Sierra A. Michigan

The Truth About Teenagers

What it's like to live in society today, trying to keep up with all of the standards we're forced to fit to.

Dear Future President,

I have written this letter to you countless times, infinite ways of saying what’s wrong with my generation, listed off dulley stated statistics about rape, a high school students stress, what’s going to happen to my era when we cannot hold a simple conversation with another human because we replace laughing with ‘LOL’, and no one knows when to use the correct ‘your’ because abbreviations have made up all of who we are. I’ve started tangents stating about the falsities of love, about abortion processes, and about climate change. I’ve composed rants that tell you why I’ve lost friends because of supporting the feminism campaign. I’ve screamed about how the education system has made me into an insomniac and how I do more homework than breathing. I’ve said all these things, but I refuse to hit send because it’s limiting; my words. I can speak on and on but if I can’t hear myself why would you?

I’m a fifteen year old girl. I live in a small town in Michigan and I am engulfed by standards and molds I’m forced to conform to. I don’t know who I am, where I’m going, or what I’m going to be when I grow up, and I most definitely do not know where I want to go to college, thanks for asking. I am writing you this letter because it’s an assignment and if I get a bad grade now, I’ll end up working at a fast food restaurant with dead aspirations and faded dreams. But being forced to write this letter gives be time to be truthful. I’m not sure what I’m passionate about, I tend to act radioactive towards unlimited subjects. I guess I’m most passionate about being lost, not knowing, the unknown territories of the world and myself. By now I may not be following any rubric, but there’s such evils I see in the world, and I’m still young. It’s terrifying, but more than that, upsetting. It makes my heart shatter when I see adults unable to solve conflicts, when I can sit down and have a reasonable conversation with a peer after an argument. I have stopped believing you grow out of immaturity, but rather I believe it grows with age. I have no single burning passion gnawing away at me, because my passions are endless and those are the only thing keeping me going, pushing me forward, and forcing me to achieve greater. Instead of sticking to a single subject like I’m probably supposed to be doing, I would like to show the negative, pessimistic side of myself.

I would like to start with telling you that one out of five women have been a victim of rape or attempted rape, meaning that in my lifespan, 100 of my peers, the people I grow up with, learn with, lean on, share jokes with, 20 of them will experience this horrific violation. But it’s okay, because our too tight shirts, or too short skirts, or even my shoulder starts a sexual lust for a male and I should know better, right? Because it’s safer to say that you have a boyfriend than to say no to a man actually asking for your consent.

With every decade, our anxiety levels rise. Today, the average high school student has the same level of anxiety as a psychiatric patient in the 1950’s. But it’s no big deal, because we are lazy, procrastinating children with poor time management and overactive hormones, right? Besides, we need to learn to act our age, and mature, after all, the real world isn’t this kind.

According to Psychology Today, our so-called addiction to our cellular devices, isn’t really just an addiction, it's a way of social interaction, We rely on our technology to keep us updated, and so our desire for information and knowledge keeps us labeled as “screenagers”.

I have this horrendous fear about who loves me, and who just tells me they love me because in a world like ours, women and men alike prostitute themselves, selling their souls to make their sexual cravings content, with disregard to any promises or loyalties they share with another. They lie and they cheat, and I tend to believe love doesn’t exist in the most common forms because often it ends in broken hearts and farewells rather than toughing out hardships and committing to their word. I have this horrendous fear because of all people I would know that at the most random times your partner could say goodbye because they got to comfortable with you, or no matter if you share two kids with them you still have the urge to cheat on a family who loves you dearly, because they still never satisfied you and were never going to be good enough. But God forbid, if you happen to be the victim of someone's sexual attack without your consent, you get an abortion; because after all this isn’t your body and you’re murdering an infant that you never made the conscious decision to birth.

And you know, we waste countless days dirtying our world, layering it with filth, emitting harmful gases into our atmosphere, but no, having to drive to school is more important than the extinction of polar bears and all the animals being harmed by climate change.

By now I’m sure my multiple tangents have confused you so I don’t see the wrong in continuing on this path, guidelines are not my forte. A strength I do pertain however is my stubborn, unwavering opinions about gender inequality. How I could complete the am job as my male peer but have a wage gap of 13%. That a female could promote her body image on social media and be called a slut or a whore yet a similar picture a male would take and post would only have positive compliments. But no, there is no inequality between us because we bring this upon ourselves by just wanting to be treated the same as a man.In my educational premises, I’m not even allowed to show my shoulders because I’ll be stirring some hormones and distracting my male peers. But how would they not already be distracted with dealing with exhaustion? The heavy eyelids, inability to focus on your task at hand because the homework load last night was just too much to not stay up until early mornings. Insomnia is now just another characteristic of my personality because we know that if my homework isn’t done, my grade point average will stoop and once that happens, college acceptance letters become limited, and we end up in poor situations with a job that doesn’t reflect who we are. Everything is riding on one night of sleep loss, so what’s the big deal if I run solely off of caffeine, sugar and five-hour-energy’s?

These things are limitless in the ways that they cannot be fixed; sorry my pessimistic side is showing again. However you're never going to please us all, you're never going to make things better for us because society will always find new ways to watch us struggle. See these are the things I’m passionate about, and that is my burning passion to write to you about. I am passionate about the things that fuel who I am, and well, this is me. The fifteen year old girl from Michigan who has a sleeping problem, an annoyance with gender inequality, a distraught in climate change, a rarely spoken opinion about abortion, the fear to love another, social anxiety and discouraged verbosity with the preference of abbreviations and is thoroughly disgusted with the way men are allowed to treat women. You see, I cannot limit my words because I refuse to limit myself. I refuse to accept that I can be limited by a single passion because I’m not made up of a single thing, these things make up who I am, and if I cannot tell you who I am, then what importance are my words?

Sincerely yours, 

The Exhausted Teenager