CONFESSION: I hang out with teenagers more than adults. It just kind of comes with the territory of being a teacher and married to a youth pastor and, oh, writing for that audience. Along with that territory comes certain weird quirks or habits that other adults don’t always get… so I thought I’d give you guys a snapshot of my normal, everyday life…or the good parts about it anyway…

Being an adult in Teenage Land means…

1. You have a personal Facebook, a Twitter, three fan pages, an author website, a teacher website, a personal blog, a school blog, a school networking site, online lesson plans, four email addresses, an online store, photo albums… and you regularly maintain ALL OF THEM. (Don’t harrass me about not being one of those people who has time to blog every day. Are you KIDDING me?)

Last night with Homecoming Queen Emily Ann!

2. Your Friday nights in the Fall are taken up with visiting different schools to see all the teens you know perform – sports, cheerleading, dancing, marching band, mascot performances, Homecoming courts, Senior Nights. (And of course, not everyone goes to the same school – that would be too easy for you. Ha.)

3. Some weeks your Tuesday or Thursday nights are filled with other sports game – to support more teens who matter to you.

4. You don’t get to participate in an adult Sunday School class or bible study – because they usually meet while all their teens are being supervised by YOU. And even if they did meet at another time, you’re probably busy or committed elsewhere.

5. You always go with teenagers to midnight showings of popular movies or midnight releases of popular books. And you make fan t-shirts for these different events – just because everything is more fun with a fan shirt.

Amelia & me at HP7 midnight movie premiere!

6. You take pictures of yourself with others on your phone ALL THE TIME. Because it’s a moment that will never be captured again if you don’t.

7. You jump on and off bandwagon fads all the time. You even lead the bandwagons at times because you know the teens will follow and it will be FUN.

8. You make Your Mom jokes year-round – and it becomes really awkward when you actually do it around adults who don’t immediately get it or go, “Ohhhhh!!! SNAP!”

9. You know (and download) all the latest idiotic dance and club songs – because you chaperone school dances and the kids try to make you learn how to dance like them. (FAIL.)

10. You learn that humor always diffuses a difficult situation and that a hug or quick word of encouragement go a LONG way with kids.

11. You do get upset by the loud teenagers in the movie theater who are on their phones or call out stupid things – but then you take action against them because you actually feel like it’s your responsibility to make them shut up. (And a lot of times they listen to you because you exude “I Am A Teacher – Don’t Mess With Me” attitude.)

Lil Mismatched Socks!

12. Your socks are usually bright-colored and never match. This is on purpose. Nobody wears boring, white socks. Knee-highs with coordinating (not matching) prints or anklets in eye-catching colors that mismatch are way cooler.

13. Converse shoes and TOMS are way more popular that flip-flops or heels. You’re guaranteed to have a few compliments every time you wear them – from random teens you don’t even know.

14. T-shirts, hoodies, and jeans are the staple clothing in your closet. And they’re usually advertising different schools, organizations, or church events!

Nerd Night at camp!

15. Funky colors, feathers, tinsel, and anything that explodes your hair with eccentric color is completely acceptable and encouraged.

16. You dress up like a NERD because it’s actually the COOL thing to do.

17. You know that unlimited texting is a MUST and you learn to text really fast – a lot of times your text conversations with teens end up being even more meaningful than in person. It’s a generational thing. So you learn to meet them where they’re at. (And you even put extraaaa letters at the end of wordssss. Like, “I love youuuuu.” Can’t explain this habit. It’s just what we do.)

18. You know to keep your phone on vibrate – because the texts or phone calls come in day AND night. Whether you’re at work or trying to sleep, there’s always someone in Teenage Land who needs something.

19. You learn to be a good listener (and a multi-tasker), because EVERY teen (especially in middle school) has stories they want to tell – usually about unimportant things in the grand scheme of life – but super important to the teen at the point of time in which they must share their story.

20. And, finally, you know what it’s like to have hundreds of teens on your side when you need the support and love! Because in their world, everything is dramatic and worth fighting for if they care enough about it.

My Student Council kids 2010-2011

I consider myself blessed to be an Adult in Teenage Land.