Walking the line between youth and adulthood

Kelly Klein

I’m too old to go trick or treating and have it be socially acceptable.  At the same time, I’m too young to legally stay in a hotel room by myself.

So, where’s the in between?  Welcome to our lives as teenagers.

The phase between adulthood and childhood is a time of life everyone has to go through.  However, people cope with this awkward stage in different ways.

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However, parents and school administrators alike need to meet us teenagers in the middle.

According to a recent Dartmouth study, the human brain doesn’t reach full maturity until his or her mid-20s, so it’s understandable that some teenagers are treated more as kids than adults.

But how can an adult treat me like a child if at the same time I’m supposed to balance the everyday responsibilities of an adult- like paying for my own gas or maintaining a steady job?

Many teenagers throw away their opportunity to prove to adults that they are mature enough to handle these responsibilities, and instead, spend all of their time drinking, partying, and living their life in the present.  In many cases, adults have every right to be skeptical about our morals and values.

I remember the Fourth of July parade I spent with my cousins last summer.  Every single fire truck or police car that drove by, cheerfully throwing candy at the jubilant children, managed to avoid my eager looks and deprive me of any candy at all.

Now I’m being discriminated against on a completely different level because of my age.

If you’re going to pull my friends and me over at 11:01 p.m., you can at least toss me a lollipop or two during the parade.

After high school teenagers prove to their parents that they can handle responsibility, it’s time for the parents to step in and realize that their children are essentially young adults.  If we teenagers aren’t given the opportunity to learn from our actions now, we will blindly enter the new world of college with less experience, and therefore, more dire consequences.

Throughout the world, many teenagers access and abuse alcohol because they can’t think of anything else to do with their time at night.

In reality, this often has the oppositely desired effect.

I’ve watched many parents suppress their teenagers’ freedom to the point where their independence is equivalent to that of any middle or elementary school student.  What these protective parents don’t realize is that this causes teenagers to rebel more against them, completely in defiance with all of their teenage bravado.

Let’s not forget that everyone was once a high schooler, including our parents.

Because teenagers are so close to adulthood at this point in their life, many will go too far to reach it.  Adults, give us a chance to prove ourselves to you-or at least throw us some candy on the Fourth of July.