Being a young person, believe it or not, means that we have these bizarre expectations placed on us about normal things that occur on a daily basis. Here are 8 examples of some ‘weird expectations’ that we feel like young people are ‘required’ to have.
1: Being talked down to by old fart teachers.
Some, but not all, teachers always talk down to us, sounding impatient when we ask questions, getting annoyed when we don’t understand, and giving us a death stare if we ask them to speak above a whisper. They just can’t hide the fact that they feel vastly superior to us, and that not being able to understand what they’re telling is just proof of how much smarter they are.
2: Adults in shops are always suspicious of us.
Adults are very suspicious of anyone below the age of 20 leaving their shop. They’ll make a beeline towards us and ask if we’ve paid for the stuff we’re carrying (Obviously we haven’t). Maybe they’re just suspicious because of the sunglasses and hoodies we’re wearing, or maybe they’re just ageist and think that anyone that’s adolescent is somehow untrustworthy.
3: Oldies assume we don’t have an opinion and that they’re always right.
Most of the conversations we have with older people (like our grandparents) follow a formula:
Step 1. Say “Hi!”.
Step 2. Bring up something you heard about recently.
Step 3. Talk about it.
Step 5. Find out that their opinion is completely wrong and/or their opinion on the matter is outdated by a few centuries.
After getting over the initial shock we try to change their views, using logical thought, analysis, and a tonne of facts and examples to back up what we’re saying.
After politely listening to what we’ve said they’ll respond with some inane comment and some piece of information that was proven false long before you were born. A smile will creep onto their face and the sense of superiority will shine out from them over their self-perceived victory over us.
4: On public transport we’re expected to give up our seats for anyone older than us, even people in their 30s and 40s.
Public transport respect is an incredibly high performance expectation, provided by everyone who decides to take public transport. It seems to be that students who are attending school seem to be the ones that have to make the first move by standing up for an elderly person, which is completely understandable. But we also find that older people in their, let’s say 30s, seem to believe that they same rules apply to them, and they think that by sending across an intimidating message to us young people that it is okay?
5: Everyone expects us to know what we want to do with our lives
The same question that everyone seems to be asking us young people “ what are you going to be when you’re older?” or “I doubt you would know what you wanna do, but do you know what you want to do when you’re older?”. Believe me the same question is floating around our minds as well. Some people may have an answer to that question which is why, there is more pressure to know what we want to do with our life. Young people like some of us tend to over-analyse things, and think well if someone else knows what they’re going to do for the rest of their life, we should move into panic mode and start stressing about what we want to be, when in reality we have years to decide.
6: You’re supposed to be on your phone 24/7
Due to technology becoming such an advanced material in our society today, the majority of people assume that younger people are the main users of technology and it is a standard thing for young people to constantly be pinpointed as the masters of the tech world which infact is not always true. Just because we’re young doesn’t mean we can fix your iPad. And just because we’re young doesn’t mean we’re on our phone 24/7. I mean, have you seen a tram full of office workers lately? They’re all on their phones too.
7: People assume you don’t know anything
Experience =/= intelligence. Apparently, it’s a controversial statement.
Experience purportedly gives people insight, but being there for something doesn’t necessarily mean you know what happened. Things tend to be most accurately recalled when there’s been time for reflection and documentation. And you don’t have to have been there for a historic event or era to have an understanding of it.
The mindset of many baby boomers and people from Generation X is one that can be quite toxic at times; assuming they know better than everyone else just because they’ve been alive for longer. That’s a rather foolish generalisation to make, we have to say. The notion of older people automatically knowing more excludes people who specialise in a topic, have certain interests, or have recently been exposed to the information at school.
We’re just saying…
8: You’re supposed to love sport and play regularly
Basketball. Soccer. Volleyball. Rounders. These are all sports we’ve had to play in school…and some of us still don’t know the rules to any of them.
Why is there this weird expectation that everyone in our age group should love sport? Personally, some of us think it’s boring to watch, it’s only fun to play if people aren’t screaming at you to help them win, and we don’t really understand the social gratification of being able to skillfully lob a piece of rubber from point A to point B. But sports, and the support and enjoyment of them, still seem to be made out to be so important by our culture, particularly in Melbourne where we live.
There are a lot of teenagers that like sports, that play after school or in state championships, that spend their free time during the Olympics streaming the outcomes, but not all of us do. Some of us really couldn’t care less who won gold in Javelin this time. Why do all our P.E. teachers assume we know how to play Netball, including possessing the knowledge where a wing defence player is allowed on the court?
We really have no idea.
Gosh, all these things that people expect us to do and expect us to be, it seems that adults use stereotypes about us and make snap judgments with them all the time. PEACE.
Athena, Maddie and Declan are with us at FYA for the work as part of our “Work Inspiration” program. Please make them feel welcome!