Looking back in life: what has been your hardest stage of life?I think that, believe it or not, my hardest stage of life was during my teenage years. Never before, and never again, did I ever feel...

Looking back in life: what has been your hardest stage of life?

I think that, believe it or not, my hardest stage of life was during my teenage years.

Never before, and never again, did I ever feel so:

a) ugly, b) isolated, c) fat, d) friendless, e) unmotivated,  f) did I say ugly?, g) etc. 

In fact, not even throughout my divorce did I feel nearly as horrid about myself like I did when I was a teenager. I am sure that it was a combination of hormones, bad (as in really BAD) nutrition, lack of good teachers, and a cluelessness about the future that only a teenager can feel. 

I think that this is the reason why, even though they can get on my last nerve, I try to take it easy on SOME teenagers whom I know must be feeling as bad as I did when I was their age. 

Expert Answers
litlady33 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think, in many ways, the hardest time of our life is the time we are living in. It's all a matter of perspective. When I was in college, I told myself that I wanted to go back to high school and relive it, knowing that things weren't nearly as stressful as I thought they were. Now, I look back on college and want to relive it, knowing that things weren't nearly as bad as I thought they were. I think that being an adult and having responsibilities is much harder than any other period of my life was; however, I'm sure later in life I will look back and realize that this wasn't as hard as I thought it was. 

Therefore, naturally, I would say that my current stage in life is hardest. I'm in my earliest years of teaching and I am planning a wedding. It's an incredibly happy time,  but also very stressful. I don't have the self-esteem issues I did in high school and I don't have the time management issues I did in college, but it's hard in different ways.

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am a mother of multiple children at once, and without question the hardest period of my life was the early years of being a mother.  I was constantly needed and there was never a moment of rest.  My husband was working crazy hours to pay for everything, and I was on my own most of the time.  Waking up every few hours to feed, change, or love on one of the children was exhausting.  I guess if the children were at different stages it would have been easier, but they went through everything at the same time.

Don't get me wrong, being a mother has been the most rewarding experience of my life, but I have never been as tired in my life as I was those first few years.

tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, many will say that the teenage years were the worst; but I did have a good support system at home so no matter what the evil girls at school did, I learned to rise above it as an individual.  That being said, I didn't feel that way during the divorce. The divorce was the worst thing to happen to me because I was verbally, mentally, and emotionally abused. I was torn down from the state of an independent, free-thinking woman to a creature of servitude and fear. As a single mom I was afraid, but I went back to my original support system and started over as a teacher (I had moved all over the country following someone else's dreams). And I found myself again.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The teenage years were the worst for me as well. Freshman and sophomore years in high school were a nearly constant struggle to find some sort of repose, some solidity to my sense of self-worth (which was weak and volatile at the time).

Things got better and kept getting better as I grew older and now, even in difficult times, I find that coping and keeping an even keel has become easier.

As a teenager everything feels important and, I'd say, dire. As an adult, we have enough experience to look at trouble as temporary and trust our ability to weather the proverbial storm.


bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I spent nine years under the supervision of a principal who had little respect for my talents or teaching abilities. She had little respect for any of her male teachers, and she made my life miserable for those nine long years. It was a bad teaching experience, coming after 10 wonderful years at a nearby school, but it made me strong just being able to survive her unprofessionalism and mean-spiritedness. Aside from some sorrowful times after the unexpected deaths of my brother and my best friend, the nine years under this terrible principal were the worst of my life.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't think it's the least bit strange that your teen years were the hardest.  I would think that is the case for a lot of people.  I mean, just the insecurity of it all and the uncertainty...  It's horrible.  Yeah, there's the feeling of adventure and of possibility.  But you have so little control of your life and you aren't really sure who you are or what you'll be or how much anyone outside your family will accept you.  For me, there's no question that the teen years were the hardest.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can empathize and commiserate with post #2 in the agony of working under a virulent and treacherous employer who seeks gender or racial revenge. Every minute that one is under this person is so horribly stressful and the job insecurity that one has because of them threatens one's family life as well. No one fully recovers from such experiences because one's health is often comprised by them. Fortunately, my experience was only for four years; I cannot imagine holding up for nine years!

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My twenties were even harder than my sort of dazed and oblivious teen years. I found myself in a career position I was ill-prepared for (probably because of the dazed and oblivious teen years!) and, at about 24, with a baby, too. I'm not really bright when it comes to how the world works ... and it really showed then ... I was out of my depth and over my head and more confused than ever (not to mention spectral presence of a less than stellar marriage decision).  

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The mid-teen years were probably the most difficult. As my outlook on life began to change I really didn't have much of a direction. I felt cut-off from what I'd always believed, without anything to take its place.

I also felt very self-conscious at this stage in life--it was difficult to accept myself the way I was. I was unsatisfied with myself but unable to be anything other than myself. It took a while to accept and become comfortable with that.

just-s | Student

No my teen years are the best years of my life...obviously after my childhood years....i think to have a good teenage life one should be put under peer pressure and be influenced by what goes on around you...rather while you are young and have the strength one should accomplish as much as possible those thing that you may not be able to accomplish when you are older or even old^_^

best advise:...enjoy every stage of your life to its fullest because you will not get a chance to have a teen life once it passed by;-)