What Do Teens WANT To Change About Their Lives?

Teaching teens on a daily basis has given me a pretty good beat on what they’re going through.

Every once in a while, my youth throw out a nugget of information that causes me to pause and scratch my head and examine their words more closely. And, being a writer, I never cease to discuss it with them and take careful notes.

Recently, my middle schoolers were casually talking about their daily routines. In listening to them, I was struck by the vast complexity of their lives and the ceaseless plodding they do to and from class to practices and rehearsals and games to performances to homework and family time and social events.

As I began to question my students about how they felt about their schedules, I heard an outpouring of frustration about stress and busyness.

Curious, I asked a question that electrified the room: what would you actually change about your life, if you could?

Challenging an entire classroom full of teens to actually think about what they would change about their lives was thought-provoking. Their responses give a fascinating insight into the state of our kids’ minds.

Here is the final response my students confessed they would change about their lives..

I would make the world better.

This generation has a deep desire to enhance the world in their own unique way. Many culture experts have branded today’s teens as a restorative generation whose driving force is to make their world beautiful however they can.

The responses I’ve heard from my youth confirm this sentiment. They have brainstormed idea after idea of making their community a better place, from appreciating their local firemen to passing out “random compliments” to strangers to wanting to bring military members home to their families in a special way.

It’s never too early for us to encourage our teens to share God’s love with others by serving with a cheerful heart. We can encourage them to follow their interests and passions by getting involved with charities and organizations that foster their drive to give their best to their community, and we can provide the chance to serve together as a youth group or class in unique ways.

We can remind our students of 1 Peter 4:11, “ If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”

As adults, it’s imperative that we seek to understand this younger culture—it’s so vastly different than ours. In knowing them better, we’re able to share God’s Word in their lives at the moments in which they need it most and with

Through understanding what teenagers wish they could realistically change about their lives, we can confidently share Christ’s boundless love with every individual we encounter, knowing that we are sharing that they desperately need to hear…even when they’re complaining about their parents, schedules, and soccer practices