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My First Glimpse At Real Teenage Life

Do you know those 80’s/90’s rom-coms that were usually about high school or college students? There are still movies like those today. There are movies that show how much the times have changed and the cultures and trends that teenagers live in and follow. There are movies that depict the actual working mind of a teenager in response to different stimuli along with everyday occurrences. There are movies that could truly attest to the fact that teenagers are so modern and advanced, no matter what year they were teenagers in. They were simply that to me- movies. Nothing more than just scripted assumptions and exaggerations of teenage life. It never crossed my mind that I would be living the reality of a teenager-centered movie and yet, there I was, one night, at a sort-of-party.

The party had been in planning for a couple of weeks, but it wasn’t just any party. It was the type of party that got you into trouble at school and at home. The party would include me and my friends plus some boys that we had never met. I realize that, to some, the idea of “boys” isn’t a big deal and shouldn’t even be something that I had to mention, but when one comes from a sheltered family with strict rules to follow, one finds themselves somewhat fascinated (for the lack of a better word) by the concept of boys and dating and kissing and all that jazz. I found myself in a situation in which I was the “prude”- as the mean girls of a movie would call someone like me.

That night, my friends and I found ourselves in an unfortunate situation because the guys we had invited had bailed on us. After messaging back and forth on who would go, none of them showed up. That didn’t necessarily bother me; I was more bothered by the fact that we had nothing to do and my friends could do anything, which they obviously did. We had all previously agreed that there would be no alcohol since boys were coming, but as mentioned before, none of them had arrived. As a result, three of my friends went out and bought drinks. They didn’t get asked for I.D., which was strange to me. And so, the drinking ensued with the exception of myself and another girl. I drank my water as my friends poured beer into their cups. I stared at the scene before me and thought about how peculiar the concept of underage drinking was to me. I knew of teenagers and their tendencies to break rules and do whatever they wanted, but I never thought of finding myself seeing it unfold in front of me. I marveled at their ability to be confident in the fact that their parents would not find out a thing even though they were tipsy a few drinks in. I don’t know how long they stayed or if they finished their drinks, but I still kept wondering about the fact that this was not their first drink and I hadn’t even had mine; about the fact that they had had their first kiss and I was still figuring out how to properly talk to a guy; about the possibility of me having a drink along with them.

All in all, I think the purpose of me sharing this story is to give people an insight into the life of someone who isn’t as outgoing or carefree or able to take risks as most of the teenagers these days are. This is an insight into the mind of someone who has so much more to learn about the world but is already so terrified of it and careful around it. This is an insight into the first night that I saw what it was like to be a teenager and be all the qualities that movies and adults would describe these teens to be. This is an insight into the moment I realized that those movies weren’t all fiction; I realized that those scenes were actually happening, but it didn’t mean that I had to take part in all of it. I didn’t have to take a drink;  I chose to stay sober. I didn’t have to be so consumed with dating and have my first kiss; I chose not to do those things and you can choose not to do any of these things too. I’m not saying that doing these things means you’re a bad person. I’m saying that no one should have to fall under peer pressure or do things that they’re not comfortable with because, at the end of the day, you have to be able to look in the mirror and be happy with the choices you’ve made and the person you are.

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Gabrielle Mendoza
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gabby is a 16 year old writer and occasional musician. gabby is probably interested in the same TV show, music, movie, video game or artist as you are. knock knock. who's there?

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