Toggle Menu
  1. Home/
  2. Life/

The tricky teenage brain


Teenage years are typically known for being a time of confusion; you’re not yet allowed to do all the ‘adult’ things but having childlike behavior is also out of the question. Society is changing. Being a teenager in today’s society isn’t quite the same as what it was a few generations back.

If you’re a parent of teenagers, you may witness how behaviours and attitudes can drastically change once they hit that certain point. It can feel like a roller coaster. “Am I meant to ask them about this?” “Do I give them space?” It can feel hard to know how to address typical teenage issues, especially if your mind is no longer that of a teenager.

And if your a teenager, you may think the world is nuts, that everything is conspiring against you. You may wake up every morning as though it’s a fight; you against the world.


It’s true; today’s society is not what it used to be. Growing up in the previous generation had it’s own complexities. Yet, as society evolves, we tend to be faced with different problems too.

The ‘stageoflife’ website has some statistics surrounding these topics…

  • 95% of teens have said they felt inferior at some point in their lives. The most common reason why was down to appearance with it being 59%.
  • 90% of students say they have emotional scars.
  • 63% of teens are unsure of who they are.
  • 66% of teenagers don’t feel that others see them for who truly are.

The development in technology e.g iPhones, iPads can drastically change our way of life. Access to these technological gadgets enable young people the potential to scroll through Instagram, check up on celebrities tweets, learn how to master the art of ‘contouring’ on Youtube and so on.

In 2010, the Pew Research center released statistics on teens and their internet usage…For example, 92% of teenagers said they go online at least once a day. 59% said how they go online ‘several’ times a day thus leaving a small 8% who resist going online daily.

The internet allows us to learn new things and catch up on current events. It can help us feel less isolated as we know we have the opportunity to watch other peoples lives through a screen. Funny Youtube videos offer the possibility of laughing after a hard day.

Sometimes, young people can be impressionable. The lives of which are open for viewing on the internet can cause young people to draw comparisons between themselves and the people they don’t actually know personally. Not only this, but internet usage also opens doors to potential bullying. Bullying doesn’t only exist in school or in the park. If you have a phone, there is potential for bullying to occur, anytime, anywhere.

Here are some statistics from reported by The Halford County Examiner which can support the previous information given…

  • Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online.
  • Only 1 in 10 teens tell their parents if they’ve been a victim of cyber bullying.
  • About 1 in 5 teens have sent or received sexually suggestive or nude photos of themselves to others.
  • Research also shows how girls are somewhat more likely than to be involved in cyber bullying.

Outward differences you may see in teenagers, e.g. armpit hair or spots, are brought on by a spike of hormones. Testosterone and Oestrogen, for example, increases during puberty. Both of these hormones are often referred to as ‘sex hormones.’ Testosterone, in particular, can influence a sex drive. According to the umrc website, the brain’s prefrontal cortex, seen as the ‘rational’ part of the brain, isn’t developed until the age of 25. The prefrontal cortex is said to be responsible for problem solving and having good judgement.

Now let’s add exams to the mix…

In England, students typically take exams at the age of 15/16. These results then somewhat determine what you can do next in terms of A levels or whatever it is you want to do. Exams can be a stressful, confusing time for anyone. During late teen years you may also have to decide where you want to study or if you do want to go to university.

The confusing times of which you may go through during your teenage years don’t have to determine your entire life. You will keep growing and changing as you come to terms with the fact that everything will work out.

Whether you’re a teenager or not- there are many helplines available to support you during the hard times. You don’t need to feel ashamed to open up.

Imogen Partridge