Helping you get through tough times

The Edge of Seventeen

Is being 17 years-old ahead of you, or behind you? Wherever you are in relation to the age seventeen, it’s a rather symbolic age.

You’re not quite officially an adult, but feel like you’re nearly there, fighting for independence no one gives you yet.

At the same time, at 17 years-old you will have experienced many life events that will have an impact on the rest of your life.

Laughing and crying

The Edge of Seventeen is a film about a 17 year-old girl who is finding her way in the world, which hasn’t been easy and only seems to getting more complicated.

Like life, there are moments to make you cringe (actually quite a lot of those), laugh (luckily loads of these too) and cry (bring tissues) – seriously, the whole kit and kabudle, and there’s a lot to think about.

Finding friends

Not to give away too much about the actual film, as it is a must see (so, go see it) for all ages, but the strongest theme of the film is friendship, how important it is and how dificult it is when we don’t connect with others.

We know this, some of us live this everyday. Some of us can find it difficult to connect with others our own age when we’re in our teens, as the main character Nadine does. This makes growing up a tough and lonely time for some.

Others have friendships that are so fragile, or not necessarily healthy but they do anything they can to hang on to them just to not feel alone.

> Recognising when a friendship is toxic

Feeling alone

There’s nothing to laugh about being in either of those situations. It’s hard work and it can have a huge impact on our mental health and wellbeing.

If you’re in school right now and feeling isolated, like you’ve little in common with your peers, do remind yourself there is a world out there,  beyond school. Try to involve yourself in acitivites outside of the school gates.

Having hobbies, finding and getting involved in things you’re interested in helps your confidence and gives you an opportunity to meet different people. Look into local sports clubs, scouts/guides, coder dojos,  choirs, youth clubs, or ways to volunteer and give them a go.

>Find out more about meeting new people

If you can’t find anything near you, take a look online for sites and forums that are interest based, where you can connect with others online.

School: best days of your life

If you have parents, aunts, uncles, neighbours or cousins who come out with this gem to you and you are clearly having a miserable time, know that they are talking nonsense. They are wistfully looking back at a time when they didn’t have bills, mortgages, jobs they don’t like.

It has nothing to do with your experience. School is tough going, in so many ways.

> Read problems in school for more

Feeling awkward

There was a tweet the other day from somone who said something along the lines of “As someone who was an awkward kid in High School, I will not be going to see The Edge of Seventeen, as I am sick of films about awkward kids where everything works out”.

It’s true, there are a lot of films along this theme, but something about The Edge of Seventeen is a bit more authentic.

The cringey bits are so real! You will squirm in your seat, as you’ve lived some of them. At times you will look at Nadine, the main character, and think “why are you being such an idiot right now?” when you love her really.

It is a very relatable film with loads of laughs along the way. But remember, things can work out for you too, if you work on finding something to get involved in beyond school.

Check out what makes a good friend?

Listen to Naoise Kavanagh talk about the film on SPIN 1038.

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