There is little doubt that becoming a teenager can feel intense and confusing. It can feel like a strange physiological wave is running through them. I think it is common for teenagers to feel distant, and to distance themselves from family, friends, school, etc. Maybe the toughest part is feeling disconnected from themselves as they try to make some sense of all these strange new feeling, desires and emotions.
I’m certain there can be great comfort knowing we are not alone, and that pretty much everyone is dealing with the same confusing feelings. At our teen camp, we do a good job helping teenagers feel safe enough to express what they are honestly feeling, including the things they are confused and embarrassed about. This honesty and vulnerability can help teenagers connect with one another in healthy supportive ways, which is often quite different from the way teenagers connect at school or on-line.
While these connections with others at camp can be wonderful and life affirming, I believe they also help us connect with our truest selves, which can lead to a wonderful lifelong friendship with ourselves.