Thursday, June 7, 2012

This is an All Ages Post

I’m definitely not fifteen. Ask me anything, but I’m definitely not fifteen. Well, I guess speaking the years it has been since I was born you’re right but I’m definitely not fifteen. I’m definitely not a tenth grader, although I’ve had a total of ten school years so far. As a person, I’m definitely older than fifteen.

Recently, I came across an internship that sounded amazing. I applied, made a resume (for the first time), and didn’t hear anything back regarding if I had been accepted for the internship or not. A friend informed me that they accept kids in their later years of high school typically. Boy o boy, I’ve heard this way too many times. Sorry, you can’t watch this movie because you’re not 18. Apologies, we can’t let you into this show because you’re not 18. Sorry, we don’t think you should get any advantage in life since you’re not 18. Apologies. Apologies. Apologies.

I feel like the world tells youth that your life doesn’t start until you’re eighteen. There are so many restrictions adults give us. Our opinions don’t matter because we’re kids and we’re too young to have any sort of political voice to name just a few. Yet, when we graduate high school and we’re then officially adults. You know, it’s just like BOOM! HAHA you’re eighteen and graduated, welcome to the real world SUCKA! Time to get a job! When quite frankly, we have been trying to get a job and learn about things that truly interest us for awhile, but we’ve been restricted from those things because of society’s limitations on us. Going through high school and taking math classes like geometry, I’m sorry, but that’s a complete waste of my time. Let someone who is thinking about becoming an engineer or architect take those classes and let me use my time for a class I’d really appreciate. Why do we have to wait four years to start learning about things we actually care about? We’d be so ahead of the game if we started studying subjects that would help us in life as opposed to taking health. This is why I’ve chosen to do independent study. So I can start learning about things I love now, while taking high school classes (in a fraction of the time).

I’m over this ageism. To some people, when I explain that I do independent study I get a somewhat negative response. It’s as though I’m the one who’s slacking off. What? Because I don’t feel like sitting in a classroom hearing a bored teacher explain math to me? Because I don’t want to waste my time? According to, well, society when you’re fifteen you should be in high school studying for your physics test, playing soccer, and hanging out with your boyfriend. It’s hilarious how high school obsessed America is. That whole Breakfast Club-Sixteen Candles-insert your favorite 80’s film- idea gets shoved down our throats. “You’ll miss out on the high school experience!” which for me was spinning my wheels and hanging out with kids who a lot of the time I didn’t have much more in common with besides the fact that we go to the same school. All because I’m fifteen.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to go to a show and then find out that it’s 21+ or 18+. So because I’m not eighteen I can’t enjoy live music? Or are you worried some kid is going to start drinking and smoking? I guarantee you half the reason that kid will pick up a beer and cigarette is because of those age limitations society has given us. It’s only natural to want to rebel in a dated society like this. I’m so lucky to have been raised with being able to watch the films I want, listen to the music I want, read about the things I want, and talk about the things I want that so many parents never let their children do. Would I feel tempted at a show to drink? Not at all. I think that says a lot about the way I was raised. When society is basically raising you, though, you’ll probably have a completely different answer. You’ve had all of these rules, up until you’re an adult, and then you get to break them all at once. That’s a recipe for disaster.

I’m not going to wait until I’m eighteen to start my career and learning about the things I find interesting. It’s sad to think that I will continue to miss out on so many awesome opportunities because of those double digits that come after my name that don’t resemble who I am at all.


Anonymous said...

wow, this is actually very relevant and well written. Good job! You really are gonna go far in life. But just dont be one of the kids that blames society for everything and wines about it. I dont think you are but just stay away from coming off that way because that alone makes people respect you less.

Rose said...

I can fully understand your thoughts on this. Age is something that shouldn't legally exist. There must be other ways to determine who's fit for this and that, be it about getting a job, going to live shows, playing certain video games, watching movies or even having sex.

Vegyogini said...

Oh, Clara, you are so wise. I hear you about the frustration that comes with ageism. You're right that 18 is a fairly arbitrary age to choose for restricting people from certain things (voting and going to shows, for example). You're right that responsibility comes from being the person you are and from also being raised well. You're right that you shouldn't have to wait to begin pursuing the career of your dreams and all the other interests that shape your life and inspire your heart. You're also very fortunate that you have the ability to study independently and your mom's incredible guidance and support.

I often say that I never really was a kid; that I was always grounded and responsible and ethical. So, trust me, I've felt what you're feeling. Make sure you take time to cherish being young, though, because time FLIES. It goes by so quickly that before you know it, you'll be 30. Spend time with the people you love, doing the things you love, and learning about what excites you. You are an incredible human being and I so privileged to be part of your life!

drew said...

Clara, you rule. I love this.


Evolotus PR said...

I have this theory - "doghouse math." Most of us don't need to know any more math than it would take us to do something practical like build a doghouse, balance a checkbook, or calculate whether 20% off the price of this item is a better deal than the buy one/get one sale on that item.

However I've found geometry very useful and relevant in life. (I say give it a chance.)

The only thing that the traditional system of schooling proves is that you can follow directions, complete tasks, and get yourself along in the world. I can accept that this has value to employers and to society in general. The complaint about "missing out" is garbage.

jamie rosenberg said...

Anonymous's post makes no sense. How can they say it was relevant and well written but then give you that warning? I won't make a comment on their typo cause that's just mean.