Youth. By definition it is applied to “the period between childhood and adult age” (Google! 🙂 ). I suppose, being in my mid-teens, that makes me part of today’s youth. Hmmmm. I’m going to say that makes me qualified to write about my perspective on youth today. I apologize in advance for my disjointed post today.
It seems that the kids that are younger than “youth” want to be them. And the adults, or those people who are older than “youth” are terrified of them. I don’t know why. Most of us are respectful and awkward people. Really awkward people 😉 .
One few my friends who used to go to another school before coming to ours said that at her old school, no more than 2 students could walk side by side or you were considered a “gang”. More than 2 teens is a gang, really?! Now, I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure a trio of teens isn’t automatically considered a gang. The rule sounds hilarious since it doesn’t really prevent anything other than the congested hallways (which, with small hallways happens anyway), and how outrageous the idea is in general.
One of my teachers told us that a few years ago, a store in a nearby plaza had rule where no more than 2 teenagers could walk around. I laughed because it sounded ridiculous to me, as did the rest of my class. I’m still confused about why more than 2 teenagers at a time are scary. Were they afraid of being robbed? I’m pretty sure 2 teenagers can rob you if they are determined…In fact, many of my classmates noted that they were watched when they went into stores as a group of teenagers. We find this offensive, since the adults are technically stereotyping. Not all of us are going to rob you. Most of us don’t even consider the idea.
To be entirely honest, when my friends and I went out for pizza, we were terrified we wouldn’t have enough money. Being the responsible teenagers we are, we took out a phone, opened the calculator app and calculated our purchase before ordering. We also asked one of the employees about where to put our pizza box since we didn’t see a recycling bin, and he appeared shocked. We need to go out more often in order to show employees that there are some very concerned teenagers out there.
Another time, I went to Tim Horton’s with one of my friends. I had a gift card which had 10 dollars on it. So, we don’t typically go out, and certainly not on our own. We were a bit confused about how Tim Horton’s works. We ordered, and then I swiped my card to pay. But we weren’t sure if the transaction went through. The employee didn’t say anything and moved on to another customer, and the machine didn’t say the transaction hadn’t gone through. It had gone back to the welcome screen. So we assumed we had payed and we walked out slowly, just in case the employee noticed we hadn’t paid and needed to call us back. She didn’t. See what I mean about awkward? And I am really sorry if I accidentally didn’t pay!
But anyway, I don’t see how some people can label all teens as disrespectful and vulgar. We are mostly confused. We are no longer children, yet we are treated like that. We aren’t usually doing anything illegal and/or dangerous, though our parents want to check our e-mails, texts, snapchats etc. I understand that they are worried about our well-being, but first take a moment to consider what type of teen you have raised (yes, yes I did just put a lot of the blame on parents). Admittedly some teens do rob stores, do drugs, post inappropriate pictures etc. But if your teen has a 90+ average, studies and does all of their work on time, respects and values your opinion, do you honestly think they are involved in an illegal drug operation? Follow your own advice and be reasonable.
If your worried about me having a secret boyfriend, take some time to think about what kind of environment you have created in order to force them to keep these things a secret (no mom, I do not have a secret boyfriend, I am just talking to the only 3 souls I ever interact with online and they are my best friends!). There are very few things I hide from my parents. They are:
- Some of my opinions about their conservative opinions
- This blog since they just wouldn’t get it (more on that here)
I don’t think I’m going to get arrested for posting a few words. And before you roll your eyes, I do not have: twitter, facebook, snapchat, instagram or any social media. I have my email, a google+ and this blog. That’s it. Now, one of my friends does have a snapchat and instagram, but she doesn’t have a secret boyfriend and she doesn’t do drugs either. She is a kind, intelligent, and hardworking teen.
Besides, teens today do some amazing things. I am not one of them, but here are some who are:
Penny Oleksiak who has won 4 medals at her very first Olympics (Go Canada!) at the tender age of 16.
Jaylen Bledose started a company when he was 13, and at 15 it was worth $3.5 million.
Dylan Mahalingam founded Lil MDG’s to help with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and is currently a youth speaker for the United Nations, no to mention a chief strategist and project ambassador for Under the Acacia.
Daniel Burd managed to identify two strains of bacteria which, together, can decompose plastic bags.
Wow, I feel unaccomplished :(. Anyway, that is barely scratching the surface of the surface of amazing members of today’s youth who are doing incredible things and changing the world for the better. Yet, in the face of all this amazingness, teens are stereotyped as lazy and disrespectful?! It doesn’t add up.
Sorry for writing a super long post, but being treated fairly and with respect is important to me. Youth are learning to be adults, and some are closer to the end result than others. We don’t need strict rules and controls. We need compassionate people to look up to and who we can ask for help when we get lost on our journey.