Time after time we’re told that our teenage years will be the time of our lives. It’s the time to experiment, have your first kiss, fall in love, drink your weight in goon, endure some pretty crazy shenanigans with your mates and most importantly, create some memories.

We finally get a taste of sweet freedom and we’re told that this feeling won’t last forever so we need make the most of it.

But what if you don’t know what this feels like? You might be sitting there asking yourself if you’re missing out on the pinnacle of Aussie youth culture. What if this is as good as it gets?

We have so many people shoving the idea that these years are the best times of our lives down our throat so it’s easy to think that maybe we aren’t reaching our full potential and if this is as good as it gets for us.

For a lot of us, the reality is that our teenage years can be the shittest time of our lives–and high school certainly doesn’t make it any better.

Losing some of your mates to petty high school drama is not unusual and some of us never find the best friend everyone seems to have. Without a solid crew, you can feel pretty lost and lonely at school.

I was 16 when I had a massive falling out with two of my best friends. I was sick of seeming like a third alternate to the two of them who only had time for each other; it felt like they only relied on me when the other one wasn’t available and that I was some sort of back up option.

I’d go home and overthink everything I did that day; what I did right to impress them or what I did wrong to upset them. It was an unhealthy dynamic and soon we all came to boiling point and said some pretty nasty shit about one another.

After three years of close friendship, we acted like strangers when we saw each other in the quad. Years worth of memories suddenly counted for nothing.

After losing two of my closest friends, I was alone. and, not only that, but I had to stay on top of school work and start to seriously consider what I wanted to study in my final two years in high school. I was stressed, alone and had no freakin’ idea what I wanted to do with my life.

Even though this was a shit time, it made me realise that despite what everyone was saying, your teenage years aren’t as good as it gets. When you’re at the lowest, you can only go up.

Eventually, I made new friendships with people I never thought I’d even hang out with. We stuck together through all of high school, motivating each other to do their best.

I got through all the exams and assignments and made it to my high school graduation. I got a little bit of an idea of what I wanted to do with my life and started at uni.

Years later, I look back on this and realise my teenage years weren’t as good as it gets.

I had so much time and opportunity ahead of me but I got caught up in the idea that I wasn’t make the most of what was meant to be the best years of my life. Turns out, your teenage years aren’t a true reflection of how the rest of your life is going to play out.

High school is just a tiny part of your entire life and while it’s great if you’re enjoying these years, if you’re not living the teenage dream it doesn’t mean everything else is destined to go downhill, trust me.