By: Julie d'Entremont
Teenagers often feel judged just because of their age. They deal with
discrimination in the form of ageism on a day to day basis. This is not
something that people should have to expect to live with, especially when in
school it is taught that discrimination is not right. Ageism against teenagers
is wrong, and everyone deserves to be given a fair chance.
Dealing with ageism on a day to day basis can be difficult. It is common for teenagers to have to try and prove themselves to older generations. If they put forward a positive effort it is more likely for older generations to accept them. Teenagers often just want to be accepted and to be given respect. If shown respect, teenagers are more likely to return it. Teenagers often just want to be given a chance, and to be believed in. If they offer a welcoming smile, they are more likely to be given respect by older generations. Society would run more smoothly if everyone was put on a level playing field.
Like all people, if not more, teenagers wish for people to like them. They focus a lot of their energy into being accepted, not only by their peer group but by everyone. Although it might not always come across, teenagers care a lot about other people's opinions of them. They should not be labeled as "bad". Teenagers are who they are, but they are not all the same. They have positive ideas and valid opinions that deserve to be heard, and deserve to be given credit in the same way as people in different age groups.
Teenagers are often watched under suspicion, especially when in large groups. Many people think that teenagers are always looking to cause trouble. Some teenagers do make mistakes but so do adults. An entire age group shouldn't have to live under constant suspicion because of mistakes made by others their age. It is difficult for teenagers to enjoy themselves when out in public if they are constantly being watched closely. This can cause them to feel uncomfortable and even nervous. Sometimes teenagers may even be followed by security guards in stores, just to see of they do anything wrong. They are also frequently asked what they are doing in certain locations. If everyone was treated equally there would be fewer problems arising. Discrimination is not solving any problems, but it may be creating some more.
People shouldn't have to live under constant suspicion just because of their age. Everyone just wants to be accepted for who they are, and not be judged for being in a certain age group. It is important to get to know someone before drawing any conclusions. Everyone is an individual, and they have something unique that they bring with them. Everyone deserves to be given a chance.