Opinion: The Confidence Crisis—Teens Demean Themselves

Daniella Cressman

A lot of people I know have been beaten up or ostracized during high school. It's so normalized it's almost funny, except it's not, because verbal abuse can be a form of trauma to the soul, especially if one is not yet comfortable in their own skin.

Teenage angst is the ailment of most adolescents. It's probably the toughest time in your life, and nearly everyone is insecure, but that's why maybe we need to start being a little kinder to teenagers: Perhaps, if we are, they can be a little nicer to themselves and even more decent to other people.

Santiago Lacarta

After all, it's hard to be in a good place emotionally when the mere word "adolescent" sparks rage—or at the very least exasperation— in many of us.

Now, six years later as a high school sophomore, it seems as though every day when I walk into school, the self-deprecation of our generation is palpable. After struggling with an algebra equation, “I’m stupid” usually follows. While washing hands in the bathroom and looking in the mirror, “I’m ugly” spews in response. Even phrases that are thrown around as a joke or to make a situation lighter, such as saying “I hate myself” in an attempt to avoid embarrassment after making a mistake, shine a light into our collective subconscious and, therefore, what we truly think. —Maia Hillock-Katz

When you're a teenager, it's almost considered cool to hate yourself, as long as you're popular and everyone else hates themselves too.

It's time to change that: It's okay to love yourself if you're an adolescent going through all kinds of angst, and there's a lot of creativity that can come from that. It's so important to be extremely supportive, accepting, and mindful when you're with tennagers: A well-placed compliment will probably mean the world to them, even if they think they're "too cool" to tell you it does.

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM

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