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PSYCH 106 University of California Effects of Puberty Timing Questions

Student 1

1. Most of my teenage years I felt a lot like Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. I felt like my peers and friends did not take me seriously because I was blonde and it made me feel like I was not smart enough or good enough to be in school. Many times friends would ask me for help with homework and sometimes disregard it and ask somebody else instead. It made me feel insecure about myself and doubt my educational abilities many times. I felt like I always had to prove to others how smart I was by showing them or telling them what grade I got on my exams or telling them how high my GPA was. People would always come up to me and tell me dumb blonde jokes and talk about blonde stereotypes and I would absolutely hate it. There was a point where I made my mom buy me a brown hair dye box so that I could dye my hair so that people could take me seriously. I never did dye my hair though because I felt like I was going to be looked at weird or made fun of, but the idea was always there. Now as an adult, I still sometimes feel the pressure to prove to others that I am smart and that I am capable of going through college. I have had to learn that I shouldn’t focus on how other people view me and just focus on myself and my educational journey. I have had to realize that pursuing an education is something that I want for myself and not prove to others how smart I am. Through the process of learning to disregards blonde stereotypes, I have become more confident in myself and in my educational abilities. no

Student 2

As Jean Piaget describes it, the ability to manipulate formal operational thoughts starts during a child’s early adolescence, when their abstract thinking skills improve so much that they can solve problems by picturing them in their mind and by imagining the potential outcomes (McLeod, 2010). Even as a pre-teen, I started to show a rebellious streak by not helping my mother to do the chores as much as I used to. Indeed, whereas I had been docile during most of my childhood, when those teenage hormones started to rule every facet of my body and mind, I began to think that listening to my parents was optional. Although I was still respectful, due to the fact that I grew up in a traditional culture where slapping your child was widely embraced, sometimes I didn’t feel like doing what I was told. For example, when my mother would ask me not to play with the boys in the neighborhood because that was a bad look for a respectable young woman, I would wait for her to go run her errands and then I would do exactly what she had advised me not to. Even in school, when my teachers would scold me for not knowing the answer to a math problem which they deemed simple, whereas I would have kept my mouth shut when I was younger, now I could hear myself saying “Sorry, sir, I’m not as good as a computer.” Or sometimes, I would just roll my eyes discreetly and tune them out. Indeed, it’s as if my new philosophy was “It’s not that serious!” Although I was still a child, I thought that I knew enough about life to decide when something was worth doing it or not. I didn’t need an adult to make every decision for me or to put me in a box, as if they had me completely figured out. That’s why whenever they would tell me not to do something because of some arbitrary religious or cultural rule, I would make sure to disobey them behind their back because I was convinced that I needed to experience those “taboos” in order to see if they were that bad. In retrospect, I wouldn’t change my behavior. Indeed, it was important for me to find my voice as an individual, and that rebellion during my formal operational thinking phase allowed me to embark on that journey 


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