Journal Prompt Week 12: When We Talk About Teenagers

ImageConsider the following, a quote from the bizarre and wonderful podcast Welcome to Night Vale:

“When we talk about teenagers…none of us are talking to the teenagers that exist now, but talking back to the teenager we ourselves once were—all stupid mistakes and lack of fear, and bodies that hadn’t yet begun to slump into a lasting nothing. Any teenager who exists now is incidental to the potent mix of nostalgia and shame with which we speak to our younger selves. May we all remember what it was like to be so young. May we remember it factually, and not remember anything that is false, or incorrect. May we all be human—beautiful, stupid, temporal, endless. And as the sun sets, I place my hand upon my heart, feel that it is still beating, and remind myself: Past performance is not a predictor of future results. Stay tuned now for whatever happens next in your life.”

My question to you, readers, is what do you make of this? Most (if not all) of you are still technically teenagers. Do you feel that the adults in your lives see not so much you as they are seeing their former selves? Conversely, you might reflect on how you perceive, your own younger self. Do you look back on your middle school selves (as I do) in embarrassed horror?

You know the word count I expect. You know when it’s due.


33 thoughts on “Journal Prompt Week 12: When We Talk About Teenagers

  1. I know my parents did not go through the same teenage experience as I did. They went to school in China and obviously, the educational system is different than here in America. Adults have many different experiences than teenagers in this generation. For example, technology was not available back in the days and today, it seems like everything we do involves some kind of technology. I remember my teacher saying that when he was a teenager, he loved going out to his backyard, inviting his friends over and play games. They would listen to the radio and play sports. Sometimes when I think about the things I did as a young teenager, I felt as if I was sleepwalking. There are thing I did that was so embarrassing that I would never want to talk about it. I don’t know what the future holds but I’m sure that the future teenage generation will have some advance system that we don’t have yet. I think that adults don’t see their younger selves when looking us because everything is different. My dad had six classes everyday in college and every morning, his teacher will ring the bell and they would have to run around the school at 6am. As time pass by, later generations should be smarter than the earlier generations. But of course, when I look back at my middle-school ages, I can’t even figure if I had an average IQ or not.


  2. The quote from “Welcome to Night Vale”, reminds me that our past experiences are what shapes us to who we become. The mistakes and life choices we all make as middle-schoolers and teenagers are a part of life. The lessons we learn from our imperfectness mold us to becoming better selves. Adults realize this and give us rules and orders in which we live by. They do this to help us to not make as many meaningless mistakes as they have. For example, my parents would always make me eat all my fruits and vegetables before eating dessert. This is because they wanted me to form healthy and nutritious habits at a young age so I could grow up into a food-healthy adult. It also prevented me from eating only junk foods and getting a stomach ache. Also, all adults can also look back at their teenager selves in embarrassment. When I was in middle school, I was a tomboy. I would refuse to wear dresses and skirts and would only wear jeans and t-shirts. With age, I now enjoy dressing up and looking nice. Even though I look back at my middle school pictures in horror, I have learned to embrace them. Without these life decisions, I would not be able to learn from them to make future life decisions.

  3. Middle school years? Embarrassing? Horrifying? Yep, that sounds about right. Just as my parents and many other adults view their teenage years as embarrassing, I view my middle school years as embarrassing. I had no idea who I was, so I tried to be plenty of things I’m not. I guess, to adults, we as teenagers don’t know who we are either. However, as a teenager, I’d like to think that I’m finding my way just fine. Yeah, sure I’ve done some embarrassing things in my teenage years so far, but I’ve been doing embarrassing things my whole life. Just because I’m a teenager doesn’t mean that that is the reason I’m making mistakes. Until we have everything figured out, life is a game of trial and error. Even when we think we have it all figured out, we usually don’t. Most adults don’t know everything about life, and most adults never will. It’s hard to look back on a time period of your life that you are still in, and for adults, you never stop being an adult, so it will always be difficult to analyze mistakes made in adulthood. It is much easier to look back on a phase you have grown out of and spot your mistakes, and since the teen years are the phase right before adulthood, that seems to be the phase adults analyze and criticize most. That’s what they remember the best, and therefore, that’s what they’ll criticize the most. I doubt most adults really remember the embarrassing outfit they wore that one day in sixth grade, but it isn’t because it wasn’t embarrassing, it’s because it’s just been too long. Adults probably do, however, remember that night that they got too drunk at 19 and ran around town looking for something fun to do. This is almost just as insignificant of an event, but because it was not as long ago, it is more easily remembered in more detail and therefore easier to criticize.

  4. Le’Otis Boswell-Johnson
    I actually do agree with the quote because anytime I remember talking to my parents or any other family members, they do bring up stories from when they were my age, those “back in my days” stories. It is not solely based on their teenage years but, in my opinion, their teenage years to the teenagers of this time. They mainly address the vast changes that have occurred or the things that are returning. I know I do it when I am talking to my younger friends or cousins and I’ll probably say something like “yeah when I was in middle school…” or I remember a long time ago when…” as if I was extremely old and not currently in my youth. When I do reflect back to those middle school, freshman year of high school, days I get extremely sad. All I can think is why did I do that or why did I where that or more often what was I going through. There are times that I wish I could go back in time and like give myself a pep talk and correct all those bad moments in history, but since I can’t I will just make sure that there is no physical evidence to be brought back up.

  5. I know from personal experience that my mom sees much of herself in me. I’m almost her carbon copy and I’ve made a lot of the same mistakes she has, and learned from it as well as she has. Luckily this has led to her being a lenient parent because she understands the experiences I want to have and need to have in order to grow into a responsible adult. Unfortunately she doesn’t always understand the technological factor of my generation. Sometimes it’s hard for her to grasp the idea of “Beats” and “MacBooks.” She trusts my judgement with such things but she often likes to research these new “toys” before purchasing them as Christmas or Birthday presents. Even though our teenage generations were much different in terms of technology, they were much the same. She had to grow up like I have to, she dated like I do, and she had to go to school like I do. The basic morals and principles are the same and I respect her parenting skills because they have helped me grow into a better individual because she has been through the same thing. Each teenage generation for years to come will be slightly different, but we have to remember one thing, that growing up, no matter what decade, is still growing up.

    Christie Gleason

  6. My parents were the cliche “popular” couple in high school. My dad was an all-state football and baseball player and my mom was the captain of the cheerleading squad and homecoming queen. Both of my parents push me to be my very best in everything i do, and to try to be better than they were in everything they did. For my mom it’s in the classroom where she can see herself in me. I kept good grades all my life, some parents would consider them to be great grades, but when i got anything below a B my mom felt like i wasn’t trying my best. She was straight A’s all her life and didn’t get her first B until she was a freshman here at FSU, so when i would get a low grade she felt like she had not pushed me to study hard enough and it was almost her fault. With my dad its not so much that he see’s himself in me, but rather he doesn’t want to see himself in me. After having a dream high school athletics career he jumped around from playing football at UF for 2 years to playing baseball at a junior college…and then he was done. He wasn’t ready to be done and although he would never admit it, i think he feels like he didn’t get everything he was supposed to out of his talents. From the time i was young and first learning to throw a ball he was always the best coach. He pushed me to work harder even when nobody is with me. I can accredit the opportunity i got of playing at Florida State to his coaching. He didn’t want me to make the same mistake he did. He wants me to get every ounce of opportunity out of my athletics. I can’t complain, i’m glad my parents sometimes see themselves in my shoes because they use it as a way to help me better myself.

  7. Middle school years were definitely the most embarrassing, the most terrifying, and definitely the most awkward. At least for me. They were real rough. I think everyones middle school years are rough. They are the ones where you are just beginning to fit into your body and when you start to develop your friend groups. There is so much drama in middle school and fitting in can be tough. Being a teenager, we don’t have all the answers to everything. I know my parents didn’t. My dad grew up with a brother and a sister who were way different than him. Lets just say he was the good child. We all struggle from different things as we are growing up. We all make mistakes in our teenage years because we are learning and we are experimenting. Things may have been different back in the day when my parents were my age, but I think being a teenager wasn’t much different in the sense that we are all trying to find ourselves at this age. My dad was big into athletics in his teenage years. He definitely rubs off on me in this sense. It’s actually kind of cool that our parents got to go through these stages of life before we did. This way they can guide us in the right direction and give us their wisdom to the best of their abilities. In my life, it has been quite helpful in the times where I decided to listen to them in certain situations. When I didn’t listen to them, things normally turned out badly.

  8. Looking back into my youth i’m not so much embarrassed as I am ashamed that I was not involved in anything. From elementary school till my freshman year of high school I was never involved in any after school or extracurricular activities. I never participated on any sports teams (recreationally or on school teams), I was never in any clubs, I was never in after care. Honestly I went to school, came home, and watched TV till it was time to go to bed. I had the opportunity to be part of Junior National Honor Society, to be on a Soccer team like most girls, or to join the yearbook committee or sports clubs. I never did anything. Sophomore year of high school I finally join 2 honor societies, got more involved with school government as well as with sport teams. Although I never was involved in middle school and elementary school that had no reflection on my future in high school. I became involved and rarely ever went home to watch TV. Back in the day I thought staying in school longer then I had to was a waste of time and a cruel punishment, but it turns out it was some of the best memories in high school.

  9. I do feel that the parents of the now age see more of what they were in us. As a teenager now in high school for instance teens back when our parents were young only hung out with each other when they went out to go do things. Nowadays teenagers like sitting in front of a TV or a computer with a friend or no friends playing a game. Parents are like be social and don’t understand that being on those games you talk to hundreds of different people. They have yet to realize that technology is becoming a large part of who we are whether we like it or not and they keep want us to be like how they were. When I was younger all I really did was hang with friends doing band stuff or sit in front of my xbox for hours with some friends over. We could sit there for days at a time without getting bored whatsoever. We could play for hours on end without the slightest care, but as I get older I still enjoy these thing but I cannot keep doing it for days I eventually get bored and realize that it is not as fun for such long periods of time. I guess you could say that’s part of growing up.

  10. Teenagers are big balls of uncertainty. As a teenager, you are plagued with life questions such as “What am I going to do with my life?”, “What’s the opposite sex like?” and “When can I get rid of my parents?” No one ever fully figures out these questions until they are adults and have lived life a bit. The years ending in “–teen” are those of inner struggle in trying to discover who you are. You try on different types of yourself (mean girl, jock, hipster, etc) in attempt to discover which “you” fits best. It’s just seven years of confusion and angst.
    When it comes to adults, they’ve seen life. They have experiences and have learned life lessons. I feel like adults look at kids and they see the uncertainty that they’ve faced. I think adults are jealous of how care free and limber kids are, but I don’t think they would trade shoes with a kid of today. I don’t think today’s parents could switch with their kids and survive. My parents swear that they would never take the opportunity to trade shoes with me. I worked my ass off in high school and I know a lot more than my parents do. I’m more book smart than they are in math and science. I took courses and read books that they did not have to worry about until they were in college. Not to discredit my parents’ intelligence, but they have a different kind than I do. They know how to write in cursive and, both being high school social studies teachers, a LOAD about presidents and wars and dates and the list goes on. They also had the pressure of the Vietnam War and being drafted and civil rights and a whole other set of issues than us teenagers face today. I am similar to my parents personality wise, but as far as intelligence and work ethic, we are very different. My parents are thrilled that I am not the same as them. I feel they have instilled their best traits into me and I represent them.
    As far as the quote is concerned, I have no idea what the speaker is trying to say. I feel that it’s contradictory- the way people view teenagers. My Chemical Romance sings that “Teenagers scare the living shit out of me”, and yet Bruce Springsteen sings about “Glory Days”. Highly confusing as to which is better.
    Personally, I am ashamed of nothing that has happened in my past. I have no regrets because every stupid style I sported or slang I used helped me develop into the person I am today. We look back on the past and think “how embarrassing”, but we really should be thinking “Thank god that’s over! I’m happy with who I am today!”

  11. When you ask if the adults in my life see themselves instead of seeing me I wanted to scream yes. All my father does is compare everything he thinks I do to what he did in high school or college (6 months). When adults talk about their past and try to tell you what is going to happen I feel that they are just trying to relive the past for a few minutes and give you an idea of what is going to happen and I understand that because being young is great. But when my father talks all he does is tell me how much better of a teenager he was than me. He says things like “I was thinner, stronger, and faster than you will ever be because you don’t train as hard as I did”. Well the difference is, I did a different sport. When I look back at my middle school years I am not embarrassed at all. I know when most teenagers look back they see themselves as a super nerd or an ugly child but when I look back I see my teeny tiny self. When I was in middle school I was just over the underweight line, had straight slinky hair, and I was treated like a princess. All the teachers loved me, everyone treated me as their little sister and I was so naive to what people did I could not hate anyone. Yes I was a nerd but I was so quite that no one really could make fun of me for it.

  12. I try to forget the former middle school me for a reason. It was a dark time that I don’t particularly want to remember. On the first day you’re supposed to make your first impression. And boy, did I make one. Everything that I could have done wrong, I did. The first day, I had a very short haircut (basically a shaggy boy’s cut), I was wearing my brother’s hand-me-downs, I was carrying a lunch box, I had on knock-off Nike shoes, and I forgot to put on deodorant. During attendance, the teacher would call off my name and people would look at me as if there was no way my name was Courtney. I heard people calling me lesbian and making fun of the way I dressed and everything. When I got lost, I would go up to 8th graders and asked for directions, not realizing that’s the one thing you shouldn’t do. It didn’t help that I was almost positive they could smell my B.O. either. I managed to make people see me as something I’m not and not much changed until my hair grew out and I started to wear girl’s clothes, and cute and in-style shoes. Until I actually looked like a girl.
    It’s weird to look back and see pictures of me from middle school, because I was a hopeless mess. I know the current me probably would’ve thought I was quite the character back then too. As a result of the torment and embarrassment I experienced in middle school, I know that I am not going to be that parent that tells my daughter that short hair would be super cute and that their older brother’s hand-me-downs won’t look that bad. As for my parents that did exactly that, they were completely 100% wrong.

  13. I do believe the adults in my life see more of their former selves in me than they see who I am. I say this because of the expectations they have for me and how they treat me. It is almost like they don’t want me to repeat what they did in their teenage years. I feel that if they did not want to make the mistakes they made in their teenage years it’s too late for them and they only have to tell me what to avoid and not try and steer me to their idea of the perfect person. I should become my idea of the perfect person not theirs. Sometimes while thinking about this I look back at the middle school me and think wow I was such an ass or wow I was such a stupid kid. But, this is only because I understand what impact those decisions have on my future. I burned a lot of bridges when I was in middle school yet I also made a lot of lifelong friends that I still stay in touch with today. We look back at our pasts and laugh at what we’ve done and try to forget those embarrassing moments that was funny for everyone except you.
    Palmer Harper

  14. I know that my father does not see himself in me whatsoever. I am the complete opposite of him in many ways. I’m a very in the moment person. I don’t plan everything out. He likes to know every detail of what is going on and when. He gives me the hardest time about not always having a plan and tells me I need to be more like my brother (Mark is basically his twin just 25 years younger). I believe my father fears that because I’m not like him that I won’t be successful in life. He views his way of life as the only way to be a successful and happy American. He tried to talk me out of being a music major because he feels there are no jobs for me there and told me to look into computer science (which was his major and my brothers). When my dad talks about teenagers, he views me, the unsuccessful mess up of society. He has come out and said he doesn’t see most of my friends going anywhere in life. I guess the only way to turn out successful is to be a stick in the mud like him. Sorry dad, that’s not happening.

  15. When looking back on oneself, it is good to feel the many different emotions and feelings such as embarrassment, stupidity, sadness, happiness, anger, and joy. There is only one feeling we should never get when reminiscing about our younger selves and that is regret. We should never regret anything we do because every single event and experience in our lives has made us who we are. All of the mistakes that we have made in are lives are for the best. We take something away from everything we do and use it to better ourselves. When we look back on the younger version of ourselves we should be thankful for getting all of those stupid mistakes out of the way. Our teenage years are the years we learn most about life and ourselves, and it’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, during this time we should make the most mistakes that we can make so we know how to avoid them later on when their consequences will be much more severe.
    Our parents went through this same exact transformation, but they seem to forget (or at least mine did) that “past performance is not a predictor of future results.” They need to remember how they learned from their mistakes and that if they try and protect us from making them we won’t be able to learn. We can’t learn from the mistakes that we never made.

  16. Looking back on my life I can honestly say, I look back with regret. I regret: wearing long hair when I was in middle school, the clothes I wore, the situations I put myself in, etc. As a young teen, I believe everyone does things that they look back on and laugh or wonder what they were thinking. Nobody is perfect after all and I was no exception. I can see how my parents could have looked at me, copying the social trends that were popular, and they saw themselves at my age when they did the same thing. Their advice was always not to be a sheep and to not get caught up in all the dramas of being a teen. It was them telling me not to conform that made me conform. Looking back now I can see, as a teen I felt as though they didn’t want me to have fun and to be that “good boy” kid that got beat up after school. I know that as a parent I will see myself in my children. They will make the same mistakes as I did at their age. I will try to warn them, but they will disobey… just as I did. That is the inevitable cycle of growing up. Obedience, rebellion, nostalgia, and repeat with the next generation. All I can hope to do is try, just as my parents did.

  17. When my dad looks at me I know he sees so much of himself. I think that he wishes he did more with his life as a teenager and doesn’t want me to share any of the regrets that he has. When my dad was a teenager he was one of five children and didn’t have much structure in his household. His parents never pushed him to do anything and he got by with just giving things half effort. This is his reason for pushing me so hard. He sets his expectations very high for me and with every achievement I have, he is ready for the next accomplishment. He never wants to settle or blend in with the rest of my peers or kids my age. I know he wants the best for me but I do sometimes feel that he tries to make decisions for me based on what he would have wanted for himself if he could go back. Unlike my father, I do not look back at my past with regret. Sure there are things about my middle school years that maybe weren’t my best decisions (my hair, my clothes, my crush) but I think your past is important. Your past is what shapes your future. Now when I’m older I can torture my teenage children and compare my experiences.

  18. Before every big step in my teenage years I received a chorus of sound advice from parents, older family members, and basically anyone that has “been there before.” The truth is none of them have advice that is particular to me; most of it is generic things that they learned through their younger experiences. I lost count of how many times I’ve heard “study in college, don’t just party.” It takes considerable control to not blurt out a smart ass remark like “no shit.” With that being said I couldn’t agree more with the quote. I relate to the perception that our advice comes from analysis of our younger selves; regrets, mistakes and other events we do not want the receiver of our words of wisdom to suffer through. So I wonder how others that give advice view themselves from a now elder perspective. Personally I usually take a critical standpoint. Whenever I see a picture of myself from my middle school years I reject the mop of hair that hung below my eyebrows, and wonder what I had done with all the stress free time, which is now mostly a blur. Only five years later and my memory is foggy, hopefully in the next five years I can recall my college years with more clarity.

  19. When I look back to middle school all I could remember is growing up The first day I began middle school i had mixed feelings and emotions .The years I had in middle school stick with me forever. Middle school was tough but the experiences in middle made me ready for high school and gave me some help while I was in college .But if was to asked me if I looked at my middle school life with regret I can honestly say yeah. I was not active in my middle school how I was active now. I would not say I was embarrassed of myself but resentful because I knew what I was capable of doing and I could have probably did something good .

    The parents of the now age expect more us today. The reason why I believe is because we have so much more advantages and chances than they did in their time .

  20. The middle school years were very rough for me being I was a late bloomer. I didn’t hit puberty till about the summer between 8th and 9th grade. Mostly all of my friends had already hit puberty and I was super embarrassed that I hadn’t. I remember specifically changing really fast and getting there super early to change fast for PE because I didn’t have armpit hair. In middle school I was one of the shorter kids as I was about 5 foot 5 inches. I had one of the higher pitched voices and compared to my friend Taylor who had a full beard in the 6th grade I sounded like I had sucked helieum out of a birthday ballon. I never really got crap about being a late bloomer but it was something that frustrated me and made me super embarrassed. Especially when we would have the 7th grade “sex talk” . Also this is the age where kids started talking about sex and I felt as if I should not be apart of the conversation making me embarrassed. 8th gruade summer I hit puberty and grew maybe 4 inches each summer into my junior year of high school. Now I am 6 foot 4 inches with armpit hair.

  21. I personally had a different middle school experience than Mr. Hallal and most of the commenters. Middle school was my peak. There’s really no other way to say it. I was the best athlete , one of the smartest students and amongst the most popular in the entire grade. I had the best year of my life baseball-wise in the seventh grade which contributed greatly to my partial athletic scholarship to a private high school in the area with an outstanding baseball program. I was in the advanced class and bringing home nothing but A’s in seventh grade as well. But best of all, I was dating the prettiest girl in the whole school in seventh grade, and she was in eighth grade. This caused me to hangout around the eighth grade crew with kids who were older than myself. A lot of my fellow seventh graders began to admire me for this, which looking back on it was pretty stupid, but it lead to their desire to be around me, which was cool with me. I had a million friends and it seemed as though the world was revolving around me. And then I got to high school. I knew two kids entering my freshmen year and neither of them were in my class, so I found myself spending a lot of alone time on weekends for the first few month. I never became anywhere close to the best athlete in the school, nor was I the smartest. As for my parents, I am reminded almost every day by my Dad how much I remind him of his teenage self. First of all, looking back at pictures of his high school years, we are pretty much twins. I look like an exact replica of what he looked like in the early 1980’s. I’m also told I act just like he used to. I am confident, but can tend to be overly so leaving some to consider me as cocky or arrogant. My Dad says he was the same way. We both played the same sports, football basketball and baseball. The only major difference is he didn’t perform nearly as well academically as I do. I guess if my dad and I grew up in the same era, we would be best buds.

  22. I think adults now see teenagers more as themselves for the most part. My dad admits that to me all the time. Not only do we look very much alike, my personality reminds his whole side of the family of him when he was younger. I look back when I was younger and cant’ help but be embarrassed at some of the stuff I did. My mom has told me stories of how I have gone to Publix with my toy light saber clipped on my belt. Yet my grandma tells me stories of how my dad once got a pair of cowboy boots and wore them with every outfit of his for weeks. I also am very interested in sports and play football and baseball. My dad did as well when he was a kid and in some ways I see him pushing me and cheering me on because how he misses playing it himself and I remind him of when he played. Some adults see kids as pests and annoying but it surprises me because they were once that age as well and have had to grow up and make mistakes too. The adults that realize teenagers are just a copy of them in the past in many ways. They should be more understanding.

  23. Andrew Miller

    I think people tend to regard teenagers unfairly, with a two-sided approach. We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place; one day our parents claim we’re too young to go to some epic party and the next we’re labeled as adults who can figure things out for themselves. To make things worse this all comes at a time when our hormones are raging and emotions run wild, a breeding ground for drama. It’s a tough life being a teenager, but I’m sure tomorrow it will be fine: that is adolescence in a microcosm. Here we are experts in social networking and debate, yet its written off as rude texting and talking back, respectively. Another argument I’m often presented with is that teenagers are spoiled. The word “teenager” itself even draws connotations of a lazy, poor-behaved kid who sleeps all the time. People should focus on the positives of our age group because we bring what grown adults lack: passion that dies with age. As you grow older your childhood fades gradually, and you lose touch with your sense of adventure. I think some people ultimately forget what its like to be a youth, and thats why we are regarded unfairly.

  24. Timmy Corrigan
    I think that in some ways my parents see themselves in me but in other ways I am completely different. For example my dad loved golf from the age of fourteen and he knew he wanted to make a career out of it. For me though, I have yet to find a true passion in life. I know I want to make money but I do not know how yet. One thing I do have in common with my dad are my mannerisms. I have a very similar sense of hummer as my dad. We also look very similar and I think it is hard for him not to see himself in me in some ways. Another thing that is different about my dad and me is that he had a fairly tough childhood where as mine has been relatively smooth. As far as my middle school years, I actually had some of the best years of my life. I had an awesome group of friends and I actually enjoyed those years a little more than high school, although high school was still fun. Middle school for me was very relaxed because I had grown up with the same kids and there was now reason to worry or be embarrassed. We could not really be awkward because everyone knew everyone. Maybe it was different for other people but for me I look back on my middle school years with joy.

  25. Whenever my parents feel like they have figured out my master plan to deceive them they always say the classic line, “We were kids once and we know what you are doing.” Which I say is false. Yes every adult was once a kid but not every adult had what teenagers are growing up with now. When my parents get the smirk of victory and think they have won and unraveled my plan I just think to myself they don’t even know the half of it. My generations of teenagers have grown up with IPhones, social media, all these new ways of fooling adults and lying. Yes some of the struggles are the same, dating, friends, drama with girlfriends and boyfriends but with all this new technology this current generation of teenagers have problems the older generations have never dealt with. There is now cyber bullying and people sending nude photos of themselves. The social expectation to be the prettiest, best dressed, most handsome buff individual out there is higher then it’s ever been. Lets face it the times have changed and the moments when you could sit down with your parents and have them relate to you are slowly fading away. I look at my parents and know they mean well. I know they are trying their hardest and if I do say so myself they have raised a pretty awesome child. At the end of the day however I feel like there is a moment where this generation and the older one just can’t relate anymore.
    I look back on my past self and break out laughing. I laugh at the fact that I thought I was so cool and how I thought I was smarter then everyone. It’s as if I didn’t think I was human but some type of superhero. You really don’t know how lame you actually are until you scroll through old photo albums on Facebook and just shake your head in embarrassment. I look back and curse my self for not being smarter, making stupid mistakes that could have been easily avoided. Also I curse my self for not making mistakes, for not taking those once in a life time chances and for wondering “what if.” I try not to think about the past to much because I’m trying to make as many memories in the present as I can.

  26. I think our teenage years are what defines us. In middle school, I learned a lot of things about myself. I learned what to do and what not to do in social situations, and I learned what type of people I want to or should surround myself with. Every generation of teenagers that are coming about are growing more and more “mature”, I guess you could say. It is kind of hard how to put it, but thirteen-year-old me in middle school knew a lot less than the thirteen-year-old now does. My mom always says how I remind her of herself when she was my age. But, how could that even be possible with all of the new technological advices we have come to know and love. My mom attended school at FSU, and it is cool to here of her stories when she attended here as a teenager and all of the similar mistakes we both have made. She went to Ken’s here.. like common that was so long ago. Looking bad at my middle school years is very amusing. I’d never wear some of the things I wore back then, or associate myself with the people I chose to. I’m glad with the person I am today, but I disagree with the quote. Your past memories to predict your future. I wouldn’t be attending FSU if I didn’t try hard in my middle school or high school years. I love being a teenager and I never want to grow up. I hope these four years crawl by, but I know they wont.

  27. I know that I am exactly like my dad was when he was my age. I’ve heard it from all of my family members that knew him when he was 18. We looked the same, have the same personality, and had the same interests. It’s weird to think that. I can kind of see it since my dad was the oldest in his family like me, and he went to college far from his hometown (New York to Nebraska). He wanted to get away from what he always knew and wanted something different like me. I’ve now heard some stories of my dad from high school now that I’m “old enough” to hear like him sneaking out of the house to drink with his friends. It’s funny because I did the same (he still doesn’t know). I never thought we were similar growing up but now I get why we are so alike. He was always a little strict growing up and stressing about my grades so I thought he was a straight edge student, which wasn’t me, but I’ve now found out that he didn’t have even close to the grades I’ve gotten in school so far. I’ve never understood my family when they compare us but now I finally do.

  28. As a teenager, I often find myself living in either the past or the future. Each decision I make will determine where I end up in the future and each sacrifice I have to make as I grow up is a reflection on what I used to have so easily. I lived all of middle school wishing and waiting for high school to begin. Media has conjured up this “teenage world” that all pre-teens long for. Middle schoolers are at the awkward stage between dependence and independence, and high school to them will be the turning point. Once that step is made, it is awesome to be a teenager. So many opportunities and new responsibilities. Adults now look at you as “one step closer to an equal”. Everything seems perfect until it actually sets in and gets old quite fast. Teenagers are over the responsibility at the drop of a hat. All of a sudden juggling homework, a job, and college applications doesn’t seem as appealing as the media may make it. Don’t get me wrong, the “independence” while still being able to rely on your parents enough to get by is excellent. No teenager wants this period of their life to end. I don’t, necessarily, think my parents see me as a teenager as their former selves. Parents watch their teenagers and punish them to teach lessons, good or bad. My parents want me to have the things they were not so fortunate to have and take advantage of experiences they did not. They focus hard on my educational experience making sure I prepare myself for the future. Along with that, they make sure I will be able to make it in the real world once that time comes. Being the second child, I also learned from my sister what to and what not to do as a teenager. When I was entering high school, she was entering college and taught me valuable life lessons. Although they may be bratty and annoying, teenagers get a bad wrap. Who wouldn’t be bitter and annoying when they’re at the ugliest, most awkward stage of their lives?!

  29. Over the four years of high school I created a very strong friend-like, but respectful relationship with my teachers and my principals. This started my freshman year and progressed until my senior year. I did this by doing the little things. Staying after class to talk and joke with them, helping them on my off periods, or just coming in after school and asking for advice with something I was going through in life, these are the things that help me build such a strong bond with my teachers. By my senior year I had noticed that the way the teachers treated me was much different. They treated me as their equal almost. They would very rarely talk down to me, they would just have normal funny conversations with me, it was almost like having a new set of friends. This led me to believe that the way older people see you all has to do with the way that you approach them and the way that you present yourself. If you try to be professional but friendly with a person they will obviously treat you the same way no matter what your age. I have tried to carry this on into college so I can build strong ties with my professors, make new friends, and set myself up for a better future so i can look back and be proud of what I did at Florida State University.

  30. My parents always told me stories of them growing up. Based on their stories I have no idea how they are together. My mom was this conservative smart girl who always attended stayed in to study on the weekends while my father was a frat star who went out every night. Therefore I think my father would have an easier time seeing me in him now because I like to go out on the weekends and have a good time. But I think my mother could see her self in me when I was in middle school. Back then I was really into my studies and did anything possible to obtain the golden A. Thinking back on my younger self I was a mess. I followed the crowd, wearing converses and buttoning my shirt to the tee ( that was a thing in my school). I remember how I thought my mullet was cool and that everyone was jealous of me. As high school rolled around I started to turn more like my father, getting into athletics and focusing on my social life. How glad that those days are behind me!

    Zachary Anders

  31. I feel like older generations have been especially critical towards the younger. I’m not sure if that is a common thing thats been occurring for ages, but never less it’s been more evident lately. I feel like the focus has been on how much we, as a generation, screw up. I think before we are put into a generalization the accusers need to recount their past and remember how much they screwed up themselves as teenagers. We are all at fault. Being human is messy. Even though we may gain a bit of wisdom as we age we continue to mess as adults. Looking back from middle school, I was full of mistakes and mess ups. After growing up past those awful years, I realize how much I’ve grown but also how much i still struggle with making some of the same mistakes. i feel like the teenage years are the exploratory time in your life. this is where you find yourself and find your friends. This requires a lot of mistakes. Without this period of life, we would not have the wisdom needed as an adult. Making high school mistakes in the real world would be much more costly. Even though lately the blame has been on the younger generations for being terrible, it’s good that we make mistakes because it will help us grow into a stronger generation of adults.

  32. When I look back at my former self, I analyze some of the thing I did and say “man that was really stupid.” For example not studying the extra couple of hours for AP exams in high school or trying a little harder in 7th grade math so that I could have gotten into Algebra 1 in 8th grade and not been a year behind. But even though every has faults from when they are younger, those mishaps are what makes us who we are today. What does not kill you makes you stronger is a perfect quote to answer this prompt. However in some unfortunate occasions the hiccups some people had when they were younger affect the rest of their life whether they change their ways or not. For example if a student got into a fight at school or did something stupid they could be kicked out of regular public school and forced to attend second chance schools where the kid will learn only from his peers to be a criminal.

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