I was having a chat with my mates and I realised that teenagers have some cool confessions. We have decided together to start a new series, called “Teenagers’ confessions”. This time, we have chosen the subject “How to win an argument with your parents”. While discussing this issue, we realised that teenagers’ right to express their opinion is limited because… they are teenagers. Here, you have some of their visions:
Miruna-Alexandra Sabău, 18
I think that I stepped out of my introvert bubble so I could start expressing my opinions. I had always heard adults around me debating on different topics, and I kept on trying to step in with well-structured arguments. My words fell on deaf ears. I was told to shut up because, obviously, I was too young and I didn’t know what I was talking about. I’ve heard this too many times! I started believing that everything I had to say was unimportant. So, I kept my mouth shut. I read and kept quiet, holding my thoughts and ideas hidden from others. Decisions had been taken without my consent.
No one asked me anything. So I broke the silence! Now, at 18 years old, if an adult tries to quiet me down, I prove them that, in a debate, age isn’t a good argument!
Raluca-Ioana Călin, 18
Up until my freshman year of high school, I’ve always assumed that someone else “knew better”. It could be a parent, a teacher, anyone “older and, therefore, smarter”. Therefore, I’ve always been an insecure person, always searching for validation. If someone told me that something I was doing wasn’t ok, or that I should have done it in a different way, I wouldn’t need an argument to support their claims. That’s the worst attitude!
The best thing I could’ve ever done for my personal development was to enroll in my school’s debate club. Even if I’m not a great national or international debater, I became more confident.
Now, if someone criticises me, I will ask for an argument. If theirs can’t defeat mine, I won’t even consider it. Now, I trust my opinions wholeheartedly. If I believe in something and I can demonstrate it, not even the president can change my mind. That’s the spirit!
A while ago, when I was 15 years old, I realised that I was an introvert. Initially, I was blaming it on my desire to avoid arguments with people that are better prepared than I am. I’ve started keeping my opinions to myself. This way, I’ve lost a big part of the confidence I had in my own abilities.
I was always comparing myself or being compared to those better than me, afraid of doing something wrong that could end up later in fingers being pointed at me. Essentially, I was afraid of failure.
Guess what: failure was ready to strike.
Was it useful? Not at all. I’ve exhausted my energy with something useless.
In 11th grade I realised that there is no point in listening to what those ‘more educated’ have to say. I started expressing my opinions, even though they were contradictory to those of others and the famous reply was ‘Shut up already! Can’t you hear yourself talking?’ The answer was clear: ‘You can squirm as much as you want, you don’t impress me.’ I’ve started to slowly regain my self-esteem.
Eventually I’ve learned that it is fine to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them, that it’s not the end of the world if some ‘experts’ criticize you just because they have too much time on their hands. I’ve also learned that decisions I make on my own have a noble purpose, even though they may not be the best. They help me build structure for myself, teach me about responsibility and also motivate me to accomplish something important.
Andrei Druga, 17
As a little child, whenever I’ve heard the word “adult”, I would think of someone that was perfect. However, now, for me, adults, starting with my parents and even some of the teachers, are the primary reason that made me unable to trust people with my thoughts and feelings. Characterized by them as a failure or social outcast, I started isolating myself, finding comfort in books and poets that truly understood me.
Personally, until the age of 15, adults surrounding me were just simple beings without a normative role, they represented colorless pictures.
That’s how the poets and philosophers became my parents and teachers. I don’t owe my strong opinions to the adults in my life, but to the books I read. Those older than me represented an obstacle that I had to overcome with a lot of courage through that well-known phrase: ‘Stop talking nonsense.’
Ana Retegan, 17
Being a quiet child, I’ve spent a lot of time with my family. I was the only child sitting at the table with the adults. I didn’t say anything and rarely heard ‘You don’t know enough! The adults are speaking now, go play!’ I would just sit there, rarely saying anything.
Currently, things aren’t much different, except that I am asked for my opinion quite often.
Growing up, I developed and became more extroverted, which seems to be the thing that matters in the eyes of an adult.
I’ve learned how different it is to have responsibilities and others considering you ‘grown-up’. I also learned to express my ideas in a pleasant way and to do so only when asked. But, most importantly, I’ve learned that being an extrovert is a gift.
TEENAGERS’ CONFESSIONS: MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
Because we know that sometimes no one’s listening, because we know that you have many thoughts and ideas that you are keeping for yourself, it’s high time you spoke up! If you have experienced something similar, tell us your story in the comments!