Friday, February 13, 2009

This Was Unexpected!

You know why a lot of people think teenagers are hopeless? Why they are always getting into trouble and just being apathetic about everything?

You may say it is because of how their parents raised them, or blame it on hormones.

In Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris, a new perspective is offered. Teenagers are the way they are because of what people expect them to be. Our society says that the teenage years are the time to go crazy, and everyone expects that.

If you are a teenager and you aren't out doing things that I wouldn't mention in a blog like this, you must be a freak of nature.

Please note that I am a teenager. I'm frustrated because a lot of adults don't expect me to be what I really am. They expect me to be apathetic, lazy, and have an attitude problem. Sometimes, I can be those things, but isn't everyone, regardless of their age? Sometimes it even shows through this blog. I don't think I get the same types of comments that the adults do. I'm getting tired of hearing, "When I was your age..."

I had a teacher last year in a very diffcult class that I thought I was ready for. I was determined to get a good grade in this class, just as I had in my other classes. The teacher's expectations were WAY higher than any other teacher I had ever had. Instead of working at the same level as my easier classes, I rose to those expectations rather than risk a failing grade. I worked by butt off for that year. This class was so hard! I got a C. It was the first C I ever received on my report card. I put in what I thought was A or B work, but earned a C. In my other classes, I didn't do anything and got an A.

The easy classes for me that year are what our society is now. We set incredibly low standards for teenagers so they can squeak by without doing much. Since many don't face big consquences, it is not considered failure.

It now seems to me that the best teachers I have ever had expected a lot of their students. My journalism teacher last year was hard to please, but when she told you an article was good, you knew it was. My history teacher in 8th grade gave really hard tests that you actually had to study for, but the A meant more to you after all of that.

The youth leaders at my church who expect more of us than just coming into a room and filling up a chair...

What if there were higher expectations? What if we expected all teenagers to graduate high school, go to college, not do drugs, not party or drink? Sure, some teenagers still would, but some would rise to the occasion and meet those expectations.

In the meantime, all the teenagers who already do those things without being expected to are labelled as the "good kids."

One point that stuck out to me in Do Hard Things was what you DON'T do doesn't matter as much as you actually do. For example, wearing a purity ring is a good thing, but making a stand for a cause you believe in is even better.

You want proof that teenagers who want higher expectations exist? Go to There is a blog dedicated to this, run by teenagers.

As for this post, I bet you didn't expect this!


Michele said...

Can I adopt you? :)

Sarah said...

um, ok sure :)
virtual adoption: the newest trend :P