High school isn’t a phase, event, or single thing.

This is a rant. This is a rant that I’ve been thinking about since I’ve seen a HONY post that quoted a man saying:

“Your brain is growing at a rapid rate during adolescence. There’s a lot of emotion, confusion, thrill seeking. It’s a time when you try a lot of things and make a lot of mistakes. We all went through it. But in this neighborhood, there’s not a lot of maneuverability. There’s not a lot of room for teens to make mistakes, and the mistakes have higher consequences. To make things worse, adolescence seems to be prolonged here. Many young people in the community view adolescence as a pinnacle, and not a stage. Girls become mothers at a young age. Fathers are absent, so young boys are forced to act like men. So what you have are adolescents who become authority figures, and spread the adolescent mindset through the community. Instead of thinking through a conflict, young men feel a social pressure to immediately react, so they don’t appear ‘soft’ or ‘weak.’ That’s one of the reasons I feel that mentorship programs are so important. They give adolescents a space to remain adolescents.”

By “this neighborhood”, I’m going to assume the lower sides of urban New York City. Wherever “this neighborhood” is, it certainly isn’t the one I live in. However, his quote that so many people view adolescence and teenhood as a pinnacle and not a stage has stucks with me for a few weeks.

You go through high school and you’re under this impression that one day, everything is going to click. One day, we’re going to graduate, our lives are going to drastically transform, and everything is just going to click. It’ll click, we’ll be happy, everything will be fine. So we work really hard and stress and cry in hope that when we get handed our diploma in our cap & gown, something magical will happen. A metamorphosis of some sort and it will all just click, right? No. Not at all.

I’m always hearing, you’re in high school now, grow up. UM NO. EXCUSE YOU. If I can’t vote, if I can’t drive, if I can’t drink, if I’m not trusted to do anything, what makes you think I’m an adult?!? Also, small tangent that there is no how-to-do taxes/mortgages/bills/adult stuff course in high school. Why is there no course like that in high school?? No course on financial wisdom, no course on the utmost basics of adulthood. No course on any social/fundamental thing we should know as adults, yet there are copious courses on the most unneeded crapola ever. (We have 2 courses for microsoft word. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?) Why isn’t there a “How to recognize drugged-drinks” or “How to avoid/get out of unwanted scenarios” or “How to handle dangerous situations”?! Oh that’s right. Because society values academia and football over social skills.

I am totally all for education and anti-ignorance, but please. Ugh. Okay that tangent was too much and will be for another post.

But teenhood, that’s when mistakes are made most. Or at least should be. That’s when we oversleep, mess up, have hearts broken, all of that horribly great stuff. It’s not a point we reach and suddenly transform. I wish people would get this. Gah. I’m frustrated guys.

-PN

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