“You better pass those exams,” they say. Tommy told the guidance counsellor about the pressure everyone was putting on him. He told her that since he turned 16 years, everyone started warning him about life. Just last year, life was great.
Tommy played football, spent time with his friends, and his parents never complained about his lifestyle. All of a sudden, the complaints come every day. They tell him that he’s becoming a man and that after exams he’d better figure out what he is doing with his life.
Should I focus on my exams or getting a job?
Tommy came to the guidance counsellor for answers. “I am not sure what they want me to do. Should I focus on my studies now or getting a job after exams?” What a dilemma for a child! The counsellor suggested that Tommy should focus on his studies for now. “But, what next? If I pass, would they send me to a college but, if I fail would they throw me out of the house? Maybe, I should focus on getting a job. It sounds easier to do.”
Teenagers and the crossover
The age of adolescence has so many challenges. As if puberty wasn’t enough torture, now the teenager is faced with adulthood whether he is ready or not. Just like the awkward transition he went through from childhood to adolescence, he must now crossover to the phase of becoming a young adult even more prepared than before.
Usually, teenagers who act confused about their rapid changing environment live in denial and refuse to believe that life is not constant. They ask, “What happened to the world when everyone was nice to me?” Instead of facing the fact that they are growing up and should welcome new experiences, many teenagers fight it. In Tommy’s case, he tells the guidance counsellor that he is confused about what his parents want him to do. The truth is, Tommy needs to do what is required of a 16-year-old boy, which is to obtain a formal education before anything else. If he was doing this successfully, then his parents would not have been on his case.
How to focus on obtaining a formal education
A student who cannot focus on his or her school work needs to do one thing first. Eliminate all distractions that have nothing to do with school work. This may seem very difficult at first but it can actually be done in one minute. Take off your cell phone. Close off all social media tabs and leave open the school related tabs on the computer. Tell your parents to hold all calls for you that come through the house phone.
Once the distractions are gone, learn to study. If it’s something you are not accustomed doing, then expect to fall asleep every ten minutes. When you awake, start reading again. Try writing down things you read over and over. Practise this strategy every day until you get accustomed. It is guaranteed to work. Try it.