9 February 2015

By Lauren E. White

Underestimated Youth

After the events of last week and all of the amazing things that happened, I have decided to now separate my column from those events and focus it back to the social issues we, as fourteen and fifteen year-olds, face on a daily basis.

While this topic may seem similarly linked to last week and the events that are expected to occur this week, I feel it is important to address this matter as I believe it’s a serious issue for us all. Whether you’re fourteen or fifteen, or thirty and forty, this is something that we can all benefit from.

Underestimating the power of the younger generation is simply criminal. Believe it or not, we have a lot of power. With the likes of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr, the world is simply our oyster. We can have 10,000 likes on a post in ten minutes, 1,000 replies to a message we sent out an hour ago. Social media is a huge platform for the younger generation and it helps us to express our feelings as well as promoting ourselves and our ability.

While social media is just one aspect of our power, so is our unique ability to view the world in a way most adults can’t. Adolescence is a very difficult time for thousands in the UK and millions across the globe. But, it is adolescence that assists us in the different ways in which we view the world. It is easy for us to understand and identify with one another and the emotions and thoughts we all experience. Some of us face challenges that perhaps nobody else has just yet, but the people around us are still able to function knowing that and support us no matter what. As adolescents, we don’t write people off as easy as an adult does – we give everyone a second chance and don’t deem someone a failure because o one mistake.

We are able to be influenced and are able to influence. By simply writing a blog like this, it is easy to influence someone’s opinion on something. By saying what you think in a classroom or on the yard, you could change the way someone thinks about something.

Just because we are young doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to be heard. We may not have the right to vote, or the legal requirements to drink or smoke (even though some do abuse that) but we should be listened to as well.

We will not just ‘disappear’ into the background; we will make a noise. That noise could well be on social media, it could be through what we write in an exercise book, or even what we say to an adult or a child. No matter how or on what platform, we will be heard. And ignoring us will only make us shout louder.

Age does not define a person. Their mind and experience does. A 14-year-old could easily have the experience and wisdom of a 90-year-old as it is not how long you have lived, but how much you have lived.

See you next week.

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