by Wiebke, Imke, Hanne & Janka

What Shall I Write?
Hmn... What shall I write?
A song, a poem, a story?
adventure, romance, or something gory?
Should I rhyme?
or talk in the past time?
or should I just write my thoughts,
without worrying, "What rhymes with thoughts"?

Maybe I'll write my beliefs:
peace, individuality, and animal rights;
How we all should live in a world
where people don't kill other people,
and children don't have to be afraid to go to school.

Should I write about music?
How music is great to release your emotions,
whether you're happy, sad, angry, confused, or lonely?

What shall I write?

Edith Carson, Age: 17

Teenagers have problems connected with their parents who don`t understand their needs, meaning that they always want to be free with no obstacles, like a bird. In this case, parents are a branch that the little bird hits when it flies.
Diana and Simona

As we approach teenage years, both males and females go through some rough times. Speaking from a female position, I know how hard it is to worry if you look okay and if you're "developing" enough. For males, they go through changes in their body and their voice. They are faced with situations such as steroids and other "masculine" drugs. Men are propagandized into believing they need to be tall, dark, and handsome with so much muscle mass and as little fat as possible.
However, I think the emphasis of the hardships on teens is more toward females. There is such a demand in the media and in our everyday life for females to be that ideal, 5' 10", 100 pound, blonde, blue-eyed, big chested woman.
We are constantly bombarded with images and advertisements to be something we physically can't be.

My life is like a labyrinth.
It starts somewhere and then you have to find the right way. You will find the end sooner or later and that is it. But on this way you have to solve a lot of problems. There are stones in the labyrinth which want to stop you.
Especially now; in the teenage time; I have got many problems. There are things which move their mood but that is soon gone.I think grown-ups have more problems than most teenagers have. They do not have parents who are often here to help us. Adults are on their own. But they are older.
Teenagers are often sad. I am sad, too. I forget the good and positive things in my life. Everthing seems to be negative. (…)
Perhaps teenagers make themselves too many problems. They forget that they are not alone, that there is somebody who helps them: their parents, their teachers or their friends. Even teachers often seem to be monsters but they do not want to destroy your life. Teachers are human beings and they have got little mistakes like you and me. Of course there are teachers who are real monsters, too.
Not everything is bad. You have to keep on hoping for better times even if you do not know if better times are possible.

There are problems in a teenager's life, but I think they are basically a part of evolution and becoming adult. That actually means that these things are not real problems, but it is just the way of managing them.
Often teachers and parents cannot handle them because they don't understand and know teenagers, especially their wishes, problems or different moods in a short time. Parents don't understand that getting adult and more responsible is often pretty hard, so teenagers have to solve their problems first. That's why they are impolite, unsocial or crazy. They are not selfconfident any more and have to hide that by attacking others.
I think I was or even am a good example of that kind of people. My parents and I argued a lot because the teachers didn't want me to interrupt their lessons or have fun with other things while the were teaching. But I got useed to these situations so I did hardly improve. Teachers hated me and I hated them, but my parents always helped me getting out of these bad situations. When I went too far they punished me. I was not allowed to use my computer any more, for example, or to go out on weekends.I think both sides, teachers (parents) and teenagers have to find together frequently to talk about their problems, their relationship and what they have to keep alive.
Parents should have a basic understanding for teenagers even when they exaggerate. But teenagers also have to learn to improve and work hard.

Teenager's problems
The problem is that the older people like parents and teachers differ from the teenagers. They have had a different education with different norms. Generally speaking whenever we meet older people two different world confront each other. This sometimes leads to conflicts as if you meet people of a different nationality. But I myself get along with them well. Indeed; there are some exceptions. You can't like all your teachers, can you? I often have my own opinion. Teachers are only humans and they make mistakes like giving bad grades or being too stupid to make an experiment in Physics and so on. I make mistakes, too. My father is teacher at my school and so I get to know some teachers better.
Martin (G@ND@LF)

The Only Thing I Think About

Why won't he call?
Why won't he write me back?
Why won't he love me?
Why won't he see me?
Why won't he tell me his feelings?
Why won't he realize the feelings I have for him?

Why doesn't he like me?
Why does he go out with every girl but me?
Why does he play with my mind?
Why do my friends say I should forget about him?
Why don't I forget about him?

Why can't he make up his mind?
Why can't he read the signs I've given to him?

Why must he keep me waiting?
Why must he keep me hanging on a ledge?

Why is he the only thing I think about?

Edith Carson, Age: 17

Friendships and relationships can be hard to receive, keep, and maintain. Things like gossip, rumors, and deception can ruin people in an instant.
In most schools gossip spreads quicker than a disease. If you tell someone a secret that he/she can't keep, most likely, the whole school will find out about it. Not all good things last, especially high school relationships and friendships. It is said that when an average person moves on to college, he/she will only keep in touch with one or two high school friends. It's sad to see what time and distance can do to friendships.

Sometimes I believe teenagers' lives begin in the emotional way.

We want to be loved by a girl or a boy. Our parents seem as if they want to stop us. Our friends are more important than ever. Those people help us. And most friends are of our age. They have got similar problems and they understand us. But we have to solve our problems on our own. We want to be free, we want to do what we think is right. Sometimes we are not allowed to do that.

Emotional Drama

Time has passed me by,
Yet never once did I forget your face.
The hurt, the anger, the grief,
Has lessened now, but never faded away.

You left me without a thorough explanation,
Why, oh why, did you do that to me?
I hate good-byes and sorrows,
Now all that's left is a painful memory.

I just can't take the pain,
I just can't stand the hurt,
'Emotional drama' is the name of the game,
When you left and never looked back.

I gave you the time that was precious to me,
Gave up so many things to be helpful to you.
You disappointed me in so many things,
What I wouldn't do to forgive you.

It's now all over, yet it's not really,
Can never forget what you did to me,
Forever imbedded in my dazed mind,
It's time for the final farewell.
Vinthi Thach, Age: 17, March 17, 2002


There are a lot of things that may distract or tempt a teenager to do wrong things.
Peer pressure can easily force teens to do smoking, sex, and drugs. Most teenagers know that it's wrong, but they feel like they need to do these things in order to fit in and be cool. But fortunately most teens know how to handle it by saying no.

I think some of the hardest issues teenager face are what's "acceptable" and what's "expected."
Teenage years are a time when the sole decision of right and wrong is based on what we see and hear. Peer pressure is more and more present, and the need to "fit in" can outweigh the "right" decision.


There are many people
but you feel alone.
You want to do what you want
but your parents say when to come home.
You want to be a grown-up
but on the other hand you miss your childhood.
You are allowed to do so many new things
but there is the fear of decisions and responsibility.
You laugh, you cry, you keep quiet, you want to sing.
Sometimes you can`t explain what you feel. That are problems of TEENAGE LIFE.
Sometimes it`s really great
but it also can be as hard as a knife.

Another problem are drugs which are taken frequently by the teenagers from nowadays.
Those who take these drugs, don`t understand that it`s a bad thing and that those one can affect their health.
This problem can be solved with teachers , parents or even friends help, who can try to keep them far away from those vicious. In many cases, teenagers are influenced on doing bad things by the group they are spending their free time and don`t listen to the advises that are given by the ones who care about them and they only want their best.
Sexuality is another of nowadays problems of the teenagers and not only. They are interested on this thing and sometimes becomes more important than family or school, and they should not. If they have a sexual life they should protect themselves from AIDS or another disease. In our opinion, those are the most important and the most serious teenagers problems.
Diana Andrei & Simona Ilinescu

To Diana and Simona
Dear birds!
Itīs Hanne and Maike and the Imke from Germany. Your text was very interesting and we think you both are very responsible persons, but donīt you think your opinion about certain things is a bit too unrealistic?
In your opinion teens should neither have a sexual life nor take any drugs. We hope that you donīt mind that we object to this attitude. We agree that it can be dangerous if you take too much of it, but we think that one should try certain things in life just to be able to judge it. We donīt think of heroine; of course; but maybe of rather harmless things like wheat. Did you never try or think about it? By the way, are drug users punished hard in your country?
About sex: We think that some people would be happy to have a sexual life. The rest of our class, for example. :-P Everybody wants to have sex, be honest! Will you never have been thinking about how it could be?
We (Maike and Imke) for example know that Hanne has a very wild and dirty sexual life. But sheīs always pretending that sheīs a lovely, nice virgin. 'No sex before Marriage'.
Hanne:"Hey, what are you two writing. Thatīs my sweet secret. I have to keep a good image in society. What will the teachers think about me?!"
Imke and me (Maike) in contrast to Hanne are true saints. We donīt change our boyfriends every day and we wanna wait for the first time till marriage because itīs something very special which you have to offer the person you will love till death.
"Iīm not a girl and not yet a woman."
With these true words we want to say good bye and donīt forget to answer us.
Weīre really looking forward to getting a mail from you birds.
Bye bye! Hanne, Maike and Imke
PS: Okay, the story about Hanne was just a joke, but she still can laugh.


Parents are much wiser than many teenagers are because they have experienced life and have gone through many learning experiences. I can see where parents don't want their teenagers to experience many of these things, and teenagers shouldn't, but it's a part of life, and bad things happen every day.
Teenagers should be comfortable in telling their parents what they think, but what the teenager says will only be up to the teenager. There are things that parents need to know, and others they may not need to know. When a teenager can't trust their parents, then there is something wrong.
The only things I expect from my parents are love and support. My parents do buy my clothes and will buy me a car, but I do work, and I help when needed, so we have reached the common ground.
I don't feel that teenagers' parents should be their friends. Yes, a parent should be there to support and help the teenagers through life, but not to make teenager's life a paradise. I feel that if a parent and teenager are friends, then the parents will feel that they can allow their teenager to do more harmful things for fear of losing their friendship.
When rules come into play, both parents and teenager should sit down and talk about them. They should talk about why the rules are being set, their views/feelings on the rules, the consequences of breaking the rules, and then maybe a common ground can be reached. Rules do need to be set, but they should be somewhat fair. If there were no rules, then the teenagers may end up doing something they would regret for the rest of their lives.

With my parents I have absolutely no problems.
I am lazy and my father makes me work. That's good for me. When I have a problem I try to solve it myself. If that is impossible I ask the person who has the best knowledge of this problem. It depends on the kind of the problem. Usually I get help from my parents, my sister or my friends.

Family life can also be crazy when you're a teen.
Your parents can be annoying by nagging and punishing you all the time. For instance, even though I have good grades, my parents always complain that I spend more time on fun and less time on my studies. Your parents always check up on you, and they maybe even spy on you. The reason for that is because they care about you, and they worry about your life and your choices. Sometimes you get punished for nothing at all, or even for what your sibling did. For an example, when I was young, my younger sister would yell for no apparent reason, and my parents would blame me for making her yell. Your siblings can be even worse. They may pick on you, beat you up, do blackmail, or just be plain annoying. My sister would take pictures of me going on the computer when I wasn't supposed to be on so she could show proof to my parents! Even though parents and siblings can be extrememly embarrassing and annoying, though, they are an important part of our lives, and we will appreciate them more as we get older.

My parents and I

We think that in every family the relationship between parents and their children is very different and difficult to understand. Usually parents are friends to their children, but it is not always so. Bad relationship depends on parents at first and then on children, because parents are older than their children and they have more experience in comparison with us. Nowadays it is the time when children grow up faster than their parents did. That is why parents must control us more strictly. Without control of adults kids will have hard life. Because they will loose the right way of life they will become undisciplined and selfish. But on the other hand control of our parents influences us in a bad way because we must become independent.
At the age of 13-18 teenagers have a lot of problems in their life and the majority of them solve their problems themselves but we think that it is false. We should ask advice from our parents, because they know about life more and maybe they had the same problems.
Children mustn't expect anything from their parents because we must be able to do it ourselves.
Oxana and Ainur, Kazakhstan

For support, some teens turn to alcohol and drugs for "relief"... while others look to their friends or family for advice and guidance. Whether or not we WANT that support is very difficult to decide. Since we're in such an awkward stage of our lives, it's tough to choose between relying on someone else or being independent.

Gidday mate,

I was in Australia during my last summer holidays and I liked it so much. I want to say that I really like that country, but I never wish to live there at least maybe until I am older than now, because young people (those, who are younger than 21) aren`t allowed to drink beer or to stay at the disco until midnight. The parents are very strict in keeping those rules. I couldn`t believe that teenagers are only allowed to go to a disco for people who are under eighteen years old. at the disco everything that lookes like alcohol (I mean the commercials for example) was forbidden and it closed at eleven o`clock. I think some Australian teenagers wish that they were allowed to do more things. But there is one advantage: You can have your driving-licence when you are seventeen years old.
Naturally, the Australian laws are different from the German laws. In Germany, if you are older then sixteen years you can drink beer and go to disco until one o`clock in the morning. That is much better! ;-) Most of the parents of my friends allow their children to stay till three or four o`clock. I have got some arguments with my mother because she will not allow me to stay as long as the others. It`s not worth for me going to the disco because I have to go home when the real party starts and I am always sad that I had to pay so much money to get in there.
I only wrote stories about alcohol and parties, but that is not really the sense of life and I should go on with your topics! You asked how I do get along with my parents. That is a really interesting question if we`re talking about teenage problems. I have quite a good relationship with my mother, including that we trust each other. I can ask her for advice in every situation and she tries to find the best answer to solve a problem. I want to care for her in the way it is possible to me. Maybe it is akind of friendship but we also argue sometimes, but my mother is very cooperative in some situations.


Knowledge leads to unwillingness to accept
What is going on within a child's life.
To parent a child is to give them life,
And allow them to live it to the fullest.

Control, discipline, are part of the game,
So are giving, caring of anything that parents can.
Being a friend to a child is the best in the world,
But it can turn sour once you pass the invisible line.

That same line of trust and friendship
Cannot be broken as they grow.
Knowing that they will leave home,
Have their own family, is part of acceptance.

But acceptance is hard to receive
When a parent is in denial.
Know that the child will always need a parent,
As a flower needs the sun.
Tiffany Tompkins, Age: 17, March 18, 2002


One part of our independence is money and so our parents have to give us some pocket money. And if that money is not enough for us we must work and parents mustn't prohibit us to do it.
Oxana and Ainur, Kazakhstan

At some point in parents' lives their kids will ask them for money as we all do. I feel that the financial responsibility is something parents take on when they decide to have kids. On the other hand, the parents should also have their rules on money. The teenagers should have to earn the money on a reasonable basis such as chores. At a certain age I feel that teenagers should get a job so that they can support their need for extra things as well as to learn about money management.

Ashley Scarlett, Age: 15, April 10, 2002

Some teens try to balance their studies with a part time job to have some extra spending money.
This is a great way to learn about the responsibilities of the work life, but it sometimes interferes with getting school work done. I know that with my honors courses at school, I would never be able to balance schoolwork with other work. Many students decide to wait till the summer to get a job. Other teens mostly receive a weekly allowance from their parents. I usually get $10 a week from my Dad, and my grandmother always slips me some money when my mother isn't looking.


Being a teenager is a strange and yet exciting part of life. We are faced with tough and critical decisions each and every day- decisions that will affect our lives. Everyone goes through the teenage years, but as people get older, they seem to lose touch with their teenage experiences and feel as though they can't relate to anything that teenagers go through.

Between the Tears and the Anger
Oh, how I miss my preteen years. Can you recall those precious moments in the morning before you caught the bus for school? You'd stand in front of the mirror and gaze into the reflection before you- the mismatched clothes, the bad hair, the costume jewelry. You were a wreck. But as you might recall, you didn't bother caring... after all, you were only twelve. Then, one morning, you walk to the mirror to perform your daily routine, and "OH MY GOD, I'VE GOT A PIMPLE!"... or "WHY DOES HE HAVE SO MUCH MORE MUSCLE THAN I DO?!"... It happens, you've become a teen without any warning or preparation.
Becoming a teenager is a very difficult process.
So many changes are present during these years, and it's very difficult to adapt to them as quickly as they happen. I truly believe that teenage years are the hardest (I, of course, have no proof to back this up due to the fact that I haven't yet experienced "adult" life). How is it that we go from playing with Barbie and her little sister Skipper to WEARING what Barbie and her little sister Skipper wore?
Katelyn Miller, April 9, 2002

A Way of Life
Whether you like being a teenager or not, everyone at least learns one lesson in life during this period, if not more. Adolescence can be one huge party, and it can be hell at the same time.
Edith Carson, April 8, 2002

Speaking about being a teenager I can say that it is a wonderful time.
And I agree with you. Because when you are a teenager you can do nothing, you don't have to go to work, you should go to school. If we compare going to work and going to school I can say when you come out of school you do your homework and than you can go for a walk, watch TV, play computer games etc. But if you work you go for a walk early morning and come tonight. When you are a teenager you can go to the party, but when you are an adult you have a family, a child or children and that is why you must take care of your family.
That is why being teenager is a wonder-ful period of time!
Saida, Kazakhstan

A Big Part of My Life

When you were young, you thought you had the world at your fingertips, everything would always be okay. It's terribly funny how things work out, isn't it? I, myself, have found it difficult to get through days - convincing myself that God was out to get me. Life when you were young was so pure, so innocent.
Occasionally I also find myself getting lost in books, trying to find some common ground with someone. I even feel as though I felt a connection to a book about a mental institution (does it really surprise you?). Sometimes when you look around the world, there seems to be so much hatred. It really is so hard to sit back and enjoy your life, your culture. It seems as though everything is so foggy. All that fogginess fills up over the happiness, and you have to spend days finding some sort of safe haven. I am glad to know where my haven is. If you could just close your eyes for a moment and think back to those days, those days when you never had to worry about what you were wearing or what you looked like in a bathing suit; when you really did think that China could be found by digging a massive hole in your backyard…
I really like to think that Girl Dana is still a big part of my life and always will be.
Dana Arel, Age: 17, April 23, 2002

Despite the hardships teenagers face, I believe somewhere in between the tears and the anger that we can all enjoy our time as "young adults." Just think... ten years from now when you throw your back out and start balding, all you'll be saying to yourself is "What I wouldn't give to be seventeen again"! :-)
Katelyn Miller, April 30, 2002

"Before I got married, I had six theories about bringing up children. Now I have six children and no theories." - John Wilmot