“I think every teenager is a hero. When we are young we feel so much pain. Going to school is like going to war; people let you down all the time. Sometimes it’s very, very difficult to stay strong, but you have to.”
Every teenager feels pain, and as the quote I mentioned above states, young people feel so much pain. I don’t really know why, there might be a scientific explanation about it, but it’s just difficult to understand. Part of that pain is the feeling of having no one to talk to. I can relate to what Charlie had felt during those times in my teenage years. I had my own destructive and rebellious ways, although they were not as severe as Charlie’s. In my opinion, he had gone way overboard with the drugs. Sometimes, you would even forget that he’s still a freshman because of the way he expresses himself, not to mention all the (illegal) things he did. Teenagers tend to be blind when it comes to people offering to help them and usually, they “see” the support they’re looking for in the wrong people. They do not realize this at that time because this is the support and help that they want, not what they need.
Again, I am not the most articulate person I know. My words jumble and at times I don’t make sense. I still agree that freely expressing all your thoughts, emotions, fears and hopes into words, written or spoken, is the best way to start dealing with them. Letters and notes help to make these thoughts tangible so that one can “pour” them out of their brain without losing them. Connecting with others through the same can help jumpstart the coping process. Charlie felt that he had no one to talk to, so he wrote letters so that he could have one. Charlie’s letters contained everything he could not say in person. It was his way of pouring out his problems. He had an outlet.
For me, it wasn’t difficult to reach out and make new friends in high school, even though I was a new student. I would like to think that I was friendly for other people to be friends with me. Taking into consideration Charlie’s outlook and behavior during the start of the novel, he definitely had a hard time making friends with other people. He had to be taken under the wings of students who were older than him, although that wasn’t much of a problem since I think that Charlie seems to think more maturely than people his age. Again, it wasn’t much of difference for me when I made friends in college. People were pretty much the same although there were more new faces, but the familiar faces were still dominant. I studied in the same university so making friends wasn’t difficult at all. I guess it would be different in another country like the United States where one would have to move to a different location with different people. One would have to make an effort to gain a whole new set of friends in college.
After reading the novel, I think that I might have changed my opinion about this one. I no longer think that adults forget what a crush means to a teenager, I think that adults just get over it. There’s a difference. I think that when you’re a teenager, you don’t have a lot of responsibilities to think of. That’s why when a teenager has a crush, it absolutely takes over everything. There is such a huge intensity because it’s the only thing that they have to focus on other than schoolwork, more than that even. Adults have more responsibilities in life and more to think about. A crush would have less impact since it would fall waaaaay down the list of priorities. Sometimes, it just gets kicked out of the list. The feeling is still there, it’s not forgotten; it just doesn’t take over.
I finally understood what this statement means after I read the novel. I think that the dangers of drug use are never exaggerated. Drugs are very dangerous. Teenagers should know that just because they don’t experience the bad side effects then and there, they’re sure to suffer the consequences for it later in life. Charlie had a very bad experience with LSD and he was lucky that he did not suffer long term consequences. Although, it was still very bad that he was smoking pot but he did manage to get over it. Personally, I drink occasionally and I smoke, but taking drugs is where I draw the line.
I would still agree that you’re first serious kiss should be with the one you love and you’d be very lucky if that happened and it’s true love, not just a sudden surge of emotion. A kiss is the most common expression of love. First kisses don’t exactly turn out that way and a first kiss is something you will never have again. In the book, Charlie was lucky that his first kiss was with someone he had feelings for. However, she just kissed him for the sake of doing so. She did not feel the same way and that doesn’t seem so good either.
If adults knew what happened at the parties that Charlie had attended, they would be petrified! Shocked would only be an understatement. All those drugs, alcohol, and sex would be the death of their parents. And to think that most of them might have been underage. In my opinion, parties in the States or other countries are way different from the parties that we’re used to here in the Philippines. Some parties may have all these three but it’s not very common. Filipino teens might just drown themselves in alcohol. Again, parents who have a closer age gap to their children might have experienced a slightly similar party scene than parents who have a bigger age gap.
As I have mentioned before, experience will always be the best teacher. Experiencing things teaches lessons that books will only show but not explain. There will always be a different feeling when you bungee jump rather than just reading about it in a story. Experiences, whether good or bad, build character and make a person stronger. Reading is good, but it will only develop the mind, not the soul. However, there are some experiences that one might never be able to go through, and that is where reading becomes important. It gives us a preview about things that we cannot experience, like living through World War II. A teenager, or any other person, would have the utmost edge if he/she is both book smart and street smart.
Being involved sexually when you are still a teenage definitely makes life more confusing and difficult. After your first sexual encounter, there is definitely no more going back to that state of innocence. I think that when you get involved with someone sexually, you are giving a part of yourself to them, a part you may never get back. A teenager who does that for the first time would have a very difficult time trying to deal with all the emotions.
I still stand my first opinion that the closeness of a family really does depend on the effort one puts into the relationship, whether it be with your parents or your siblings. The most obvious development of this relationship could be seen between Charlie and his sister. Throughout the novel, they have gone from being distant to close siblings because of one problem that they both worked on together to deal with. They have been by each other’s side. For me, relationships take effort, even ones within the family. Love comes naturally but respect and trust have to be given to be earned. Those are the things important in every relationship.