During an average child's first ten to twelve years of life, everything is like fairy land. No bills to pay, no job to work, no school to cram, no drama to maneuver through, the list is endless! The most pressing of your concerns is when you'll have to go to bed. Nothing ever goes wrong, nor ever feels terribly wrong either.
Then you hit your teenage years, when your body begins to act like an unpredictable, explosive, casino machine. All the sudden your physical appearance goes from a solid five to a negative six, and shoots around down there every five minutes. Worst part about this, is that as soon as your body pulls out the braces, acne, growth spurts, glasses, and fields of sprouting hair, you emerge from childhood and suddenly find that you actually care about your appearance, just as all of the awkward gifts of puberty hit in unison. Not only is there basically nothing you can do about the obvious changes happening, (besides wait six years for when your body derails from the roller coaster it has just jumped onto), but you find your brain is holding its own assault against you in the same room.
Being a female, I can go on for hours about the horrific chemical mountains I've had to climb up and then promptly hurl myself from. On an average day, I can jump from happy to angry to sad to ultra-depressed and then finish off as a malicious evil villain, who laughs insanely at everything within a ten mile radius. You might wonder if anything brings about these dramatic changes in emotion. Well,
In the quick succession of a few minutes I can hit rock bottom, and shoot to the zenith of happiness, all while sitting alone in a bare room with only a chair for entertainment. Just to put things into perspective, picture yourself, (as a female) on an occasion when you find yourself in a room full of other teenage girls. While looking around you suddenly have this mini heart attack as you realize you've just landed yourself into a pool of fellow, half-crazed-demons, who could decide they love or hate you by just your appearance. Instead of doing the most rational thing and dialing 911, you find yourself sitting down and conversing with these ticking time bombs as though the situation made you feel at ease. You tread carefully, but as you glance around the room you see that others haven’t been so meticulous in their movements, and within a few minutes the room is vibrating with the sound of explosions and cracking timbers.
So, in retrospect of the many alarming changes which have labeled teens as mentally disabled throughout mental studies, everyone above and below the adolescent years has paranoid notions about those who are. One of the funniest things I find about being a teen, is that everyone who doesn't want to try and change you, wants to hide you away somewhere where you can't plan terrorist attacks on their houses in the future. The image of teens blowing things up and setting things on fire seems to have obscured the view of many older people, to the point some will downright shoot you paranoid glances across the street.
On the flip side of their caution however, it seems that older people can’t get enough of placing responsibility on teenagers shoulders. Everything ends up falling onto our laps at one point or another.
Being older than the younger kids, we know how- and can do, a lot more; mirroring that, since we are younger than the adults we have less liberties to say no when we don't want to do something. We get to take care of the kids, make dinner, clean the house, get jobs, make HUGE life decisions about our future, keep perfect grades and social life, and then figure out who we are on the side lines.
The injustice of the situation is astounding. How can someone who treats the very word ‘teenager’ like a rotten fruit, feel okay piling work onto their shoulders?
Why are teenagers treated differently than everyone else and yet expected to function as adults?
The simple answer in my mind is perspective. All humans view things, the way they want to. Though not ready to address the growing age of adolescence, most recognize the ability to work when they see it, and therefore utilize this. Though I’m sure there are many other reasons at work in the odd placement teenagers have been set in, the most vital one is the one we use most often. What we see most often holds less value than what we’ve labeled in our minds.
(Side excursion.) You might have noticed that I pointedly didn’t address the problems of teenage boys. Since I am not a male, I don’t feel I’m very qualified to sit here and describe their emotional state, other than the sad dislocation of the mental ability to understand what’s stupid, and okay to do. So, despite what you guessed. No, I didn't forget about them, just chose to glaze over that part).