Growing up as a teenager in 2018 is a bit more different than what my parents described their high school and teenage years experiences were. I’m sure I’m not the only person whose parents have told them about what life was like growing up. Whether it’s the clothes they wore, the music they listened to, or whatever they did after school with their friends.
In 2018, being a teenager is both very hard; yet very simple. As millennials, the access we have to our phones is literally at the tip of our fingertips. Unlike our parents, texting and calling is just one touch away. Not to mention social media. On the other hand, my mom has reminded me numerous times, that she didn’t have a phone growing up until she was almost in college. She said she used a landline to call her friends until the cellphone came out and it was the size of a brick. (p.s. I hope this isn’t telling her age too bad!) The luxury of having a phone as a teen is very nice. However, I will admit without phones and social media, issues such as cyberbullying wouldn’t exist. Not to mention face-to-face interaction. I would much rather my generation connect and interact face-to-face rather than through texting or Snap Chat. Having a smartphone as a teenager leaves more room to make a mistake…and get caught. As my parents have told me, they could have done whatever they wanted back then and never get in trouble for it, because it wasn’t on social media for their parents to see.
Along with phones, our music and style are much different also. Although most high school students at my school all come in sweatpants and t-shirts (which I am also guilty of), our style outside of school is VERY different than what my parents remember wearing in the 80’s. Just like a typical high schooler, we like whatever is new. The newest clothes, hairstyles, shoes, etc. Today’s style varies very much, from converse aka “Chuck Taylor’s” to the newest pair of Nikes. Even aviators and club masters are still in. Although, tight-rolled jeans and big permed hair are not. As for music, I know for sure that I’m not the only teenager whose parents still play Duran- Duran, and R.E.M. while riding in the car. My generation’s music as we all know is very diverse and very, very different.
On a serious note, growing up today as a teenager is beginning to be much scarier. A little over a month ago, as many of you saw on the news, Grayson High School was threatened by a shooter. Luckily nothing happened, and our local police were called in and secured the premises, but this shouldn’t happen. It’s becoming an everyday thing now, that school shootings are occurring very often. And for Grayson High School, a place that I call home, to be threatened with an issue that is occurring nationwide really hits home… literally. My parent’s generation never dealt with any fear such as this one in high school. As everyone says “Enjoy your teenage years,” but between the fear of school violence and the pressure of getting into a good college leaves minimal room to really enjoy it.
Despite the differences between my generation and my parents, today’s youth is offered many more opportunities than any other generation before us. We are given opportunities to choose to be whoever we want, decide on whatever occupation we want, form opinions and take action, etc. And with the guidance of our parent’s and grandparent’s generation, teenagers growing up in 2018 will be able to achieve that along the journey.
Any questions, comments or recommendations email What Goes Around at firstname.lastname@example.org And that’s what’s going around! Soraya Bagheri is a freshman at Grayson High School.