To the adults in the world we live in today…


Angel Tran poses near the Antelope Valley Project.

Dear Adults,

I am increasingly becoming more and more bothered by the articles about teenagers, and the adults who describe us as if we are one single entity and are all the same. Results from a simple Google search give results on how to cope with rebellious teens and sneaky ways to discipline us. Not a single article in the first 11 pages I scroll through tell the adult to simply have a conversation with the teenager. Being treated as a child and expected to act like an adult is rather ironic.

I am 16, and like most of my friends and peers, we are not as many refer to us incoherent and ignorant. Many adults, but not all, perceive us as entitled, irrational, and too optimistic. Politicians love to visit with the young people, but in reality, many do not care about our opinions simply because we cannot vote. But when you find ways to mock this generation, belittle us, and use our age as justification for your ignorance, you enforce an existing system that our intelligence has no real value. You enforce a system where our opinions are eclipsed by your words and we can no longer represent ourselves with dignity. At some point we will be of age to vote. And we will vote against you.

Adults like to say that teenagers are angry, and my answer to that is of course we are! We feel anger at what the world is becoming daily. We, along with the millennials before us, will have to clean up this mess of a society adults have made. We live in absolute fear of what the 45th president might do, knowing his potential environmental impact on the world–something we know and have been educated is irreversible (nuclear war).

We are angry because we have become socialized that our voice has no influence on our elders and we have no place in this society. We are angry because the advances we have made on racism, gender neutrality, sexuality acceptance, mental health, and  feminism seem to plateau and the movements we create become misconceptualized. For example, while racism is being confronted, adults claim self-segregation to the obvious attacks on people of color.

And while 90% of the world is afraid of sharks, even though the odds of being attacked by shark are 1 in 11.5 million, a woman’s odds of being sexually assaulted are 1 in 6. Still, the fear of sharks is seen as being rational, while being cautious of men is seen as misandry. 

Thousands of students nationwide are rallying for tighter gun control laws, yet congress has yet to create and release a plan of action to create these laws. Our government was created upon the principle that representatives would, in fact, represent the views and opinions of the people. Yet, we find ourselves fighting for politicians to listen to our voices. The same politicians who we did not vote for. 

We need adults to learn to respect us, rather than analyze us. If these adults could broaden their social lens and view the world from our perspective–while it may be a little bit different, but intelligent nonetheless, we’d find that there would be no need to protest. We need adults to hear our plea, and truly listen to our words. Stop teaching adults how to treat us, but teach them to respect us.