I think we can all agree that there are many problems that assail American society today. There is unemployment, the housing crisis, and the overall economic crisis. The stock market is down and the US is buried in a massive and ever-increasing debt. But there is one pressing issue that is often overlooked by the experts. And what is that? I'll tell you. TBAT: The Bored American Teenager.
Everyone is aware of the teenager stereotype. The rolling of the eyes. The attitude. The lack of interest. Everyone also seems to think either that this behavior is a very complicated matter which only a psychologist can make sense of, or something to be dismissed. Well, in my humble opinion, the solution is neither of those. It all comes down to one thing. Teenagers are bored. As simplistic as this may seem, boredom can branch out into many other problems. When teenagers are bored, they tend to lose purpose and meaning. Hence the teenage depression, mood swings, and attitude that parents fear more than their mortgage. And I do speak from experience. Once we enter that stage, there is no stopping, and before we know it we are stealing copyrighted teenage phrases from sappy movies that we used to scoff at as kids (think the kid growing up whose goals aren't in sync with his parents movie). For most teens, including me, school is not the saving grace. While they may preach otherwise, schools tend not to actively encourage individuality.
The years between childhood and adulthood can be tough, having opinions and a voice but not being taken seriously; not yet being adults. Everyone deals with this in their own way. Some enlist, and some turn to drugs (not trying to be dramatic at all). Some become glued to a screen -- well really, most do (and now that I think about it, so do adults). And a lot of teens just stick it through, painfully and slowly trudging through those crucial years, brimming with potential.
When I turned 13, I knew that boredom was not an option. And I would definitely not in a million years start using phrases like, "Mom, I hate you! You're ruining my life!" So instead I started on a quest to find something I was passionate about, something to occupy myself with. And as it turns out, I'm passionate about a lot of things. Books, music (I am currently having a fling with Chopin), art, politics, religion, piano, writing, culture, traveling, etc. And more than anything, I began a love affair with life and living. And no, I don't go bungee jumping, paragliding, or scuba diving every other Sunday, but I did write up a bucket list (stuff to do before I die). At the moment, it has a few hundred items and growing. Although many things on that list will have to wait for the time being, I hope to use this blog to share with the world some of the things I can do while still under the age of 18 (in other words, still under the jurisdiction of my parents). And hopefully instead of sitting around and waiting through six long years, teenagers can find something meaningful to do with their lives, even before they are expected to.