14 November 2018Last updated


Inside the mind of a teen

From the tireless pursuit of freedom to worrying about who’ll do the laundry when they do fly the nest, we dig deeper into the thoughts of teens on the brink of adulthood, with top tips for helping them make the transition

29 Jun 2016 | 09:25 am
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  • Nathalia

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  • Patrick

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  • Maheem

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  • Anastasia

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  • Priya

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  • Emily

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  • Hyphie

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  • Aly

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  • Ariana

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  • Nahal

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  • Mohammad

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  • Noora

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Behind the Bieber-style haircuts, on fleek outfits and duck-face selfies, understanding what makes your teen tick can take some secret-agent-style investigative skills. To give you a helping hand, we asked a selection of teenagers at Jumeira Baccalaureate School for their thoughts on everything from growing up in Dubai to starting work and their hopes for the future – their comments may just surprise you.

Plus, teen coaching experts help us understand the psychology behind adolescent thinking, along with the tools we can use to help them grow into independent and confident young adults.

Money sense

“It’s hard to learn the value of money... food appears in the cupboards and shampoo in the bathroom. But when I leave home, it’ll change.. I’ll go from eating in Nobu to having pot noodles.” — Nathalia

“It’s expensive here. My parents say we came here to make money but we end up spending so much.” — Patrick

Finding their freedom

“One of the most frustrating things about being a teen in Dubai is getting taxis. I can’t drive and my parents might be busy so I may have to wait five hours on a Thursday night to go out.” — Nathalia

“My family doesn’t let me go out that much. So I think an issue for me in the future might be not being used to social situations.” — Maheem

The expat bubble

“Living in Dubai helps you accept other cultures, so it won’t be hard for us to go somewhere new. Also Dubai is constantly changing, which trains us to handle change.” — Anastasia

“Life in Dubai is extremely luxurious... You have transport everywhere and there is nothing you can’t get from The Dubai Mall.” — Priya

“I’ve lived in five different countries and I’m only 13, so I’m used to change.” — Emily

Embarking on a career

“I worry about the economy changing and making it less easy for me to stay here and work.” — Hyphie

“I am interested in studying medicine and being in Dubai has given me a great starting-off point.” — Aly

“I think Dubai is a good place for university but for jobs I think it would be hard. There is already so much competition.” — Ariana

“My parents always tell me it’s about who you know and I feel like in Dubai you get the opportunity to meet more people.” — Patrick

Cultural intelligence

“There are issues among different cultures. People don’t understand you and can get the wrong idea.” — Nahal

“As an Emirati, I left an Arab school to go to an international school to encounter many different cultures and learn from others.” — Mohammad

“Studying here in Dubai has made me a lot more rounded... I already have a base of knowledge about other cultures that will help me at uni.” — Aly

“When I started international school, I was given endless lectures about what people would think of me as I would have interacted with so many different people. Just because you’re open-minded, it doesn’t mean everyone is.” — Noora