Sometimes teens get a bad rap from adults. You often only get to hear all the negative things that young people do: teens are destructive, teens loiter, teens get into fights, teens don’t care about the world. When adults cannot look past these ideas that lump all teenagers into one category, they are reluctant to see them for who they really are. Sometimes, they react to these stereotypes instead of reacting to the individual teens right in front of them. Sometimes teens get in trouble with adults in their communities for no good reason. Some communities could even be defined as prejudiced against teenagers because of these common misconception.
I believe that teens impact their communities positively, too. They are complex and intuitive and that is what makes them special. They love to learn about new things and they are always up-to-date on the latest technology. Despite the fact that they receive a lot of flak, there are many teens who do not adhere to the negative stereotypes that exist about them. Below are a few things that teenagers are:
They are fun
They are energetic
They are the future
They have progressive ideas
They are open minded
They are playful
They have potential
So how do we get adults to see these wonderful things about teenagers? We have to show them! It is difficult to change misperceptions and stereotypes, but if teenagers are able to work together, little by little things can change. And you can begin this process in your own community. Here are some ideas to spread the awesome-ness of teenagers:
Volunteer at your local town hall.
Become involved in or learn more about a political campaign.
Persuade teens in your school to do a constructive project for your community.
Put on a play to benefit a local charity.
Help your family set up a recycling system to reduce waste and save the planet.
Tutor younger children.
Contribute a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about the positive things that teens are doing in your community.
Donate your time to a local soup kitchen or food pantry.
Talk to your school about putting on a presentation to the parents about the projects that teens are working on.
Become involved in or learn about a cause that you care about.
How are you awesome? Show the world with your actions!
For more ideas, check out the links in the “Save the World – Humanitarian Causes” category.