"You're just a teenager"

"You’re just a teenager."

That is what people say.

"You aren’t worth anything and can’t have any consequential place in the political society of grown-ups."

That is what those people mean.

I’ve never understood it. We're about to become adults. We're not little kids anymore, so why do people keep acting like that’s all we could ever possibly be?

Sure, we may not have graduated college, or even high school yet. But that in no way justifies the way that we are being treated. Yes, the age of success is dropping rapidly. We are becoming more noticeable, and that is because young people are beginning to do amazing things.

But why now? Because young people are just starting to be told that they have a voice. Do you think that there were never teenagers who had the same thoughts and the same willpower as Malala? As the revolutionary internet media staples who are making a positive impact on the world? Of course there have. But those teenagers weren’t supported by anyone. No one thought that they could make a difference, because they were too young. People told them that they didn’t understand the world yet. But when do those people think that we gain this mystical understanding of the world? At what age do we somehow become consequential? It just doesn’t make sense.

I understand that for some people, the reason that teenagers can’t be entrusted with power and publicity, is that we make so many mistakes. But guess what? Adults make mistakes too. Everyone makes mistakes, big or small, throughout their entire lives. No one is at fault. And no one is faultless, no matter how much they might wish to believe that they are.

I just never think I'll understand, and society doesn't want me to.


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What Guys Said 7

  • The issue is a factor of maturity. Some people mature faster than others (physically and mentally). I was always told that I was years ahead of everyone else... Of course now the others have caught up. Adults don't know how to treat teenagers. On one side teenagers are still kids, on the otherside they are young adults. It truly sucks. That you have to suffer the consequences of an adult while being treated like a kid.

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  • All my life I was told to grow up, I understand now that you haven't until you realize you don't. Remember love is just a number, age is something you do.

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  • As a youth myself, I can sympathize with your plight. But you've got the struggle all wrong. You'll never be able to convince anyone with sense that teenagers as a whole are deserving of the same respect as adults. The fact of the matter is, a grown man is more developed physically and mentally and has accumulated far more life experience than a boy. If this were not true, we would simply refer to both as males and nothing more (this of course applies to females as well). Don't ask for respect, prove that you deserve it.

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  • Logic > experience 80% of the time.

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  • Yes everyone makes mistakes, but the difference between an adult and a teenager is that an adult has made a lot more mistakes and is therefore most likely wiser. Humans learn from their mistakes, us young'ns haven't made enough mistakes to be wise

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    • I find this irrelevant. No one is denying the wisdom of older people. This article is about people who doubt the ability of a young adult to be a politically conscious and opinionated person.

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  • Yes but we're still children. Sure I've turned 18 this last November so I'm an adult but nothing much has changed. I can vote now, drink. I'm sure there's a couple other things. We grow more by responsibility. So for me getting a bike, sorting my own money (ish) etc has changed how I view things a bit. The fact if the matter is I still lack life experience as an 'adult'. I probably won't have that until after I have finished university and no longer have any form of support be it loans or whatever.

    age should not be a deciding factor. In the Times of afternoon tea and the British empire there were young officers in their 20s that were in charge of an area of land larger than the UK. however, experience should be a large deciding factor in how much power someone has (excluding natural leader/ whatever other bull, an everyone born equally scenario) because its only through experience and knowledge we can know the correct desiscions to make (unless you like the fun of being irresponsible at every possible chance ;) ).

    Teenagers of this age are given the least responsibility certainly in the English speaking world than ever before. Why should we be given a say? We've nothing to prove we're any good at anything. We have nothing but a few exams to our name (that most of the population have or further ones to depending what point in education you're in) and everyone in the world above us has proven they can do what you can If not more. Yes, you can ask questions or make points that can be difficult to initially answer. That doesn't mean it's a good opinion or it a the best one. The world of politics where they reply instantly is a bad example for taking arguments because everything they think up is fucking retarded. All teenagers/ young adults/ everyone is always learning. But us especially. We don't know the real world. so don't try and pretend you know enough to make real world decisions because you can't without the experience of responsibility which few have now.

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    • I have PLENTY of people in my family far past their teen years who are extremely immature. Life experience doesn't always mean having wisdom.

    • No but as the saying goes the exception proves the rule. My family are the opposite.

      Like it or not we do lack knowledge wherever we accept it or not. The phrase 'youth and enthusiasm is always beaten by experience and bitter cunning' exists for a reason. Until we can prove we're equal or smarter than them why can't they treat us as If we still have a level of naivity?

      there is a difference between immaturity and immature decision making. There's a phr

What Girls Said 7

  • Even at the age of 23 you still don't feel like an adult. My sister is 26 years old and has a masters or something in biology. You would think she would be working in her field of study by now. Nope she's working at a job that has nothing to do with what she studied for 6 years in college. But apparently she keeps getting told "you don't have enough experience." So it doesn't matter what age your at. People will still not give you a chance to get the experience you need. Even if you been through hell in back and seen the gates. To other people they don't care what you've seen. Unless you fit into what they want they will deny you.

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  • The problem with teenagers, and I know because I was one and thought this way, is they tend to have this: you cannot possibly know more than me, my view is right and I will feel this way forever.

    It's like when you tell a little kid "you'll I understand when you're older". You know they will but there's no way they will believe you. Same goes for teenagers, they generally think they have it all sussed but just ten years later you'll see how naive and silly a lot of your views were. It's just life, deal with it.

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  • I agree, some teens are actually smarter/more mature than some adults and vice versa. Theirs probably even some kids out there who do better than teens/adults like that one kid from India who went to college at 11 and became a surgeon

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  • I understand what you are saying. I felt the same way once, but despite how mature a teen thinks they are, they most likely are not. Being a teenager means you're in limbo, you have moments where you're profound, adult-like... then you've suddenly swung the opposite way to immaturity and childishness. I had sound logic, but my parents always questioned my logic, to make me see that, even though I thought I had the answer, that I haven't thought it through.
    You gain understanding as you age. Have you seen other countries? Have you put yourself in another's shoes? Do you truly know the way this world works? No, you think you do, you may have figured some things out, but not all.
    That doesn't mean don't try to change things, but I remember my opinions on some things were seen as 'extreme' (not like extremism as we see reported in the news etc) but extremely detached from what truly happens in the world.
    I knew a boy, 16, who was very much into politics, but because his views were so 'unknowing' of the world, he wasn't listened to. He wanted 16 years old to be able to vote. No, they shouldn't because you aren't an adult, which is defined when you get a proper paying job, that pays taxes. Teens don't.
    It's a bind, we're young and I've only recently in the last couple years escaped this age frame, but still I feel like I am not heard.
    Why?
    Because experience brings wisdom. Just because you're knowledgeable doesn't make you wise.

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  • I totally agree with you. As a teenager/young adolescent, you really don't get taken seriously. You can even see it here on gag. I started gag as an under 18 and I really noticed I got taken less serious, even though I did make logic sense. That's why I'm happy you can see everyone's age now.

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  • I agree with you. There are also some really mature teenagers who have a better understandings of a world than some adults (who are childish).
    They seem to forget how hard it was being a teenager. You're slowly growing up, becoming more and more mature and yet, people around us still treat us like the children we were. It's like they're almost refusing to believe that we're growing up.
    That's probably because of other teenagers who still act like children. I wish some of them are not that stupid. :/

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  • You shouldn't pay attention to the people who insult you. Adults make many, many mistakes everyday. Pretending that life experience equals knowing what to do in life is so ridiculous. I have many adults in my family, who act FAR worse than any teen I've ever met. Also, I've seen my little family member (12 and under) have acted way more maturely than their parents have! Hell, I act more mature than my own mother and father do quite a lot of the time, if only because I don't scream or curse at people.

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