Being the Smart Teen

being smart teensBy Alifia Afflatus Zahra, 13, homeschooler from Indonesia

I was walking in the malls and streets listening to the conversation of teenagers. They talked about celebrity gossips, relationships, games, and other usual things that could be found in the world of teens. This is okay if we do it just sometimes and rarely. But since I observed they liked to do it in an overdose way, I’ve been thinking that most teenagers in this millennium are just wasting time. Not to be conceited of myself, but when I spend any time with gossipers, I feel like I am thrown into the world of little kids who never think about their future or their priorities.

And on 9-12th of December, I was walking in a hallway into a ballroom. It was the ballroom for a huge event – ARKI 2015 (Akademi Remaja Kreatif Indonesia) or the Indonesian Creative Teenagers Academy. It was held by Mizan Publishing and the Cultural and Education Ministry of Indonesia at the capital city – in Twin Plaza Hotel, West Jakarta, for 3 nights and 4 days. That time when the license officers escorted me into my seat in the ballroom, I sat there at a round table, with the other teens at an age coeval with mine. They were 13-18, and when I talked to them, they changed my mind!

How could it be?

A different thing occurred.

If I heard too much gossip around me when I walked among most teens, I heard what’s called discussions here, which I was also involved in. This was the first time for me, to assemble with about 99 teens – and being close to 9 friends in the same group, who talked in a different way.

Even though we (also) had the typical teenager’s fun in these times, undeliberately we discussed in the majority of times. We discussed about history, writing, or at least, sharing worthwhile experiences with each other. It was much of our fun time spent talking about our positive interests, which most of them made me adore them.

I wasn’t sure, was this the effect of being author and artist (the event was the moment when 100 teen authors and artists from 25 provinces of Indonesia competed in isolation); or perhaps, was this the effect of meeting real smart teens?

Then I threw my mind back to thinking about The Conventional Teens, those gossipers and time-wasters I mentioned before. I also pondered, what if many teens – not only in Indonesia – but around the world, could be the teens like I met in the event I described here?

What do you think?

Nowadays, we could see a group of teens stuck in their own life doing things which were unimportant, instead of preparing their future. Gossips, free sex, drugs, pornography, was what was interjecting their days. On the other side, we saw teens that could hold well to guarantee the future of nations, taking the responsibility of repairing the chaos of countries in the world.

It was sad to compare both of these groups, taking account that I really wished more teenagers would be pleased to be prepared for the future, not only their future, but the world’s future. I expected if more teens would be in the second group I mentioned. And the key to be one of them, was free of obstacle and temptation.

Being smart, having good behavior, religion, and sharing goodness to others. That’s all.

Here are my tips for you, to be the Cool and Smart Teenagers like I described.

  • Keep on learning, open yourself for knowledge.
  • Learn from the professionals.
  • Learn from socializing with many different people.
  • Be humble.
  • Listen to other people’s opinions and consider.
  • Set targets and work hard to reach them.
  • Know what is priority and what is called interlude.
  • Take away and brace yourself from social distortions like free sex, drugs, brawls and many more, and divert them with crucial activities.
  • Be religious and spend most studying hours on religion lessons. Because the hereafter is eternal, and worldly life is just temporary.
  • Divert negative energies with positive activities.
  • Find your interest and develop them. Is it in sport, art, literature, or whatever? Anything good 🙂 Then, in this process, you may practice the 2nd point!
  • Be innovative.
  • Be creative.
  • Seek much inspiration.

And the last…

  • Be inspiration!

So, these are my tips about being smart teens. That’s all. I hope you’re one of the Cool and Smart teens who practice my 15 tips. Thanks for reading!

About the Author: “I’m a 13-year-old homeschooler (9th grader), been homeschooled for 2 years, from Semarang, Indonesia. I’m a blogger at and a monthly contributor on the homeschool site I enjoy writing about home education, children, teens, history, nature, politics, religion, social and travel.”

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