Inside of your Mind

Inside the process of how the brain of a teenager develops .


Sergey Avery

It keeps growing our whole lives, stores millions of memories, and sits inside our head.

The brain: one of the most important organs and muscles inside our body. It helps us read, write, speak, and carry out our everyday lives. The development of this muscle is highly important to growth as humans, especially during our teenage years. But how does it work?

By the time we have reached high school we have already found our specific way of learning, what keeps growing though is how well we learn. The brain continues to grow until the age of 25 in females, and 27 in males. Meaning our brain is still growing well into and beyond our high school years. The years were concussions are most prominent, anxiety levels are off the charts, and depression is controlling the brains of many teens.  All these aspects affecting the final result of our brain and how well it functions.

During its growth periods, all parts of the brain are growing, all the lobes and separate areas. The one that grows the most out of the areas though is the region known as the frontal lobe, located in the very front of your brain. The growth at younger ages is fairly slow but still present. It isn’t until the hormones that are released during puberty that the brain really starts to change. The brain starts to grow, understanding new things and allowing new ideas. Angela Curtis, Triton Regional High and Middle School’s psychologist, brought up a stage in growth called the Formal Operational Stage

”Around 12 years old, basically what starts to happen in the brain… we’re shifting from this concrete, which would be like a table or a chair, a physical thing, into a more abstract concepts. Furniture is a concept, we can see that a table and a chair are both furniture and they go into that category “ These realizations lead to the growth of frontal lobe which controls our executive, behavioral, and emotional functions along with our ability to regulate these actions and emotions. Things such as organization and planning, when we’re sad, happy or in love, and all our behavioral tendencies.

As growing individuals, we strive towards independence, a life of our own, a future. “In High school … Before and after … it’s kinda stereotypes that you guys are finding your way through the world and trying to figure out what you believe in, your trying to decide what your morals and your values are going to be and really trying to gain independence.” Stated Triton High School’s Psychology teacher. As we grow towards this independence, our brain grows with each experience, each lesson, every bit of knowledge we gain is put to use. We learn how to live, and we strive towards a future we want.” As put my Lewis, 

Sometimes our brains growth is limited by outside factors. Common factors affecting the growth of the brain being Concussions, anxiety, and Depression. All limit the brains effectiveness and over all growth. 

A concussion is when the head takes a severe enough blow to cause the brain to literally rattle around in the skull, damaging it. Depending on the severity of the concussion, the symptoms can be anything from sensitivity to sound and light, to black outs and memory loss. The symptoms usually go away after anywhere from a week to a couple months but they always leave a lasting impact on the brain’s effectiveness. Stress, anxiety, and depression also limit the brains effectiveness in the moment, and do have an impact in the long run. 

When a person is stressed, anxious, or depressed, their executive functions tend to become less effective, as the bain tend to be dealing with other issues. For some, it is easy to overcome such emotions but for others, they need the help and support needed to grow the skills needed to become aware and then overcome and advocate for the good by themselves, moving towards independence. 

As our brains grow and we learn new ideas and become who we are, we tend to find our way. As Lewis put it, 

“Things just become more complicated and as you learn what new things are and what your options are, I think your mind expands and you find what you think is cool and run with it.”