The life of a teenager is a persistent battle.




This is because, as a teenager, it can seem as though you are constantly fighting. You fight with your parents, your brother, your boyfriend and your friends. You fight to make the grade, the team or the lead in the school play. You fight to get into the best colleges, to earn the most scholarships and to get the best after-school job. You fight to make your own choices; then you fight to keep yourself afloat once you have made them. You fight to do the right thing and to stand up for what you believe in, or you do the wrong thing and fight to not get caught.




Many people seem to believe that teenagers create conflict for themselves, perhaps in an attempt to get attention, but from what I have experienced, this is just simply not always the case.




Because the truth is that teenagers don't want to fight forever. But one question looms in their minds: When the fighting ceases, will they have survived the battle?




I have been fighting unintentionally for many years now, and at first, I was the most defiant and powerful warrior imaginable. I could argue endlessly, and fight for what I believed in to no end. Somehow it didn't matter whether what I was fighting for was important; winning seemed to be the only prize. I would fight tirelessly for the last word and then usually get it, but even when I "won" my fights, I would still only feel worse.




Perhaps this early taste of war accounts for why today I avoid fights like the plague. I make every effort to put off confrontation until it cannot be avoided for another moment &

which only makes the situation worse. Instead of fighting, I prefer biting my tongue and then crying later, figuring that somehow keeping quiet about how I feel is better. After all, how can arguing be helpful if no one leaves feeling better and instead they leave feeling much, much worse?




Sometimes confrontation about a subject is unavoidable. In such situations, I prefer to send casual this-is-how-I-feel e-mails or leave apologetic messages on unanswered machines instead of arguing. Not only do I prefer these indirect communications because they avoid quarreling, but also because in confrontations, I hate the person who I become. I get emotional and irrational, and in a desperate attempt to ward off additional hurt, I have also been known to use sarcasm as a vicious weapon &

a tactic that is despised by everyone, including myself. avoiding argument, I manage to avoid becoming someone who I don't want to believe I can become.




So there you have it. Despite popular opinion, not all teenagers enjoy arguing. Conflict doesn't satisfy the needs of teenagers, it just seems to be a constant hurdle in our everyday lives. Some of us choose to face up to these conflicts, some choose to defy them; and others choose to ignore that conflict exists.




I prefer the latter, and continue to hope that this decision won't someday blow up in my face.




is a member of the Ashland High School Class of 2007.