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The following excerpts are taken from TeenSpeak in the book 'GETTING REAL .. about growing up!' :

Adolescence is a time of breaking boundaries and rules, of finding out what is possible, finding yourself. It is the end of childhood, the end of your most impressionable time. It is perhaps the most difficult time for parents. I know it was for mine....
Mia (18)

Peer pressure plays a big part in the way you act in your first year at high school. Eager to please everyone, I tried to fit into this new thing the best I could. I was frightened I'd do something wrong. I had plenty on my mind. Occupied. There was change all around me. The way you act is only part of the pressure of being thirteen...

Drugs affected me and I think it was half their fault. I didn't even know it was happening. My girllfriend told me how much I'd changed. I got angry and depressed. The pot made me so paranoid. I wanted to kill myself. I thought there was nothing to live for. Things like: no one liked me - everyone had truned against me - when no one had.....
Derek (18)

I was 15 when I met this guy who was a haridresser. He could tell I was adopted and knew I was gay. That freaked me out. I was just coming to terms with being gay myself. He gave me his number. I rang and he invited me to his place - half an hour out of town. He said I looked tired. He kept asking me if I'd like to lie down and take my clothes off to be more comfortable....
Mike (24)

My first experience with real sex wasn't real! I was with a guy I didn't know.... I regretted it afterwards and it felt yukky...
Nancy (16)

My first expereince was with my high school love. My puppy love. We went out for a year and a half. We full on thought about it for six months. We knew what we were doing...
Dax (18)

My biggest problem has been that I thought everyone else had perfect sexual experiences. I thought I must be the only one who had funny feelings about it. Sexual relationships shouldn't be so hush hush. I'm now realising that other people have problems too. Making love is a learning experience. It takes practise. It takes time. It's not like in the movies. Fall into bed and everything is brilliant.

I think because of all the rubbish there is about sex, porn videos, sex-related violence, that sex becomes an unnatural ambition. Young males want to do it to know they can. Young females want to know they're attractive. Everyone does it before they're ready... Only since I've been in a committed relationship have I learned what sex is about. I have sex when it feels good in my body and in my heart.
Jessica (19)

I dreaded going to school each morning. I felt like I was crashing up against an almighty wall. So much so that I'd stay awake all night to make the time seem longer. I was desperately trying to hold on and to not being suicidal...
Lee (14)

I feel incredibly angry that we, the human race, have taken the Earth into our own hands without any consideration for any other life forms or beings. I feel disillusioned because I don't know why we destroy and chop and kill. I feel frustrated that I cannot right all the wrongs and take back all the hurt.

I do feel hopeful at the growing awareness on this planet, at all the people who are doing good and protecting our world. I feel a passionate need to do something for the good of all people. I desperately want to help save this world, to spread goodness and happiness and love.
Will (16)

I feel hope because the people who have discovered love are radiating that energy and will transform all the unhappy people.
Bradley (16)

'GETTING REAL... about growing up!' is available in the gift shop. Click to go to the order page.