How to Understand Teenagers Are Done With Your Bullshit.

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

That’s right, you heard me we’re done. We’re done with you pushing your expectations on us, your beliefs, and your idea of society on us.

It’s time that we make our own. Where racism, sexism, homophobia, bigotry, etc, are little to none. Because I for one, am tired of living in a world where I wake up and find out that people have been sticking their noses in places they don’t belong.

Like how religion shouldn’t be involved in the government and that men shouldn’t be involved in women’s healthcare(such as abortion. birth-control, etc), how straight people shouldn’t be involved in gay rights and countless other scenarios, but here we are.

The Breaking Point

You’re a teenager and you realize once again how unfair this world is. If you’re a woman it’s dangerous to walk the streets at night. If you’re a man you can’t show your feelings(because it’s too “feminine”). If you identify as anything else you’re suddenly invalidated.

You think about everything happening in this world, and how you seem so utterly small, and helpless compared to it. But you aren’t. You’re magnificent and you can make a change.

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” -Alice Walker
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” -Alice Walker
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” -Alice Walker

Alice Walker is right, every one of us possesses power, but why are we giving it away? To someone who is going to fail us and hurt us over and over again.

Why don’t we trust ourselves? Trust the fact that we have the power to impact the world for better. Why are we so constricted?

But I get it, that crippling, imprisoning feeling you get when you realize that;

  • Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and major news outlets aren’t covering it.
  • How people are getting murdered for the color of their skin or what religion they choose to follow.
  • People, again and again, think they can choose if other people have basic rights.
  • There’s a world-wide pandemic going on and Donald Trump doesn’t give a shit.
  • People thinking they have the right to choose other people’s identities and labels.
  • 780 million people worldwide still don’t have access to clean water(that’s about 1 in 10 people)
  • The average high school student today has the same level of anxiety as people put in mental hospitals in the 1950s.
  • There are HUMAN BEINGS(most of them being children) held in cages by the ICE. And nothing’s been done about it.
  • Millions of Muslims are in concentration camps in China.

I could go on and on, but we already know this. And nothing has changed, in fact, they’re going the other way. Things are going backward, healthcare rights have been revoked, and our morals seem to be broken.

You ask;

“What can we do to change it?”

Well, we can continue to do what we’re doing right now. Protest, raise awareness, and press people with the authority to do something.

And we can not stop.

We are like earthquakes, they can not see us coming, barely hear us, few feel us.

Yet, when we arrive they will feel our complete strength and tremble. All the pent up frustration and pain finally unleashed.

No, earthquakes aren’t pretty, but revolution isn’t either.

Photo by Michelle Ding on Unsplash

In her book, ‘Across a Star-Swept Sky’, Diana Peterfreund writes

“Sometimes it’s only the young ones who are crazy enough to change the world.”

The reason for that?

It’s because we have reached our limit, forget that, we have enforced a limit.

A boundary that saves us from the self-destruction seen in the past.

When people had to hide because of who they loved. People who felt trapped in their bodies, people who wanted to escape.

People that just wanted to live. And what happened? They got judged, they got punished.

They were seen as monsters, outcasts, and freaks. But they weren’t, nobody is.

So why are we still punishing those who want to live? Those who want to reach the sky and be free.

Those who just want to wake up every day and feel like they belong.

As if someone truly wants them. Even if that someone is themself.

Because, sometimes, that’s all we really need.

STOP Pushing “Society” On Us

‘Your version of the ideal life isn’t ours. You don’t get to decide what my choices are going to be. You don’t get a say in my life until I say so.’

I didn’t point any fingers, but my guess is that you thought of someone. Or a group of people. I know I did.

For me, it’s the people that tell me how to dress. How to speak and communicate. How to portray myself.

All that controlling, I’m sick of it. Because how dare you judge me and dictate my life.

I have been through enough school rules assemblies, to tell you the difference for dress code among boys and girls are astounding.

Because my shoulders are that distracting.

I don’t care if it was “shameful” back then, times change. And I hate it when people say that it’s hard for older people to change since its not their “time”. I hate to break it to you, but their still alive- it’s technically their time.

Photo by Djim Loic on Unsplash

And no, I am not trying to insult anyone, I’m simply saying; we are ultimately the solution.

True, it is a matter of perspective. What I do may or may not seem right to you, but that doesn’t mean any of us are wrong.

However, if there is something absolutely horrible happening, then we are the ones at fault. Because we sit back and watch the show, munching on our popcorn, not even lifting a finger to change it.

So before we begin pointing fingers at each other, let’s start with us.

What do I mean by “us”?

I mean the beautiful human being reading this. The person who woke up this morning and had the strength to get out of bed.

Or the person still in bed. The person who I truly believe can make a change. Still, I can say this hundreds of times, and it won’t matter till you believe it.

Till you believe you can make a change.

Are you going to stand up and tell the world that you’re done with its bullshit?

Are you going to roar and tell everyone that you’re not to be messed with?

These are your rules, and you’ll be damned if someone told you to change it.

Now let’s get to the elephant in the room. I’m assuming it’s the person placing all the restrictions on us. We’ve covered who it is for you.

But how are you going to tell them? How are you going to let them know that you’re done?

For most it’s difficult, it’ll likely be an authority figure. But sometimes it’s just the little things that matter. Telling them you didn’t like their remarks about a particular topic. Or their reaction to something. Every time you call out someone on their BS, you gain a bit of power back.

Another thing is to be in control. When you lose control, you lose the argument. And by control, I don’t mean to be all calm and composed. You are allowed to be angry, but don’t let them get inside your head.

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Amy Farrugia from A Girl In Progress (Twitter Account) puts it perfectly in her article; ‘How To Call Someone Out On Their BS’ when she says

“When researching this topic, lots of sources told me “Always remain calm, you lose your credibility if you get worked up, don’t publicly argue with someone and make them feel ashamed”.

I disagree…If I get passionate and someone wants to brand me as ‘emotional’ or ‘hysterical’, that’s their issue. I’m not throwing a bucket of water on my inner fire for anyone.

When I say deal with it publicly, of course I don’t mean getting into a fist-fight or screaming at the top of your lungs. But definitely don’t be afraid to look the person straight in the eye and say, “That’s an awful thing to believe, I disagree with you and I think you’re wrong.”

Openly challenge them and have a frank discussion. You may find that other people back you up, whereas they were just too anxious to say anything before. You’ll never regret speaking out.”

I especially agree when she says to openly challenge them and have a discussion. Are you going to be the leader or on the sidelines?

One of the hardest things to do is to confront your friends and family. I know we’re all thinking of that Dumbledore quote “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

But, especially your family. They’ve raised you, they’ve made you who you are. Good or bad.

And what Robert Frost said once applies to this(Yes, another quote)“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”

Define yourself. If you only take one thing from this article, it’s this. Define yourself, because if you don’t, other people will. And I bet they don’t give a damn about you.

You won’t regret standing up for yourself.

But remember the most important thing is to be safe. If you know standing up will land you in a harmful position, like feeling your boss will fire you at any moment. Or that your family is going to treat you differently. Then tell someone, you may not realize it, but there is always someone out there that can help you.

Gloria Steinem once said “Whenever one person stands up and says, “Wait a minute, this is wrong,” it helps other people do the same.”

Yep, identify who’s limiting you, stand up for yourself and others, and be safe.

Oh, and you can change the universe.

Don’t think I’d forget that bit :)

LET Us Be Kids

We are learning, we are growing, we are still kids. You can’t expect us to be these perfect civilized people who don’t curse or make mistakes.

Yes I know I said, to define yourself and be your own person.

But you can’t define yourself without making mistakes along the way. Being your own person doesn’t mean becoming an adult.

It means making those stupid mistakes, the ones we look back and fondly regret, and learning from them.

If we don’t make these mistakes now, we’re going to make them in the future, and the consequences will be worse.

We’ll regret them even more. Would you rather be given detention for acting out, or be fired in the future?

Would you rather fail a test or an important interview?

Not learning how to accept failure now, will only lead to further downfall. It’s unbelievable how teenagers everywhere are treated like, little kids and then given a heap of responsibilities at 18.

As if everything magically changes the second we turn 18. To my knowledge it doesn’t, you are still the same person you were at 17, except now you‘ve been handed a plate of responsibilities.

They say they’re preparing you for the real world. Are they?

As of now let’s focus on social media. A lot of people get their news from social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. I didn’t know that before, I just thought that everyone used CNN, NY Times, etc.

Photo by Ravi Sharma on Unsplash

Later, I found out how many informational posts they’re are on social media. Then George Floyd was murdered, and social media was on fire. There are still protests happening, but news outlets aren’t covering it.

Suddenly it hit me, we use these social media platforms because no one can control what we read and see.

You find a post that spreads awareness and you share it to so more people can see it. Then they share it, and hopefully, a chain reaction is started.

The amount of information that I have learned through social media is unbelievable. I have obtained more information through Instagram than actual news outlets.

Why? It’s simple. News outlets are limited, they have restrictions. But what you put on these platforms, is your choice.

So I’m begging you to do your part and spread awareness, it doesn’t matter if you have 10 or 100 followers.

Most of the bullet points from earlier, I learned from social media. (Yes, I did verify them.)

This post is titled ‘How to Understand Teenagers Are Done With Your Bullshit’, and these topics are the tip of the iceberg with everything we’re fed up with.

I know complaining isn’t going to do anything and that this blog post may not change anything. But, what’s the point of having this mindset if everyone else is too. If everyone thinks what they do won’t cause a ripple in the universe.

I once read on Tumblr that

“When people talk about traveling to the past, they worry about radically changing the present by doing something small…”
“When people talk about traveling to the past, they worry about radically changing the present by doing something small…”
“When people talk about traveling to the past, they worry about radically changing the present by doing something small, but barely anyone in the present really thinks that they can radically change the future by doing something small.”

Trust me when I say, this blew my mind.

What if this blog post changes everything? What if that tweet you post, is the breaking point? What if that idea you had, is the start of a new era?

But all these ‘what-ifs’, how about those ‘what-if’s’ that became true?

What if people never questioned their beliefs during the Renaissance? The Renaissance gave us new light and the unexplainable a face and a name.

It was an awakening to the world. And we need an awakening. It is time we get one. Stop questioning if you can be part of an awakening. It will happen sooner or later, for the sake of humankind, let’s hope it’s sooner.

So are you going to make the world a better place for your descendants?

Are you going to be in the history textbooks?

It’s your choice.

It’s always been your choice.

The real question is; Are you going to make the right choice?

OWN Up- Be Responsible

There’s no point in blaming it on others. We all know you’re responsible. Responsible for putting us all in a neat little box, confined by your expectations.

We try to break free, but the tape is strong. We kick and scream, the box is wearing down, but we’re still not free.

Don’t fret, when we finally escape that box, we will scream. Scream from the top of the mountains.

Scream for what? Scream for representation, equity, acceptance, etc. And we’ll achieve it.

Let me ask you though, how long till we get any representation?

Don’t tell me, it’s already happening, most of them are stereotypes.

I know it’s better than the past, but it’s not good enough.

Where’s the representation for the LGBTQ+ kids who think they’re abnormal? For the African-Americans who are being treated unfairly every second of their life?

For the immigrants who are tired of trying to find a peaceful life? For the young girls who want to exceed society’s expectations of them?

For everyone who needs to feel like they belong?

An article about on-screen representation says

“ ‘If you see people who look like you and act like you and speak like you and come from the same place you come from … it serves as an inspiration,” Brown said”

And it does. Growing up I didn’t see a lot of characters who resembled me, and it made me feel rejected.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Because of this, I started to watch more shows from my culture and cartoons(like Tom and Jerry, Wild Kratts, etc).

A couple of years later, my friends start talking about classic shows that I missed out on. This in turn led me to feel more left out, and people made fun of me for it.

Later in middle school, I found more people that looked like me, and I learned they had the same experiences as me.

They too didn’t watch any classic shows and movies and were excluded from conversations.

You may ask;

“So, what’s the big deal, their just TV shows. It’s not like I’ve watched every show either.”

But what if I told you the TV shows were; iCarly, Lizzy Mcguire, Kim Possible, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place, Hannah Montana, etc. I could go and on.

Surprised? Did your jaw drop? I’m used to it, a lot of people have been shocked. Few so much to go as far as calling me an “Uncultured Swine”

(It didn’t hurt me that much, since I knew they were joking. But think about the millions of children who have been teased and bullied for this reason)

And don’t even get me started on movies. My point here is representation MATTERS.

Yes, these are all relatively old shows. But do you want this generation’s youth feeling invalidated?

Do you want them to go through what millions of immigrant children have?

I hope your answer is no. Because if isn’t, you better own up and work for this future we all(hopefully) want.

A future where our kids can point at the TV and be like “Look, mom! That kid looks like me!”

A future where they’re not put in a confined box of assumptions.

A future where they all think out of the box because the box no longer exists.

What a wonderful future.

Education System? It’s chaos.

Our school system is in shambles. Don’t pretend it isn’t. I’m going to keep this one short because you have enough to think about. But what are we actually learning in school?

Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

We get tests every week and write so many damn essays. When we graduate, we don’t have a clue about loans or APR on credit cards. The essentials of life, aren’t taught. Yet, they say they’re preparing us for the real world.

We graduate knowing what year Columbus sailed to America, how to write an essay in under an hour, how to solve for x.

How is any of this beneficial?

What we should be learning is what a credit score is, how to write a resume, how to pay taxes, how to buy a house, etc.

School isn’t a place for learning anymore, no it’s just about passing. Who can memorize and recite the fastest? That’s what it’s all about.

If that’s what we’re spending our time, money, and health on, then we’re doomed.

What’s complaining going to do about it? Nothing, but taking action against it will. Are you going to sit here and have the educational system push you down a deep spiral of depression?

Of course not. We’re Generation Z. The future. And we’re fed up. So you better make some actual change, or we will. And that my friends, won’t be pretty.

Conclude

To conclude, you have finished this blog post that I spent a month on. I’m not kidding.

But I’m planning on releasing more posts soon. So while your thinking about the message you got from this article, be sure to read my next ones.

What message?

It’s different for everyone. It’s what speaks to you.

What are you enraged about? Unfortunately, you have a lot to choose from. I for one am enraged that all of this is happening at the same time.

Disaster and disregard are never a good pair. So before you click away, think about this, are you happy with the way things are now?

Suppose you die tomorrow, are you proud of our future?

If you are, tell me who really is the monster here.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

If you’re not, your job isn’t finished yet. Not even close, go make a future you’ll be proud of. Show them, why the universe spent all that time and effort on you.

Show them, what a revolution looks like.

Show them how done you are with their bullshit.

It’s your time to shine.

“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”

-Ursula K. Le Guin

Tell me what you think in the comments. If you enjoyed this post please share it on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you!

Writer | Student | Gen Z | 🏳️‍🌈 | Avid Book Reader | INFJ | (she/her)