A new survey breaks down teenage angst by the numbers. According to the findings, in one year, the average teen girl will have 183 disagreements with her mom, 157 with her father, 257 with her siblings, and 127 with her friends, during which she’ll slam 164 doors. In addition to all the time she’ll spend fighting and slamming doors, she’ll cry a whole lot over boys. About 123 times a year to be precise. That’s a lot of Kleenex wasted on boys, if you ask me.
This survey highlights the worst about teenage girls. And yes, it’s true that they can be overly emotional, ultra dramatic and super combative. HORMONES! But as a former high school teacher at an all-girls school, I know that as irritating as teen girls can be, they also have so many amazing qualities that they don’t get enough appreciation for. My favorite things about these strange and wonderful creatures after the jump.
1. They’re get so excited about everything. Once a drug dog had diarrhea on the carpet in my classroom and my students found this beyond exciting. Like, they were hugging each other and laughing and jumping all around the room like bouncy balls. It was like the best thing that had ever happened in their entire lives. Meanwhile, I was freaking out about how to get the shit stain out of the carpet. But being surrounded with this kind of excitement, even over the crappy stuff, makes you remember not to take life too seriously.
2. They’ll crack you up. Jokes, jokes and more jokes. Teenagers are joke fiends. They’ll tell jokes. They’ll remember your jokes. They’ll laugh at anything they can possibly laugh at. Even if it’s not funny at all. They’ll whip out their cell phones and record video footage of you when you accidentally say “FUCK” because a weird bug you’ve never seen before crawls across your foot during parent orientation night. True story. It was called a Jerusalem cricket and it is, to date, the most vial thing I have ever seen. I think one of my students is saving the footage in an archive somewhere. Hmmm. I gotta find that.
3. They’re always looking for ways to break the rules. At that age, girls are irreverent like nobody’s business. They’re pushing every boundary, looking for every loophole. You’re not supposed to tell them this when you’re the one enforcing the rules, but FUCK YES! Rule breaking (in a positive and constructive way) is what will make them a kick ass women when they grow up. If I could go back in time and not be their teacher, I would tell them to never stop searching for that clause that will allow them to put on eyeliner during class without getting written up.
4. They have the shortest memories of all time. This is really bad when it comes to turning homework in on time, really good when it comes to interpersonal relations. They’ll forget their permission slip, which will annoy you. But they’ll also forget the fight they had with you five minutes ago, which is a relief.
5. They’re the queens of gossip. If you need any information about what’s going on in pop culture, in the inner workings of the school, about who’s pregnant or who’s dating who this week, just ask your teenager. She’ll know EVERYTHING. How does she do it?
6. They’ll cry with you. If you laugh, they laugh. Conversely, if you cry, they cry. The day my boyfriend and I broke up and I showed up at work wearing a dark pair of sunglasses, the girls were the first ones to huddle around and sob with me. Because…
7. Sometimes they can be really sweet. Don’t tell them I told you, but my girls would do the sweetest things for me out-of-the-blue. Sometimes I’d walk into my class and find a love note waiting on my desk. Or one random day, a student would show up with a latte for me. They love to share too. They would always offer me a bite of their lunch (usually Flamin’ Hot Cheetohs so I passed). But still, it was the thought that counted. Although teenagers can be very self-involved, they can also be really giving in the pure way that exists before the world has shit all over you. Or the drug dog all over your carpet. It’s a beautiful thing, so let’s not give the teenage girls of this world so much flack.
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