Television

Nick News explores the perils, pitfalls and pratfalls of adolescence

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MUMBAI: Who can forget braces, sweaty palms and awkward school dances? Adolescence? Arrrgh! Just as tweens head into a new school year, the next installment of Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: The Worst Years of My Life? Surviving Middle School, on Nickelodeon, delves into all the slings and arrows of Middle School.

Ellerbee listens to kids, and some Middle School survivors including Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City), Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Taylor Hicks (American Idol), skateboarding star Tony Hawk, and Grammy Award-winning singers Jewel and Nelly Furtado, about that speed bump on the way to adulthood called Middle School, and what it takes to live through it.

"Whether you call it Middle School or Junior High, it's more than a place. It's a time, a sometimes hilarious, often painful and always challenging time. You're too young to be a grownup but you're not quite a kid anymore. In this episode, we give kids on the Middle School frontline, and some well-known ex-kids, an opportunity to speak out, to remind all kids that when it comes to Middle School, you're not crazy, you're not alone, and this too shall pass," said Ellerbee.

Nick News discusses issues that kids encounter during this time: the fluctuating hormones; the realities of puberty (What is it like to be you in a brand new package?); the social insecurities (I must fit in somewhere!); the necessity of keeping up with increasingly harder school work; the pitfalls of renegotiating the relationship with your parents (They used to be so normal. When did they change?); and facing the difficult choices that no one else can make for you. The simple truth is: you're too young for this and too old for that.

Nick News also conducted an online poll on nicknews.com, in which kids were given the opportunity to share what they think is the hardest part of adolescence. For a majority of kids physical changes are the most difficult part of growing up with 19 per cent of respondents listing body changes as the hardest part of adolescence, followed by school work (14 per cent), fitting in (12 per cent) and romance (12 per cent). Other adolescent hardships making the list were feeling embarrassed a lot (10 per cent), peer pressure (nine per cent), parents (seven per cent), pressure to succeed (seven per cent), being comfortable with themselves (six per cent) and temptation to take risks (three per cent).

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