11 Things Everyone Who Was An Angsty Teen Will Remember

A long, long time ago (OK, less than 10 years ago) we were teenagers. Well, when we say teenagers, we really mean hormonal balls of misunderstood, melodramatic angst. We wore our feelings in our clothes, our youthful pain bled out through our blaring speakers, and the Internet and diaries were home to our most secret shared thoughts. Oh to be young and full of feelings again! So in lieu of a time machine back to our more ridiculous better days, we walked down memory lane to bring you these glimpses in our misbegotten teenage angst.


1. Nine Inch Nails

Was there ever a better band to show off that you were a teenage rage machine, and a misunderstood one at that? It provided endless supplies of AIM Away Messages for every angsty occasion:

[column size=one_third position=first ]


head like a hole.

black as your soul.

I’d rather die than give you control. [/column] [column size=one_third position=middle ]


the farther I fall I’m beside you

as lost as I get I will find you

the deeper the wound I’m inside you

for ever and ever I’m a part of

you and me

we’re in this together now[/column] [column size=one_third position=last ]


I want a little bit I want a piece of it I think he’s losing it

I want to watch it come down

don’t like the look of it don’t like the taste of it don’t like the smell of it

I want to watch it come down

all the pigs are all lined up


2. MySpace/Xanga/LiveJournal/AIM Profiles

The Internet revolutionized teen angst. Every kid with a dial-up AOL CD could find a home there for the hormonal pain, complete with flashing glittered black roses, raven haired beauties in impossible corsets and flowing black gowns, pink skulls, and a never ending supply of crimson angel wings guaranteed that your slice of the Internet showed your inner turmoil to the world. And if you were really savvy, you could have Evanescence’s “My Immortal” playing on loop. Oh. And let’s not forget some nice Green Day “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” lyrics in your AIM profile. Hell. Yeah.


(This is managing editor Haley as a 15-year-old. A guy photoshopped this for her. Bless.)
Hope Racine, age 14.


Having conversations like this while simultaneously dissecting them with your best friend in another chat window.
Having conversations like this while simultaneously dissecting them with your best friend in another chat window.

3. Anonymous (OMG! SO SAD!)  Internet Poetry

The only thing more telling of a teen’s angst than their pain carved into the bathroom stall door was the poetry they printed off the Internet and put up in their locker.

The Class Ring
~ Anonymous ~

Close by the door he paused to stand,
As he took his class ring off her hand.

All who were watching did not dare to speak,
As a silent tear ran down his cheek.

All through his mind the memories ran,
Of the moments they laughed and played in the

But now her eyes looked so terribly cold,
He’ll never have her again to hold.

They watched in silence as he bent down near,
To whisper, “I love you” in her ear.

On touching her face he started to cry,
He put on his ring and wanted to die.

And just as the wind started to blow,
They lowered her casket deep in the snow.

Extra points if the poem is possibly a bastardized, misprinted variation of memes, Elizabeth Barret Browning quotes, Roy Croft, and teenagers making shit up, like this one:


Protip: DO NOT WRITE POETRY LIKE THIS ON YOUR GRANDPARENTS’ COMPUTER. They will find it and call you crying because they think you’re suicidal when really, you are just 15 and COULD YOU JUST LEAVE ME ALONE PLS. 

4. Angst-Ridden Journals

Whether it be your super deep and arty faux-leather Borders journal or your black-screened LiveJournal or Xanga, everyone knows that’s where shit got DEEP.

teen poetry diary



From copy editor Erin’s LJ archives (which have since been made entirely private, she hopes).

5. Emo Music

Between the artistic (isn’t everything in black and white thereby artistic?) video and lyrics like “These wounds won’t seem to heal, This pain is just too real, There’s just too much that time cannot erase” no one understood the pain of your breakup and unrequited crush quite like Evanescence did. But that’s not to say they were alone, Dashboard Confessional and Pedro The Lion were always close behind.


6. My So-Called Life

Two words. Jared. Leto. With her brief love for his “I’ve been crying all my life” eyes, Claire Danes taught us not only what it meant to be misunderstood, but how to express it in a completely monotone “I have no f*cks to give” voice…and then ugly cry like it’s nobody’s business.


7. After-School Special Teen Books

Nothing made us curl up into hypochondriac balls of angst like Lurlene McDaniel’s penchant for writing about terminally ill teens finding true love before the end, but Go Ask Alice taught us that trying drugs once will inevitably end in you trading sex for a fix, and anything in the Love Stories series made us sob too.


8. Buffy & Angel’s Doomed Love

Move over “Romeo & Juliet,” you only had one lifetime to torture yourselves with. Angel will live and love Buffy forever, and can never be with her. That OTP (well, before Spike came along, because really) taught us what it meant to have feels.


9. Rap-Rock Raging

Was it Fred Durst rapping or his whining that did it for us? Perhaps we’ll never know, but blaring Linkin Park’s “Crawling” after dramatically slamming our door, hurt so good.

 10. Every John Hughes Movie Ever

OK, so John Hughes was more for the Brat Pack Gen than Millennials, but everyone knows that watching CLASSIC movies is a pivotal moment in standing out from the understood teens in the cafeteria. And besides, “Pretty in Pink,” “The Breakfast Club,” and “Sixteen Candles” taught us the meaning of angst.


11. “The Catcher in the Rye”

J.D. Salinger’s OG Whiner, Holden Caufield swore like a sailor, ran away to New York, made smoking seem cool, and called all the haters out on being phonies. These are the quotes underlined in the only dog-eared book on a summer reading list, scribbled in our notebooks, and written in sophomore year yearbooks.

Of course, these are but mere snippets of our vats of teen angst, but somethings are just too embarrassing  painful to bring back to light. So join in on our agony, and tweet us @litdarling  your own teen angst. Bonus points if there’s photo proof of it! 

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