Open Your Eyes

My entry for the 'Stand Up For The Huffington Post' Competition.


1. Open Your Eyes


It is a truth universally acknowledged that a child newly turned thirteen must be in want of a label.

Those beginning words are quite appropriate, considering they are an amended version of the opening lines of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. And that’s what we suffer every day; prejudice.

We come from all walks of life and yet we are all judged and labelled in the same way, when the only thing we all have in common is our age group.

We’re all teenagers.

We’re dangerous criminals that should all walk around with large labels on our foreheads reading ‘Caution’. Or so many adults think. Teenagers have such a bad reputation, even Gerard Way is scared of us!

“They never listen, have messy rooms, and argue with their parents; stay out late and all deserve to be tarred with the same brush,” says Society. We are a menace to society, yet still they judge us. It’s a sad fact, but a true one.

I heard it said once that teenagers are a product of their society. So does that mean that teenagers are created by the adults around them? That you shape our thoughts, feeling and the way that we act?

If you say that all teenagers are rude and loutish, some will just play up to the stereotype. If you ask someone why they sleep late, they may reply with; “I’m a teenager, it’s what we do.” Playing up to the stereotype that all teenagers are lazy. 

Another ‘problem’ with teenagers is the apparent decline in the art of reading and writing. Apparently we’ve killed it. Dead, buried, the lot. No one wants to pick up a book anymore; they’d rather sit around playing on their Xbox360 and PlayStations.

We all know this isn’t true.

In fact, I know more ADULTS who spend their free hours staring at a TV screen, communicating via grunts and eating nothing but tangy cheese Doritos, than teenagers. What’s the difference between and adult doing it and a teenager doing the same?

I for one, would much rather be curled up in a blanket with a good book every night than sat downstairs playing on the family Wii (which we used avidly during the first six months and now hardly go near). I always hand in my homework, I have an excellent relationship with my parents and I have never broken the law.

I sit and write Fanfiction and, although I have only recently discovered Movellas, hope to start writing some more original fiction. It’s my dream to see my name in print.

Do I seem like one of the ‘dangerous’ teenagers you hear about on the news?

I will not try and defend every teenager, because we are not all the same. Some will stay out late, get drunk and play their Xboxes until the seat they’re sitting on has a perfect imprint of the bottoms upon it, just as others will come home early, do all their homework and eat all their vegetables.

You cannot label an entire generation, consisting of millions and millions of people, all the same. Each person is different, with different views and opinions. You would not say that an adult can be ‘yobbish’, because they are adults, even though some of them can be.

It’s not fair really, that we can all be placed into one category, when we are all so different. That we are all told we are trouble just because; say ten people out of millions commit a bad act, giving all teenagers in general a bad name. It hurts those who aren’t the stereotypical ‘teenager’.

No one should have to put up with this kind of prejudice. But we do on a daily basis. It stares us in the face every time we leave the house. 

One day, I hope people can open their minds just a fraction and see teenagers for what we really are; misunderstood. 

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