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Teen, teenager, teens all this are definitions used to refer to people in the age group of 13 to 19 years old. Why the word teen? When I was young, I always wondered what would it be like being a teenager. Will it be cool, awesome? Something I have never experienced before? This topic is always pondering in my head. I rained questions on my mother and father but I only will get the answer of "You'll know". I never could wait. Teenager life seem so curious to me, ever since I knew about it. As I reached standard 5, the excitement resurfaced. "Boy, 2 more years, can't time go faster?" I always asked myself. After my final year in Standard 6, I was very excited. My friends and I were finally going to become teenagers, enter secondary school, and most important, to have first hand experience about teenage life. On my 13th birthday, I was really enthusiastic. "Now this is what you've waited for, teen life" my father told me on my birthday. "This time it won't be you'll know, it'll be I know."

Now even as I sit here writing, I tend to think about what has happened and what have I achieved in my past 2 years of teen life. I’ve entered secondary school, made new friends and studying in an environment far different from my primary days. When I was in primary school, I was one of the oldest in my school. I never had to worry. There wasn’t going to be any gangsterism or bullying happening in the school compound. In other words, teenage life has been a new chapter or a step forward in life for me. Teen life is the time where we carve for ourselves what we think we want to be in the future. No doubt there are duties during our teenager life, we still have to have fun. In fact, teenagers are the group who has the most fun. Most teenagers nowadays are up to all kinds of things. During my free time I like to surf the net while my friends like to read fashion-magazines, go to shopping malls, online chit chatting and lots more. Most of my friends are very fashion minded. Teenagers like to have style, look good and be cool. Overall, we prefer doing all kinds of stuff rather than studying. In school, we like to be well known among students, be known for what we know and lots more.

However, there are the ups and downs of teenage life. Living as a teenager we are usually not sure about what must we do, and how should we act. Sometimes, we irritate our parents and get scolding not even knowing why. Or maybe sometimes we are told that we are not allowed to do these and that from our parents. For instance, my friends asked me out to Sunway Pyramid. I insisted on going alone by taxi but my parents will not allow. Instead, they followed me there and made sure I was with my friends before they went home. “What a way to meet my friends” I’d always mumble. As teenagers we always think that we are old enough to do what we want. We don’t want our friends to think that we are chicken, afraid. We like to be taught as someone brace and fearless. I once had the same concept, thinking that my parents always thought I was weak and not independent. After some deep thinking, after many quarrels with my parents, I finally understood. To us, we may be almighty, untouchable, independent and capable of achieving what we desire. In contrast, to our parents, we are precious jewel, which could be dented or have a scratch easily at anytime anywhere. We are like a piece of jewel not molded into any shape. They want us to be the best, always safe and not learning any evil in the outside world. Wow, being a teenager sure means lots of troubles. Well, no!

As I’ve said before, there are lots of enjoyments for a teenager. Mixing around with my friends, talking or chatting with them makes me really happy. For an energetic teenager like me, what I fear most is having no friends and being lonely. You may disagree with me, but being in school is being with your friends at ease. We chat, play games, have fun and get to know more people. By interacting with people, we won’t feel lonely or unwanted. The other day, a girl walked passed me and said, “It’s great having a friend like you”. Wow! I couldn’t sleep that night. It wasn’t the fact that a girl had told me this but it was the feeling of being wanted, being welcomed and being notice. All these are little joys in our life, which we seldom notice.

As teenagers, life does not stop there. We always tend to look for something new. Humans have always sought to improve. So, I don’t see anything wrong in doing it. If we feel that there are problems, we have to find the source of our problems and discuss or talk with someone that is trustworthy. They can be our parents, teachers or someone that are more elderly. Some teens have serious problems like smoking, taking drugs and so on while others may have only minor problems like facing stress during exams. Problems aren’t so bad. It is how we face it. For example, exams. The worst we think exams are, the worst it will become. Major exams, like the PMR and SPM are arranged by the government to shape us up into brighter and smarter teens. It isn’t meant to give us more stress or plainly there to be a pain in the ass. Besides that, I have friends who have problems with the way they grow. They worry about puberty and how to solve this problem. They complain about being shy and not knowing what to do, when their body grows. I too had this problem until I went for E-RHAM.

E-RHAM is something special I encountered by chance. E-RHAM was organized to help teens to understand our body and not to fear about it. At first, we had it during our PJ classes. At first, I wasn’t very fond about it because I couldn’t play football. As the time passed, I started to enjoy it. “Maybe it isn’t that bad after all” I told myself. My friends told me I was a fool for enjoying it, but I just smiled and told them to look on the bright side of it. Then there was the online chatting for E-RHAM. I was surprised about the amount of people entering it. I was curious and excited, so I decided to join. My first E-RHAM class was exciting with my teacher Piaro teaching us. At first, we were a bit shy, but then we started to get used to it. “Wow! We never have this before, have we?” One day my friend told me. My E-RHAM chatting group is on 27 August 2003. Unfortunately, the computers in my school weren’t functioning well, so the programme was delayed by one day. On Thursday, my friends and I were excited. After being settled into each of our computers, we started the programme. By using the Internet, we could interact with girls from other schools. We really enjoyed the session. Although we were supposed to learn about our bodies, we didn’t miss the chance of getting to know each other. In fact, we spent most of our time making friends. I made many friends, which I’m quite proud. E-RHAM helped me to understand my body and not to fear about it. I believe many teens come across the same question. Their body grow and changes happen to them and so on. By entering E-RHAM programme, I finally understand my body better. A question I’ve never been able to answer. Another change I’ve noticed after encountering this programme is the improvement on my character and attitude. In the past, I’ve never really dared to think about my body and how will it change. I never really had any respect for girls. E-RHAM has changed all this.

Teenagers are the future of the world. Without us, what is the future of our country? Being in a fast developing society, we teens need to know what is wrong and what is right. I’ve always thought about being famous and successful in the future. Well thing can actually happen. It all starts from now. The years of teenage life is where we understand ourselves, the community and our duties in the future, before taking a new step forward.

Adrian Lim Jann Kwei
Sekolah Menengah USJ 13, Subang Jaya

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