What is a teenager? What is the meaning behind the stereotypical teenager?
Yep, the denotative definition of a teenager is someone between the years of 13-19, but I hear expressions like, “You’re such a teenager,” but what is the connotative meaning behind such expressions? Is it good or bad?
Now let’s look up some definitions made by others (i.e. connotative meanings)
“Human beings who are unsure whether they are adolescents or adults.” Yep, how old am I? Should I be treated like a kid or an independent person? I want to be treated like I can take care of myself, yet I rely on my parents and friends for a lot more than a “grown-up” usually does.
“People who are treated like children but expected to act like adults.” So true! For the past few Thanksgivings and Christmases, I’ve been placed at the “children’s” table and always expected to play with the younger ones. Why? Yet whenever we go camping, I’m expected to act like an adult, be responsible, help with all the “adult” stuff.
So let’s go over the stereotypical aspects of a teenager, how adults describe us in a general sense: lazy, rebellious, cranky, ignorant, ungrateful.
And what people think a teenager does their whole life? Watches television 24/7, complains about life, listens to inappropriate music, looks up perverted photos, thinks about sex, cusses, smokes, joins gangs. There’s no words to explain how untrue this is.
People seem to clump teens together. Sure, they think there’s a few different, “responsible” teenagers, but that’s not true. Lots of teenagers really are efficient and caring, it’s just that the “bad” ones might stick out a little.
Sure, I can be lazy and cranky, but reason is: stress. I have tons of schoolwork, yet my parents still don’t understand why I’m always tired, sleeping in, complaining. Not all teenagers are rebellious, or ignorant, or ungrateful. Yes, we argue and we sometimes do things our own way – which isn’t what the adults want – but that doesn’t mean we’re the delinquents they think we are. Everyone disobeys things. 😉
Once you hit your teenager years, everything just seems more frustrating, confusing, unreasonable. It’s not that easy to follow every single expectation you’re given; it’s not easy to do everything on your own. Personally, I don’t like being treated as if I’m a brat just because of my age.
Yes, I listen to music and watch TV (anime) a lot, but that doesn’t specifically mean I’m a teenager (well I am) but how does these attributes make us a ‘teen’?
Lots of adults interpret things I do – say sleeping in – as a bad thing, or at least say, “Oh, you’re such a teen!” Or when I’m too lazy to go outside: “You act so much like a teenager!” Sure, many teens might act like this, but why must adults refer to it as a bad thing? Their tone of voice clearly says, “Ugh, they’re a teenager and now they’re going to be lazy and ignorant for next couple of years.”
They’ve all been there before, those years. Why is it that adults don’t understand what I’m going through, what we all are? Or at least in my case, they seem to treat me like being a teenager is a bad thing, some frightening phase they won’t be able to handle long. As if it’s that easy. They should know how it felt, being a teen, yet they show no sympathy to the hormones and feelings I have now, as a teen.
So is “being a teenager” a bad thing? Adults sometimes imply that teenagers are imbeciles, yet everyone has been through the teenage years (or will at some point) and there’s no getting around it. You can’t just skip ages 13-19. Being a teenager is only but a number, but for some reason, it holds meaning – as the “dark” age. Why can’t people understand that I’m just another human being, not part of a category called stereotypical teenager.
So yeah, I get offended when people refer to “acting like a teen” similar to “you ___ like a girl”. It’s the same concept. “Acting like a teen” does not apply to all teens. Tons of young kids, and even adults, have mood-swings and exhaustion. It’s just a part of life, not a part of being a teen.
So thanks for reading this little
not so little rant about always being called “a teen”. Yes, I am a teen, but no, don’t say “I act like a teen” just because I enjoy listening to music a lot or that I’m on the computer a lot. The age and the actions have nothing to do with each other, or at least not that much.
And if you hadn’t figured it out before this post, now you know I am a teen. I don’t care if you know my age, so wanna guess down in the comments? (Yuki and Blizz are not allowed to participate lmao).