The developmental teenage years are extremely confusing and exasperating for any teen. The expectations are high, the pressure is unbearable, and the support is at a bare minimum. Parents and guardians can only understand teens up to a certain extent, after which teens seek friendship more than guidance. They need relatability more than authority. Communities play that role, Building a supportive community is highly crucial for any teen because of the companionship and sense of purpose that these groups introduce.
Our parents and guardians have more experience of the world, which is why sometimes, in their quest to protect us from all the unpleasant things and people, they lead us towards isolation. Parents need to recognise the importance of peer groups and fellowship and help teens find the right community for them to prosper. They need to advise the teens on what things to ponder over before choosing a community. Introspection is the key to finding what’s best for you.
While choosing a community, ask yourself these questions.
1. What are your values?
Try to contemplate your values and belief system. What values inspire you and what beliefs lie in your core? The path to self-discovery will help you find the right community for yourself. If ‘education for all’ is something you deeply believe in, you can join a teaching community. If you value cleanliness, you can join a community that serves society by ensuring cleanliness and hygiene.
2. Where does your interest lie?
Self-reflection as to where your interests really lie can help procure the most suitable community for you. There are myriad of hobbies and interests to choose from, and once you decide on one, joining a community with other members who share that interest can really help you grow and thrive in that field.
3. Will the community allow you to be yourself?
It’s extremely important for any community to accept you as you are. It should motivate you to be better and never change yourself. You should never feel judged in a community; if you do, you need to disassociate with that group immediately. The whole point of a community for a teen is a space where they feel safe, secure, and accepted.
4. Are the members open-minded and supportive?
Try to interact as much as possible with the members of the community to see if they match your energy. Members of the community support and listen to each other; you need to do that for everyone and can expect the same in return. It’s important to have open-minded, approachable, and accepting members in a community that you are thinking of joining. The basis of any community is the willingness to listen to others without passing judgement. Show empathy and try to understand where others are coming from.
5. Are they kind and inclusive?
A community should be a kind place where asking for help is as natural as helping someone in need. A community that’s welcoming and friendly, one that makes you feel comfortable and at home instantly. Look for that feeling in a community. A place where you feel respected, included and valued.
6. Will you be able to communicate freely in the community?
A free flow of communication is an essential requisite for any community. Teens often experience various types of communication barriers when it comes to connecting with parents or guardians. That’s why they look for a community where they’re able to communicate and listen freely. Talking your heart out is an essential activity that enables us to cope and fight. Letting the worries out brings unparalleled relief to the heart and the soul; a community should always instigate that.
7. Is the community good for your personal growth?
A community that is filled with negative, toxic, and judgmental people is only going to pull you down. It’s foremost for a community to offer you growth and advancement. If you’re the smartest or most intelligent person in your community, maybe look for something more challenging. A community that really provokes you to move forward and become better.
8. Is the community trustworthy?
Teens are hesitant to share what is going on in their hearts and minds unless they feel absolutely secure sharing that information. Members of a community need to be honest and dependable. You should be able to trust and count on them, and vice versa. Trust and integrity are two salient elements that make any community worthy.
9. What do you need help with?
Figure out what makes you nervous, but you want to be able to do it. Is it public speaking? Is it singing? Is it speaking on political issues? Whatever it is, there is a community out there that will help you do it openly and freely. Just try to find out what it is that you need help with, and there are communities that are built just for that.
The Emissary is the best community for teens with different kinds of interests. ‘THE EMISSARY’ is a global mass media network exclusively operated by perspicacious teenagers. It’s a platform where teens can connect and learn alongside fellow teens with similar interests. A sense of connection is an archway to cumulate, grow, and develop everyone and everything along the way. The Emissary seeks to give teens in all regions and dimensions of the world a sense of teen empowerment by uniting them, combining their skills, and giving them a platform to grow as individuals and break out of the mould to shine on a global network.
All in all, a community gives you a sense of fulfilment that can put you in a better headspace. Finding the right community for teens is very critical. A community that offers trust, free communication, and candidness. No matter how big or small, it is important to just be a part; a community can be your connection with the world. It can help you choose your mental health over everything else. It can teach you a lot about yourself, your choices, and your values. You need a community, and your community needs you; we all function better in collaboration with each other.