I swear this post was intended to be something fun that outlined my 18th birthday and how excited I was and everything but of course me being me, that is not what happened. I don’t know, I guess I felt that this was a little more important and mattered a bit more to me. I may still write the fun birthday post but I’m not exactly sure yet. Anyway, here’s 18.
We live in a society that ignores,shames and places unnecessary burdens upon our youth. From the viewpoint of many of our “elders” our opinions and insights into the world around us are often perceived as wrong or not taken into consideration because we lack a certain number of years behind us. We lack ” experience”, therefore we have no grounds to stand on when making statements about social issues, the economy or anything really.
Before we have even started our lives and graduated from college, many of us are already in debt. Student loan debt is at an all time high and the job search has only increased in difficulty. This only makes starting a life more difficult for us,and the worst part is, these conditions are a direct result of generations before us. We will bear the burden of the mistakes of our parents and grandparents and i’m sure our children will bear ours. Because, unfortunately, this is how our society operates.
As a nation, we’ve always looked down on people we consider to be inferior. Whether it is race, gender,age or sexual orientation, someone is always considered to be lower than someone else. Of course,me being a female, and a black teenager, I’m basically at the bottom of the totem pole. When my 18th birthday passed least week, of course I was happy. 18 is supposed to be an accomplishment, something to be celebrated but when you take into consideration all of the negatives of adulthood, all the responsibility that comes within the next few years, things get a little less festive.
We are “adults”. But we really aren’t. We have to learn to be responsible. But we really can’t. Our system is created to give us just enough freedom to no longer be considered children but not enough to actually be completely responsible for ourselves. We still can’t drink,in some places we can’t rent cars. Of course we’ll still find our way around any of these rules.
We can vote but most of us don’t because we don’t think it matters, which is perhaps one of the saddest facts of all. We have a great amount of influence and extreme amounts of power, but we don’t use it because most of us don’t understand how.
To wrap up all of my ranting; We are put into a peculiar situation because we are lead to believe that adulthood is something to be excited about. For many of us,though,this is still true. However, for the most part, we still aren’t exactly seen as adults. Often times our opinions are overlooked, and we are convinced that they don’t matter when , in reality, the exact opposite is true.
18 is a year that signifies adulthood, responsibility and all of the other great things that we love so much. But honestly when it’s taken into consideration, 18 doesn’t really signify anything.