Annoying things about being a teenage girl

As women get older and life becomes inundated with responsibilities — work, relationships, bills — it's easy to daydream of the trouble-free days of being a teenager. Ah, who didn't love sleeping in until noon, looking fresh-faced without the need for concealer, and not having to worry about keeping up with a mortgage or ever-escalating rent?

But the truth is, being a teenage girl isn't all that easy. As much as I enjoyed my high school years (for the most part, anyway), I wouldn't give back the wisdom and self-confidence I've built up in the years since for the chance to go back to girl squads, first loves, and Friday night football games. In fact, neither would a lot of women. Here are the most annoying things about being a teenage girl as recalled by ladies at many different stages of life.

To the teenage girls of today: we know your struggle.

Not being taken seriously

I love when people ask for my opinion. Come to think of it, it might even be part of the reason I became a writer. Having someone care about your ideas feels incredibly validating. As a teenage girl, however, having your point of view taken to heart — especially by adults — doesn't happen often enough. 

"My opinion is always overlooked because of my age," 17-year-old recording artist Katelyn Macs, told me in an interview. "People feel the longer you have lived the more you know, but I don't believe that's always true."

Developing early

For any teenage girl who's dying to look older, developing breasts early sounds like a dream come true. But for Nathalie Farfan, co-founder of the podcast Morado Lens, having a large chest was among the most annoying parts of life as a teen. "All the cat calling from old men," she shared with me on Facebook. "And teasing from boys my age saying they were fake."  

Celebs like Kim Kardashian West have also been open on the struggles of developing early, "Every night I would sit in the bath and cry, I prayed my boobs would stop growing," she said in an interview with Elle. "It's taken me a long time to be happy with my body and for my confidence to grow to what it is today." 

Feeling all the feels

When I was teenager, everything felt so tragic. Every argument with my mom, every boy who didn't like me, every friend who "forgot" to call me back the night before was enough to leave me curled up in my room listening to a sad, late-90s song by Brandy. And I wasn't alone. 

"I remember having so many big feelings," Denver-based therapist Bethany Raab told me in an interview. "When I was angry it was BIG anger. Same with sadness, excitement and of course, thinking I was in love."

She also told me this is very common among her patients, saying, "Many of the young women I work with seem to come across the same problem."

Being called dramatic

Worse than feeling so many intense emotions, Raab says, is being labeled "dramatic" because of them. "Teen girls may appear dramatic to an outside observer but really, these big feelings are an important part of their development," she told me. "They need to be able to feel their feelings and be supported by the close adults in their lives."

It turns out feeling intense emotions can actually be beneficial, according to Raab, helping teen girls learn how to trust others and solve conflicts. "While these emotions can be draining for other people, I'd like to lovingly suggest that the adults in the lives of teen girls remember that these are a natural (and typical/normal) part of growing up for girls," said Raab.

Not measuring up (literally)

Teen years can be a totally uncomfortable time for our bodies. With so many changes going on, it can be easy to feel self conscious over anything. For Judy Gaman, co-author of Stay Young: 10 Proven Steps to Ultimate Healthit was her height.

"As a teenage girl I was short, under five feet, and often teased about my size," she told me. This caused her to act out in a not-so-nice manner. "I regret that I used bad language and put up a wall around my emotions." 

Luckily, as an adult, mother, and wife, Gaman says she now feels calm and fulfilled, and is able to live by example. "My biggest blessing is that who I was at 18 does not define who I am at 47," she said. "I am still just five feet tall, but my heart loves like I'm seven feet tall."

Mean girls

While teenage emotions turn some of us into mean girls, other girls are left feeling the wrath. "Mean girls were an obstacle," Jackelyn Pericich-Insignares, a South Florida-based ad executive, shared with me on Facebook. "They were the ones that made fun of you if you were not wearing the latest styles. Or, who would tell the boy you liked that you liked him when it was clearly a secret." It's too bad we can't all come out of it at the end the way Cady did, but then again, maybe we don't want to.

Feeling shy

Being an introverted adult can be challenging, but being an introverted teenager can be a total hassle. "I was so shy as a teenager," Aurora Estrada, a marketing professional in New York City, told me on Facebook. "I would blush at every little thing — it was so embarrassing!" 

Estrada said her shyness was so intense that a teacher affectionately nicknamed her "Little Tomato" because of how red she'd get when addressed in front of the whole class. "Every guy that would talk to me would also make me blush, regardless of whether or not I even thought he was cute." 

Periods

Cramps, bloating, breakouts, mood swings  — no, I'm not describing a terrible disease, just everyday life for a teenage girl on her period. Not only is getting used to your menstrual cycle totally uncomfortable (and often painful), it can be completely mortifying if it catches you off guard. 

Just ask Miley Cyrus, who got her first period while on the set of Hannah Montana, wearing white pants. "It was so embarrassing, but I couldn't leave," she told Marie Claire. "And I was crying, begging my mom, 'You're going to have to put the tampon in. I have to be on set.'" Yikes! And let's not even mention the nightmare of trying to use a tampon for the first time. 

Feeling alone

As a teenage girl with a world of emotion on your shoulder, it's easy to feel left out or misunderstood. It's also easy to overlook all of your own amazing qualities and the great things about your life. "As a teenager, I felt like everyone's life was cooler than mine, which resulted in a lot of isolation," Journalist Araceli Cruz Belz told me on Facebook. The upside, she said, was many, many hours consumed with music and writing. "Overall I was doing too much self-analysis, which has also followed me into adulthood!"

This too shall pass

Being a teenage girl is no walk in the park. The good news, though, is that it's a phase that every woman goes through and, if we're lucky, leaves us a bit stronger and wiser once we've made it through to the other side. Until then, "Relax and enjoy life as it comes to you," said Macs. 

Marlene Herrera, a South Florida-based photographer, also notes that we should try not to focus too much on how others may perceive us. "Caring too much about what others thought of me affected my self-esteem," she told me. "Looking back, it doesn't matter if a boy didn't like me or if I was judged by other girls for what I was wearing. Building a positive self-image, despite the pressures of teen life is very important."