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My holiday wish list doesn't include pressure
By: Lisa Hinchey, Booth Memorial High
St. John's, NF

Have you ever been at the mall and had security guards follow your every move? Have you ever done something that you knew was wrong just to become friends with someone? Have you ever had to spend your entire Christmas holidays studying for exams?

If you answered no to any of these questions, then you're obviously not a teenager, because these are some of the things that make up a teen's life: suspicion, peer pressure and lots of studying.

Whenever my friends and I go to the mall or go to a store, we're always followed by security guards, managers and store employees for no reason, except suspicion. I know that most people who shoplift are under the age of 18, and I know that the guards are just trying to do their jobs, but can they make it a little less obvious?

A few weeks ago, I was in a store at the mall for about two minutes just looking around when the manager asked me to either buy something or leave, so I told him he just lost a lot of business because I'd be sure to tell all my friends how he acted.

And it's like that at almost every store teens go to, and I really don't like being blamed for something I never did and would probably never do. So I guess I'll just have to wait a few more years until I can finally shop in peace.

No pressure
Everyone knows about teen peer pressure. Anybody who writes articles about teens always mentions peer pressure, but does anyone actually realize how hard it is to say no to a friend when they want you to do something?

Even if I know what they want me to do is wrong or stupid and that I'll probably get in trouble for doing it, anything is better than having everyone think you're a loser.

High school is hard enough with friends it's almost impossible without them.

And it's not just pressure to smoke or drink. There's pressure to skip a couple of classes every now and again, and to talk bad behind someone's back even if you know it's not true, and to wear the clothes that are in style even if you don't like them. This might seem easy to say no to, but trust me, they're not.

Christmas used to be my favourite time of year. It still is but ever since high school started, Christmas has become very different.

Now, instead of having fun I have to study almost nonstop for three weeks to get ready for exams. Teachers tell us to study every night, and I do, but I can't remember something I studied almost four months ago.

Some of my friends have six exams to write in five days. That is just too much. I know I need to do good in these exams so I can go to university, but I can't write and do good in that many exams in that amount of time it's just too much pressure.

Lots of people have pressure on them, especially at this time of year but they don't have to worry about being followed around the mall and doing good enough in exams to go to university.

So there it is, my life, and I know that when I'm 40 I'll probably wish to be back in high school again. But right now, I can't wait to get out.