By Isabella Brodt
Hey you. Yeah, you – I have a riddle for you. What is old and young, obedient and rebellious, mature and childish, and both highly and lowly regarded? Well, you probably don’t know, but the answer should be obvious, at least to people like me. That is because the answer is “a teenager.”
Because of everything expected of teenagers, we have many different judgments of who and what we are. People’s perception of teenagers range all the way from demanding child to independent adult. And yeah, all of these assumptions are true.
While we want to be accepted as self-sufficient grown-ups in today’s society, we really aren’t as old as we sometimes assume ourselves to be. Yes, we are able to take care of ourselves and others, rely on ourselves for food and sometimes monetary support, and even drive and make our own appointments, but really – we are still quite young. We still need our parents’advice and support in all aspects of our lives. We are not allowed to live on our own or make our own decisions in some cases, and we have no grasp on the reality of bills and loans that our parents understand and support us with. At this point in a teenager’s life, we have only experienced the hardships and challenges of children. Despite how much we deny it, we are still children. We long to grow up, get a job, buy a house, and be adults, but we also avoid and reject the responsibilities that come along with that dreamy lifestyle.
With our longing to be independent adults, teenagers tend to have a false sense of reality and are at a loss with an understanding of authority. Since we still live under our parents’roofs, we still have to live by our parents’rules. In order to keep a happy atmosphere at home, teenagers are obedient and follow their parents’guidelines such as: maintaining curfew, doing household chores, and studying for tests in order to get good grades. However, with our longing for independence and self-choice, teenagers also rebel. We sneak out of the house, break curfew, refuse to study, and ignore all chores. Our rooms can look like a closet monster invaded earth and was slain in our room after a year-long battle, we can have bags under our eyes that look like they were delivered to us by the villainous Mr. Sleep as we fought the urge to rest in order to experience life outside the bounds of curfew – but we don’t care. All that matters to us is that we made our own decisions and enjoyed the experience and outcomes.
There also comes a point in time for a teenager when we need to prove ourselves to the people around us. If we need to be mature, yeah we can be mature. We’ll buckle down and study, dress up for the job interview that our parents so want us to go to – and when we get there, we’ll walk in calm and collected, shake the interviewers hand and say, “Hello Mrs. Adams. I am interested in the job you are offering, and I am exceptionally prepared for the job because of my…”However, when we’re mad because we can’t go to the concert we’ve been looking forward to since like forever, we will be a wrath nothing like nothing anyone has ever prepared for. We will erupt with a tantrum, spew tears down on the earth, and cause destruction to anything that interferes with us. We’ll be hella pissed and immature because we are still children if you haven’t forgotten.
So, resulting from the multiple personalities and actions that teenagers shock their surroundings with, we can be both highly and lowly regarded among our superiors. When we win scholarly awards, get the grades, and hold a job, the people around us will praise and congratulate us. They will tell us, “Nice job you little rascal. Hard work pays off!”and think that you are the swan among the ducklings. However, when we happen to be off our game one day and accidentally bump our parent’s car into someone else’s while parking for maybe the fourth time in our entire life, the people around us will glare and judge us as if we are the ugly duckling. We will feel like such a disappointment for one mistake despite all the good we might have done. Although people don’t believe it, this truly has a strong effect on us.
So yeah, we are old and young, obedient and rebellious, mature and childish, and both highly and lowly regarded, but we are not all the same. We are, well, confusing. Sorry.