For most adolescents and young people, growing up is all about finding your place in life. This includes which clique you belong in and what friends you surround yourself with. Well what if you really don’t have any friends and you don’t really belong to a certain clique? What if you don’t really know who you are and what you want out of life? Sounds pretty rough but a lot of adolescents go through the stage of self identity. This is a period of figuring out life and what you want. In today’s society, most young people have no clue who they are so they follow peers and pretend to people that their cliques want them to be, instead of being what you really want to be. Challenges for adolescents are everywhere, some people just go about it in different ways.
Some adolescents are so desperate for acceptance and to be a part of a particular clique that they will go to great lengths. In the opening scene of A Walk to Remember, Landon Carter and his group of friends pressure Clay to jump off of a bridge just to join the group. “OK, here’s the deal. You’re gonna jump from up there into here. That’s it. Then you’re one of us.” Landon said. This was Clay’s initiation into their group. This is pretty extreme but Clay was longing for friends that he was going to do it. They walk to the top of the bridge and start talking, but as Clay was looking over the bridge into the “water”, Landon pushed him off! Long story short the body of “water” was just a mud hole a couple inches deep, meaningless to say, Clay was hospitalized for a while.
This is just one scene in the movie that provides an example of the many challenges that adolescents go through on a day to day basis. Challenges are classified into three main categories: biological, cognitive, and psychological. Throughout the movie, Landon is faced with challenges, mainly peer pressure, because he falls in love with a girl that his friends make fun of. So both Jamie and Landon are mocked at, but what’s remarkable is how they pay no attention to that at all. Their challenges together as a couple are mainly psychological but in the end Jamie does have some biological problems.
The adolescents age is the “awkward period” or the “no man’s land” for young people, this is due to the fact of growing up. Everyone has relied on their parents since they were born, whether it was to feed them, clothe them, or just to simply raise them. Adolescence is one of the first stages of moving away from reliance on other people, it’s the first time for an adolescent to become independent. Most young people simply don’t know what to do or how to handle situations because of all the freedom they now have so they look to fellow peers for answers, but this is when they start getting in trouble. They are out in the world, growing up and just exploring, trying to figure who they are in life. The big issue is, when the freedom and independence comes along, so does responsibilities. The way people are shaped and molded into their character is not only by their parents but by the challenges they face as adolescents.
When growing most adolescents seek to find their own identity and beliefs, separate from their parents or caretakers. All of us have to a point in life where we disagree with our parents at some point whether its from what time our curfew should be or to who we want to hang out with and be around. Landon is this child, except he is more rebellious than you might think. All through high school Landon was a “troubled kid”, always up to no good and getting in trouble frequently. Most adolescent’s nature just as they get older, but others not some much, its people that change them. It wasn’t till Landon met a girl named Jamie. Like i said before about how they fell in love, but what changed Landon was her, she changed is life.
All adolescents long for acceptance and approval by some group or another, but by the end of the story Landon had completely changed his views on how people perceived him. That girl he used to mock and make fun of was now his best friend and he wasn’t afraid to show it, because of this he was also mocked and judge from his peers. He soon realized what was more important to him in life, he certainly moved away from his childish self and pursued a happier and more meaningful life. After all this Landon and Jamie continue living their life together, facing all the challenges of adolescence until Jamie…. this is a psychology paper not a summary of the book, but the main point is that Landon faced the same challenges most adolescents do. Peer pressure, anxiety, depression, and acceptance but not from a group anymore, but from Jamie.
In today’s complex society, new and old challenges are becoming more relevant and the ways to deal with the obstacles. Many escapes from the depression and anxiety of the adolescent age are eating and sleeping disorders, medicine of course, and in some extreme cases, death. This is all in the negative aspect, many adolescents have parents that care about their kids that help them as much as possible whether its spiritually, by doctors or just talking to them. Parenting and lifestyles that adolescents are brought up in significantly impact the way young people think, talk and act on a day to day basis. I am very blessed to have the parents i do as well as the relationship with God that I pursue, so all the challenges that are being faced are nothing because of the right background.