Why I hate being Fourteen

Written by Sarah McCulloch

Being fourteen-years of age really sucks. Let me tell you why. But beware: if you don't want to hear a rambling tale by a VERY pissed off teenager with a severe attitude problem, skip this article.

When you're fourteen, you're too young to drink, smoke, have sex, drive (not that this really stops any of my friends, but it's the principle, dammit) and you're too old to get discounts on stuff, like at Little Chefs or buy Happy Meals at McDonalds, courtesy of your parents.

So what can you do now you're at such a charming age? You can buy a meal in a pub. Well, that's fucking wonderful isn't it? Oh, and I can risk my life next time I go horse riding, because it is no longer mandatory to wear a helmet. Bloody brilliant. What a fantastic country I live in.

Another bad reason for being fourteen is that school is compulsory. Before everyone born before 1970 starts screaming about how education is a great thing and how back in your day, you were lucky to know your alphabet, I know. Regardless of what I say to my teachers, I am grateful that I'm being taught to pass some meaningless exams so I have a better shot in life than everyone else who's doing the exact same thing.

Ok, that was a wee bit sarcastic, but I am grateful. Really. But anyway, the reason I hate school is not just because I'm being bred to be a happy little consumer, it's because you are forced to consort with people you don't like, so the government can reach its targets on "Pastoral Care", or if it can't, it'll change the rules so it does. Welcome to New Labour, everyone.

My two so-called "best friends" have over the course of this month, proved themselves to be liars, cheats, completely unfeeling, judgmental, hypocritical, and practically every distasteful trait the English language has words for.

One of them (we'll call her A) is a homophobic pathological liar, who happens to have a major crush on someone she'll never get, and won't shut up about it. She never stops moving and dances (yes *dances*) everywhere. She is also scared of someone about four feet tall, an alpha female in the year above, and going out with the said crush. Sounds funny, and it was at first, because A was in denial, but now she realised she's in love with him (yup, true love at 14, *sigh*).

With a mess of teenage lovesick goo on one side, on the other I have a religious fundamentalist who's broken every biblical law except murder and adultery (who will now be called R). Seriously, you name it, she does it on a regular basis, whilst claiming to follow God. So much for the age of innocence.

Ab out two months ago, she got herself a boyfriend (D), and because of the no-sex-before-marriage thing she's got going on (14 years old, and her greatest ambition is to get married and start pumping out babies), it was big news. It was also big news when she dumped him about a month later. So, two days ago, I'm walking down by the changing rooms on the way to English, and I mention something about D to R, who tells me (in secrecy, but who in my class reads CoN, anyway? They're a bunch of losers) she never dumped him, but pretended to, to draw away attention. Wha?! This comes from the same person who had told me hours before that I was unsupportive of her search for God.

Hello? Can you fucking blame me?! This means either one of two things: 1. She is screwing with me for some sick perverted reason of her own, or 2. She has been lying convincingly for the past month about him. Either way, R has blown the last fuse, and I've had enough. Its bad having back-stabbing friends, but these guys twist the knife, take it out, hug you, pour salt in the wound, then stab you again, and there's fuck-all I can do about it, since I'm stuck with them for another four years.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is instalment number one as to why being fourteen sucks.