Is it Really Worth it?

Dear Teenager,

How are you? I hope everything is going fine with your academics? Well, without wasting much time, I would go straight to the reason behind this letter.

Yesterday, as I walked past your hostel, I saw you at the corridor with those guys in your room. I saw how you were cajoled to taste a little out of their bottle and encouraged to prove your manliness by a stick of cigarette. I perceived your vulnerability and the fear of being mocked and considered weak; I waited patiently and saw you walk away amidst promising them to come back the next day prepared. I felt sorry for your weakness in the face of peer pressure and slowly remembered how I experienced something similar, years ago.

I was sitting in the room when my roommates breezed in amidst drinking and smoking, with arms wrapped around half- naked girls. “This is the fifth time this week”, I shouted angrily as my reading session was interrupted. However, I was only mocked as usual, being regarded as a woman and was dared to prove my manliness and join them in enjoying life. The girls giggled and whispered among themselves about how weak I was.

I got infuriated and in my anger “proved my manhood”; it began with a cup, alongside a single puff of smoke. I jerked and almost choked. However, I kept proving my manhood. And gradually, smoking became a necessary dose; alcohol, a daily meal; partying, a second nature.

My grades gradually fell and I needed an upgrade. My friends gave  me an upgrade and I was initiated into the “inner clique”. On my first trip with them, we were caught and arrested. My friends got bailed by their rich parents and that was when I remembered the home I came from as I remained with the men in black clothes.

Days later, it was announced everywhere; rustication came from school, sorrow paraded my home, my friends sent their letter of rejection and my future shut down before my eyes.

So, I beg you, before you go prove your manliness tomorrow, think carefully and ask yourself if your manliness really lies in succumbing to their demands. Ask if your being considered “strong” matters than your future. Please, imagine the look on your mum’s face if you were to fall a victim like me. Ask yourself if it is really worth it.

Yours Sincerely,
Story teller


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