Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!
I know today is Saturday, and that usually a “Self-Appreciation Saturday” would be posted today. Today’s a bit different! I’ve realized I’ve scheduled way too many Tuesday posts for the month and forgot about this month’s installment of:
Anyway, I wanted to discuss something that I’ve thought about a lot since being in my mid-twenties. Although still being young, I feel like the fact that I’m considered an adult is still very scary to me, and sometimes, I find myself wanting to redo my teenage years again. Of course, I’d do them in a way I don’t live such a fucked up, traumatized life like I did, but I still (and always will) believe I am who I am at 25 because of the shit that happened when I was a teenager.
Still, I miss the non-pressure I had when I was a teenager. Adult life at 25 is way too stressful and pressure-inducing and if you’re not out here making money with a job and all of that, then you’re technically just a “waste of space”. As a teenager, all you had to worry about was doing well in school and being home at the time your parents wanted you home. Even though half of our teenage years were us wishing we had absolute freedom with our lives, I look back and understand (a bit, since I’m not a parent) why things like that were enforced.
Guys, let’s talk about the teenagers of this generation…
Maybe the generation before mine thought this about us when we were teenagers, but this generation of teenagers is just growing up way too fast. From the advanced technology, endless amounts of social media apps and internet exposing too much of the fucked up shit in this world, and just the expectations and “role models” they look up to, it’s not surprising that these teens grow up too fast, and start off way too young, doing the things that they aren’t supposed to do. I mean, we have social media stars getting pregnant at 14 years old now (look up Danielle Cohn for that fuckery), we have girls wearing a full face of makeup at 11 years old, and don’t even get me started on the stories I hear from my partner about the students in the middle school that he teaches.
I’m not saying my generation were angels at teenagers–because we weren’t– but we had some sort of discipline that many teenagers don’t really have anymore. Young kids start off with cellphones and tablets now instead of playing outside or using their imaginations with toys and arts and crafts, many public schools don’t enforce uniforms as heavenly as they did when I was in public school, and there are just not even opportunities for these kids to be kids anymore because community centers are shutting down and after-school programs aren’t being funded anymore. These teenagers don’t have drive like we did when we were their age, just how older generations say that we don’t have social abilities like they did when they were our age. Something is constantly changing, but being a kid or a teenager should always remain the same, despite how progressive we get.
And it’s just sad, in my opinion. Maybe I’m now considered “old-school” to this new generation of teens, but there’s nothing like being young and enjoying being young, y’know? Like, I would kill to spend my Friday nights at the movies with my friends like I used to when I was a teenager; there was no “I have to work” or “I have to take care of my kids”. I would kill to spontaneously go to the park with my friends and watch them play basketball again. I would honestly kill just to have that time needed to get my shit together before I hit 21. I think many people my age just wish we didn’t wish to be older. I could only imagine how this next generation of 20-something is going to function, and I bet the 30-somethings right now say the same about us 20-somethings right now.
I’m glad I don’t have younger siblings to singlehandedly witness the change with this generation, but if you guys have younger siblings of your own, remind them what it truly means to be young. Don’t make them believe that growing up is considered “freedom” because truly, it doesn’t. We all learn that way too late in our lives, and as an older generation, I hope we are able to teach the younger generation these things.
So, would I do my teenage years over again? Of course, if I didn’t worry about growing up so fast, maybe things would’ve been different. Then again, I wouldn’t have learned from the mistakes I made trying to grow up too fast.