When I hit the age bracket of being a teenager, everything changed -- from the books I read, to the websites I used. At the same time, I found that more and more people would either expect the following from me and my age group, or ask my age group and I:
1. "Are you going to a good school?"
It seems that when sophomore year came to a close, this question started to be asked on a daily basis. What defines a good school? Is it nationally ranked, or does it have one stellar program? Who defines what a good school is -- the world, our society? Personally, I believe there is no such thing as a "good" school. Why can't community college be looked at as the same as a state university? Please, stop asking us this question. Your idea of a good school may not be the same as others. And that's okay.
2. "Why don't you look a certain way?"
Sorry, what should we look like? A model? A pop star? Both men and women have been faced with high expectations -- boys should have abs, or defined muscles, and girls should have makeup on, or petite body types. Guess what? Everyone is different -- body type included. If you feel good, and appreciate the way you look -- what else matters? People come in all shapes and sizes. Remember that.
3. "It's teenage angst, isn't it?"
I beg to differ. This term is used to describe the mood of teenagers, and more or less, their depression. You want to know something? Life is hard. Believe it or not. We are faced with pressure from our parents, and pressure from ourselves. It's easy to become depressed when you're living a life full of challenging questions: How will I pay for school? Where will I go? Will I get a good job? etc. So I'm sorry if an elder person has to endure this so called "teenager angst." Try being us for a day. Step into our shoes. Then you'll see -- depression is inevitable.
4. "Have you been hanging out with that kid?"
Well, who is that kid? Is it the person that doesn't want to impress anyone by not sacrificing hours and hours to get ready for school? Is it that person who wears different looking clothes? Is it that person who we think is a stoner, but we don't really know for sure? Yes, we have all heard of this kid, in some way, shape or form. But do we really know this kid? Probably not. And maybe some of you are labeled as this kid? How does that makes you feel? Probably not very good. So I ask you, who is this kid? This kid is just a person. A person who maybe doesn't want to conform. A person we should not look at as a negative influence, and more of a positive one, for not wanting to be like everyone else. To this kid, whoever you are, I applaud you.
5. "You're different from everyone else, and you have to be okay with that."
It's almost as if we're treated as foreign species. But we're all just people. We all poop. And while that sounds sophomoric, it's a true and important statement. Teenagers aren't complicated subjects. We're just people between the ages of 13 to 18. It's not that hard to understand.