Category of Our Own- What is a teenager? | Teen Ink

Category of Our Own- What is a teenager?

October 17, 2011
By Tralalaura PLATINUM, Bronx, New York
Tralalaura PLATINUM, Bronx, New York
20 articles 0 photos 14 comments

I for one have always been confused with the whole “teenager” thing. Like, what is a “teenager” really? For starters, throughout most of our teen years, we’re minors. So doesn’t that just mean we’re just kids?
No- of course it doesn’t. We’re far too “smart” to be considered kids. And yes, the word “smart” is in quotations for a reason. I mean sure we know more math than we did in first grade, and sure we know how to wander the streets ourselves without getting lost. Yet, the lack of grammar our generation has, plus the excess of teenage pregnancies beg to differ on the whole “smarter” thing. I mean last time I checked eight year olds wear pants that are actually their right size, it seems the majority of teenage boys still need mommy to remind them to wear a belt.
So now we’re back to the whole child thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m fifteen, I’m a teenager too and I know some teenagers are perfectly decent people. All I mean to do is try to point out the meaning of being a teenager.
Because I believe it’s much more than just the awkward stage between childhood and adulthood.
I know some people, friends of mine even, who behave five times worse than most ten year olds I know. That’s because the ten year olds fear their parents. The fifteen and sixteen and seventeen year olds insist their grown, disrespect their parents, and act as if that’s the meaning of being grown up.
Newsflash: If you’re grown up, stop acting like a bratty child yelling “No one understands me!”
Last time I checked when a grownup feels misunderstood by their boss they don’t go around throwing fits.
Most teenagers are just overgrown children. As a matter of fact, that is exactly what they are.
We want to make our own decisions, have freedom, and “explore” who we really are… I don’t know, but I kind of assumed you’d already know who you are, but whatever… Yet, we’re infamous for being irresponsible, and having the persona of a giant bratty child.
The more I think about it, the more it seems like the term “teenager” was just the genius idea of some parent, created to shut us the hell up about not being children.
In reality though, hate to break it to you, but they kind of still won. Every time we yell at them “I’m not a child!” we simply prove their point more and more.
Now they just put a specific title to this infamous age, the generation of disaster.
Now fancy stores can put up signs saying “No teenagers allowed”.
Now they have a name to give the blame to when we see graffiti on public property, or litter on the streets.
Now when a stupid or reckless incident occurs people can say teenagers did it.
Isn’t that just great?
Really, our generation should be so proud of itself.
We, teenagers, have so much potential! I’m not saying every teenager is awful, but we’re kind of infamous for being that way.
Teenage years should be the time to transition, to happily go from child to adult in a responsible mature way. It should be a time to improve on who we are, to take on more responsibility. To respect our parents and not tell them, but prove to them that we’re growing up and we aren’t children anymore.
We should’ve received the name “teenagers” not because of all the disaster we cause, but because of the way we’re so much more mature and so much more helpful than children that we need a category of our own. It should be because we’ve outgrown our parents needing to worry about us, because we’ve become so responsible that they trust us.
It’s never too late to change that, though. We can go from being the generation of mistakes, recklessness, and stupidity, to the generation of exploration, discovery, intelligence and maturity that we have the potential to be.
Let’s just think about it, let’s not put what we have to waste, let’s take advantage of our youth in the most productive and helpful way possible. Let’s make these years the ones that don’t take the light out of our eyes, but help us shine brighter than ever before. Let’s just not put to shame the fact we have a category of our own.

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This article has 7 comments.

sari said...
on Nov. 10 2011 at 9:43 am
wao tremendo articulo,la verdad es que dios te esta usando de una manera grande al escrivir,deseo para ti todo lo mejor ,y que en esta revista puedan ver tu talento.este es el mejor de los que lei;excelente.

Jah2cute4u said...
on Nov. 7 2011 at 8:35 pm
This is awesome it says so much about teenagers that is all true. Great job love you :)

Yassy said...
on Nov. 7 2011 at 7:56 pm
WOW! This is really deep! Teens should really read this!! Great job!

on Nov. 7 2011 at 6:09 pm
Great job!! Keep it up!!!

Alex said...
on Nov. 7 2011 at 4:37 pm
Nice job laura

maribel said...
on Nov. 7 2011 at 4:19 pm

Would it be okay with you if I print this out and give it to some of the teens I work with? I would like you to get your permission.

Good job.

on Nov. 7 2011 at 12:21 am
xximjustmexx PLATINUM, Oak Forest, Illinois
46 articles 0 photos 71 comments

Favorite Quote:
There's no god. There's no religion. There's only life, what you do with YOUR life, who YOU let affect YOUR life. Bad things happen to everyone, you just have to learn to deal with them.

spoke my thoughts exactly..... i think me and you could really get along because it seems like we have the same thoughts on certain subjects:)