THE SOCIAL DANGERS YOUTHS FACE AT ADOLESCENCE
The word adolescence is derived from Latin word “Adolescence’’ which means ‘’to grow up’. It is a transitional stage of physical and psychological human development which generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood. This stage is closely associated with the teenage characteristics. Biologically, this physical transition is marked with the onset of changes in height, sex organs, weight and muscle mass and also changes in brain structure and organization. Socially, adolescence period is seen as a period of preparation for adult role, associated with change in the ability to think abstractly and multi-dimensionally? This period range from 10-18- or 21 years old.
WHO IS AN ADOLESCENT?
An adolescent is one who is developing into adulthood; one who falls between the ages of 10-21.
WHAT IS THE BEAUTY BEHIND THIS STAGE OF LIFE
A great value is placed on this stage of life. It is the prime stage in every human life. It is the stage where everything concerning human life is developing and ready for exploration. At this stage, the child begins to grow into becoming an adult full of strength and zeal. The girl child becomes ready and conscious of beauty and admirations both from relatives and the opposite sex. The child’s level of zeal to learn and adapt to changes and innovations is at its peak at this stage. The beauty and value of this stage of life can’t be over emphasis, it is where the beauty of life and the pride of living manifests openly. That is why most people feel that life after adolescence stage is the secondary life. The reason behind this statement is that this stage is where the strong foundation of love, acceptance, life, will, carrier, and the future are being built to serve through that stage of life. No wonder Sarah Addison Allen wrote in her book – The girl after the moon “adolescence is like having only enough light to see the steep directly in front of you’’.
THE CHALLENGES /DANGERS OF ADOLESCENCE.
As beautiful as adolescence stage is, there are still dangers, challenges and risk possibly faced by those that fall under this stage. These possible challenges or dangers occur as a result of the fact that adolescence stage includes a stage of searching for economic, emotional, social and psychological independence. It is a time for individuals to operate in a more mature and complete level, to communicate with others, trust and learn from them. This is a stage where influence has a lot to do in one’s life. These will lead to the onset of the list of possible challenges usually faced by an adolescent. We shall use Arochukwu adolescents as a case study.
THE SOCIAL CHALLENGES FACED IN ADOLESCENCE AGE.
This challenges include:
SEARCH FOR IDENTITY: This means the quest to belong and to be accepted in the society you find yourself in. When a child has a wrong definition of what it actually means to belong and be accepted in the society, he or she will be cut in the crossfire of deceit and conflict of influence.
This situation is seen within the upcoming adults of Arochukwu. Taking most young girls as an example, they believe that the highest status one can attend in life is a measure of her materialistic nature. They seek to be identified by their perfect ability in fashion combination and beauty, while intellectual ability is secondary and a non-compulsory status to attend in life. I was shocked at the expression of a young lady who at a mere look at her, will give you reasons to define her as an epitome of beauty .When I and my brother walked up to her for a chat, so sad, she could not express herself in good English language. On further inquiry, we found out that she was a drop out with the reason of lack of finance but yet, with a perfect combination of wears not less than N5000 worth. What a misuse of priority among our youths.
The next social challenge faced by Arochukwu youths is seeking for more independence. This is likely to influence the decisions the child make and the relationship he or she keeps with both family and friends. He sees himself as being capable of handling any outcome of his actions and therefore seeks to be more free and independent in taking personal decisions. When not being watched and controlled by parents or guidance, he could do or take decisions that can be damaging to his future. This situation is perfectly being experienced in Arochukwu kingdom, where the youths see themselves as full grown-ups, both in will and actions. They feel they are matured enough to take any action concerning their lives, the parents and elders are seen as a third party and are therefore not needed to give directions or make contributions concerning whatever that is going on with them. This though at personal willpower or personal decision ability among the youths has led to tarnished dreams, failure in expectation and regret generally. This can be comprehensively seen among our young girls whom in the fight and quest to have total control of will have ended up becoming untimely mothers, school dropout and nuisance in the society. Record has it that the rate of girls ranging from 12 and above with unwanted pregnancy increases greatly while the number of children that are born by under-aged mothers are almost constituting the kingdom. The beauty of the kingdom is almost going down the drain and Arochukwu is battling to regain its glorious past. Where do we go from here?
THE REMEDY TO THE DANGERS.
In as much as the young child feels and seeks for independence, the parents still have to show them much love, friendliness, care and control. No matter how they feel or behave, it is not enough reason to leave them to the hands of fate. If parents and guidance can give the child enough reason to trust and build the foundation of friendship with them, I think the child’s way of reasoning will change for better and the rate of challenge he or she is facing will be reduced all for the good of the child and for the wellbeing of Arochukwu kingdom.
Readers’ thoughts and reactions are welcome! – Editor