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Thursday, February 24, 2011

In Defense of Teens

This assignment was to explore three teen stereotypes. I think she did a fabulous job!

We’re Not How You Think We Are

By Leah Byars

“No!” she screamed. The door slammed shut as the mother raced toward her daughter’s room.

“Young lady you open this door right now or I’ll-“

“You’ll what? God, you’re so useless! I hate you! I just wish you’d go away! NEVER talk to me again!”

This is what most people think when they hear the word ‘teenager’. Moody, angst-ridden, unappreciative, lazy, immature idiots who can’t understand anything beyond what’s happening on their Twitter account.

Well, just in case you adults out there have forgotten a thing or two about when you were a teenager- and yes, you were one once- let me clear things up.

For one thing, we are NOT lazy, we’re tired. Let’s break down a typical teenager’s day:

· Wake up at 5 am to shower, get ready for school, and finish last minute homework you didn’t have time to do the night before.

· Spend the next eight hours at school trying to learn while keeping up with who’s dating who, why your best friend is suddenly mad at you, and trying to avoid your long time crush that you accidently spit on yesterday.

· School’s over. Now it’s time to stay after two hours for tutoring, play practice, basketball practice, and to finish that term paper due tomorrow.

· If you have a job, you spend the next four hours slaving behind a driv-thu window listening to the complaints of the customers.

· Time to go home and do at least an hour of homework.

· After your parents complain for the third time, it’s time to do your daily chores of walking the dog, doing the dishes, and taking out the garbage.

· Now check Facebook. You don’t want accidently miss something and be accused of ignoring your friends.

· Shower again and fall into bed around 11 at night. Be prepared to start the whole thing over again tomorrow.

With all this on our plates, can you blame us for wanting to take a nap instead of folding the clothes? Can you blame us for wanting to spend 10 minutes doing what WE want to do instead of doing something for YOU?

Second, we’re not unappreciative. We love the fact that you care. We love the fact that you buy things for us. The thing is, sometimes we get things we don’t want nor need. That sweater you bought us last Christmas? With the light up Christmas tree? The one that you wanted us to wear to school the day before Christmas Break? Really, we appreciate the thought, but there’s no denying the fact that that sweater is an eye-sore and you know it. Of course, when we try to tell you this, we’re called unappreciative. Spoiled. Ungrateful. We’re being honest, but you don’t want to hear it. This doesn’t just stop at clothes, though. If we say one thing that you really don’t want to hear, then you lash out.

Last, we are not immature. At least, not completely. We’re young, and still have some growing up to do. Yes, we giggle about sex. Yes, we make perverted jokes. That doesn’t, however, make us stupid. We are just as capable of making decisions as you are and we’d appreciate it if you didn’t use our age against us when we state our opinion.

Let me, the writer of this paper, provide an example. I told a family member of mine that the guy she was dating was irritating and that I didn’t appreciate his sense of humor. She lashed out, saying that I was spoiled and immature, and how did I know what I was talking about? After all, I was only 16.

Yes, I am only 16, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know a jerk when I see one. That doesn’t mean I can’t tell this relationship is doomed. Just because I’m a teenager doesn’t mean I’m incapable of having and intelligent opinion. So don’t underestimate us teenagers. Sometimes we can be pretty smart.

The basic point that I’m trying to drive in is this: Adults, you honestly don’t know what a modern teenager is like because you AREN’T one. You were one once, but you’ve grown up. I’m not trying to say that adults don’t work hard and don’t have their issues, I’m saying teens have a lot going on too, and we’re dealing with it. So before you start up with the stereotypes of what you think we’re like, take some time to actually talk to us. Then you’ll get the real story.

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Blogger Horserider said...

One word: YES. I agree with it, all of it. Particularly this bit:

We are just as capable of making decisions as you are and we’d appreciate it if you didn’t use our age against us when we state our opinion.

I hate it when adults say "You're a teenager, you don't understand" instead of just listening. We're never going to understand if you don't explain your side and allow room for debate.

February 25, 2011 at 8:22 PM  

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