty, crave for freedom and unruly behaviour. Knowing this, parents- conscious, responsible parents- pay more attention to their children’s behaviours and are quicker to reprimand bad behaviours.
Teenagehood is very important, as it is the time a person actually begins his journey into the future. For instance, a person makes a decision on the career he intends to pursue when he is a teenager. Summarily, a person’s inborn or picked up abilities, behaviours and interests become clear at teenagehood. Usually, inborn peculiarities (as used in this context) are good with little or nothing to do to alter it. However, conscious parents pay more attention to the abilities, behaviours and interests that their children pick up from immediate environment (school, home, worship centres, etc) and from the media, mass and social.
For instance, parents begin to ask their children questions about who their role models are, their best character(s) in a movie or book, their take on sex, their preferred fashion sense, their proffered solutions to certain problems in the society, what they would do if they found themselves in certain conditions or circumstances, their hobbies and what they would like to be famous for. Any attempt by children to waive these questions or answer them without sincerity is met with stiff consequences. This has been my experience as a teenager.

At teenagehood, parents become more possessive of their children and sometimes go overboard. Parents also become assertive and authoritative, shouting commands every now and then and demanding strict, rigid adherence to instructions. Any attempt by children to vary or disobey instructions is met with stiff consequences. In fact, sometimes, the posture of parents toward their children when they disobey them or have dissenting opinions is that of a desperate politician seeking to silence or get rid of his opponent. Parents become insecure in relation to their teenage children; it gets that bad.
My teen years have been interesting. I have had to endure bullying. You see, in junior secondary school, I was this short, very dark-complexioned boy. I was also a tad nerd even though my results were not glowing. So I was almost always the subject of ridicule, bully from teachers, seniors, mates and juniors. It was like the whole world was against me. What is more, my extreme, unusual dark complexion made me cry many times and think God himself must hate me to have created me this way or, if not, to have watched me ‘black out’, my appearance irritating people at first sight.

Thoughts of suicide crossed my mind more than a thousand times. My self-esteem lowered significantly. My grades became worse. Seniors sent me on endless errands while some avoided me like the plague they thought I was. In and out of school, people would stop whatever they were doing and stare endlessly at me, some pointing and jeering at me. Yeah, I suffered until I met someone.

Teenagehood, especially in early teenage years, is a time of struggle. There is an unusual, burning desire for sex, hard drugs and bad behaviour. Sex was mine. Yeah, ‘was!’ When I got into senior secondary school, the puberty I was experiencing entered another level. I had an unusual crave for sex. Our girls were growing and becoming somewhat irresistible. I did not want to do the real thing for fear of the consequences, so, I slid into pornography.

I got closer to someone who supplied me sex videos and I watched them with the somewhat innocent intention to satisfy myself. Somehow, I knew how well to hide it from people.

However, instead of quelling my sexual desires, pornography heightened them. I got into some relationships mainly because of sex but, somehow, the relationships did not last long enough to culminate in sex. It became so pushy that I feared I would impregnate somebody. So, when I hear the stories of people who delight themselves in pornography, I remember my own story. It was really hard for me then until I met someone.

Pornography, in a way, boosted my self-confidence and I could talk freely with girls and participate in my school’s Press Club. Imagine the times I had to swallow laughs when my teachers praised me and referred to me as the model student. The self-confidence had upped my grades and I was doing quite well in debates and quizzes. I thought I was doing well enough until I met someone.

Teenagehood has not all been about scandals for me. In fact, it has been a period of self-discovery. I have discovered my interests and I have been pursuing them.

I have written poems, told stories, written essays, participated in debates and quizzes, read newspapers and fallen in love with English Language. There was a time I knew all the 36 governors of the States in Nigeria by name offhand. I have had my share of ovation. I took responsibilities and performed quite well. I made purposeful friends, some of them virtual. My parents have been the ones feeding me, housing me, clothing me, paying for my upkeep and doing other things for me; that might change soon, I know. I met someone too as a teenager.

Dear teen, my counsel to you is that you spend your teenage years wisely so you can look back and be grateful to God. For the ‘unusual’ attraction to the opposite sex, believe me, it is not unusual.

The way to bring it under control is to get close to God, which involves meeting him, knowing him and trusting him.

Discover yourself. Find out what you love doing and if it/they is/are pure and of good report, get on with it/them.

Dear teen, be more enthusiastic about your academics. Know stuff. It pays. It doesn’t just give you good grades, it gives you an edge above your contemporaries. Never allow yourself to be despised or looked down on. Do great things and ovation will be yours.

Run away from pornography, indecent music, hard drugs and bad company. Be an obedient child. Meet the person I met- Jesus Christ. God bless you!

I’m Barnabas Akinrinola and this is how I sign out of teenagehood. Peace.

About the Writer
Hello, teen! I’m Barnabas Akinrinola and, after this year, I’ll cease to be a teenager. So here’s a bit of my teenage story.

Hope you got something from this? You may leave a comment below and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to not miss a post. 


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