Column: Behind the teenage facade

Adults’ perceptions of what it’s like to be a teen are often far from the truth


Charlotte Swanson

Freshman Charlotte Swanson’s drawing depicts a mask of what adults perceive of teenagers to be on the outside, but on the inside it’s an entirely different story

Josie Morss, Staff Writer

Despite disputes fueled by newspapers, articles, adults, and skeptics declaring that teens “have it easy”, this assumption is incorrect. Today, teens face many difficulties in school and in life that adults often overlook or dismiss. As a teen who plans on breaking these false accusations, I invite you into the minds of teenagers to better understand our daily struggles. It is only then that adults will truly understand the young blossoming being behind the teenage facade.  

Every day when a teen sets foot in their school they are instantly exposed to gender stereotypes. Without realizing it, society, the world, and schools often support gender stereotypes and sexism. Two teen girls interviewed for this column, stated that gender stereotypes and sexism play an unfortunately major role in their lives. Grace, a thirteen-year old girl, expressed very vividly that girls are breed to be delicate flowers and shamed if they show characteristics of intelligence, ambition, or independence. Charlotte, a fourteen-year old girl, indicated that sexism shines brightly during gym class. Peers witness this careless behavior when girls lose at challenges or deliberately slack off. A majority of students have grown accustomed to daily sexism that excuses are acceptable in the eyes of teens.

The truth is that  being a teenager comes with its own set of hardships. Change and individuality is not often accepted by the teenage community. Those who wish to break away from the grain may experience judgement or criticism. Although some students agree with these claims, a vast majority of  students made it their job to strongly state that being a teenager is not an easy task. During his interview Stephane, a fourteen-year old boy, said the most difficult aspect being a teenager is how so many people tell you how to live your life. Teenagers are prone to this act of forceful sameness because they are guilty of believing somebody’s crude remarks, verbal abuse, or sheer bullying. Grace stated that teenagers are expected to be mature enough while also living a fun, carefree life. This balance is tough to grasp.  All the students voiced that being a teen has been a roller coaster of emotions, phases, and life experiences. The teens stated that they all learned important life skills and lessons and are excited for their future.

At the end of the day, all teens embody the characteristics, knowledge, freedom, and determination to launch into the real world. Never to face judgement on how to live their life, but to embrace their curiosity and adventure. Their plan is to be a part of the world as a contributor instead of a benchwarmer. While leaving their history, doubters will be awestruck, left them wondering about the teen behind the facade.