Imagine that one day, after a night of sleep, you wake up and some things in your life have changed … With surprise you discover that your body, its size, its smell, its appearance is different, even calculating your movements has become a challenge. Your mind, what you think and feel, has also been transformed and, therefore, what you tell yourself, others, and the world, in general, has changed. To make matters worse, you discover that all these changes have caused your family and close people to perceive you differently, they know that it is you, but they do not treat you the same. In the face of all these transformations, how would you react? Would you resist such amazing changes? Would you think you are not ready? Would you seek to keep everything as before? Would you blame someone? Would you experience anger or sadness? Would you feel optimistic imagining the new possibilities?
Although it is true that this dramatic scene occurs overnight, it is a good starting point to think about all the transformations that the pubescent and adolescent experiences on their way to adulthood. The way in which each human being approaches this stage, that of adolescence, depends fundamentally on the ability to set in motion processes, capacities and psychic abilities that previously operated with the particularities of the childish world, but that during adolescence will require evolution and sophistication to be able to sustain the mental and, therefore, material life of the future adult.
In this developmental process, people who come into contact with the adolescent also play an important role. In general, we can think of two types of ties: those that are established with adults and those that occur with other adolescents. The characteristics and capacities of adults become fundamental at a time when adolescents need firm, flexible and empathetic models; these relationships are relevant since they represent the entrance to the adult world. On the other hand, the group of friends or group of peers, as it is also known, enables the testing of relationships in which they are experienced, to mention a few: brotherhood, complicity, disagreement, friendship and love, relational experiences and emotionally necessary to shape the identity.
The school, the educational setting, is a space in which both relationships are set in motion, hence the importance of teachers, counselors and all adults who come into contact with the adolescent being aware of what is put into play during this stage and what is required of them, knowing that they can have a great influence on the adolescent. In the course “The adolescent’s school transition”, we will think in-depth about the normal and pathological characteristics of the adolescent, as well as the process that the adolescent is going through, and how it is that the school and its different characters influence its mental structure.