The Quandry Of Low Expectations

by Shannon Meiers

It often disturbs me how much the world looks down on specific groups of people or expects less of them just because of their age or race.

Take teenagers, for example. I understand that many teenagers are moody, disinterested in their families, and unwilling to work hard, and I apologize on behalf of them. But please, do not judge us all by a few sour examples.

The lower your expectations of us as adolescents are, the lower we will sink to meet them. Your expectations of us will determine what we will become. If you expect us to be mature, intelligent, productive members of society, we will rise to the occasion. If on the other hand, you don’t expect us to be anything more than bums who get along with the lowest possible amount of effort and spend the majority of our time eating, sleeping and texting, well that’s what we will become.

And as for you teenagers, you’re not off the hook either! The reason that our society as a whole has appallingly low expectations of us is not because the majority of adults are irrational beings, rather, it’s because our expectations of ourselves are low.

If you want to be thought of as responsible, then seek out responsibility.

In other words, don’t beg your parents for something if the last ‘important thing’ you needed money for become yesterday’s news two hours later. Something interesting I have found is that; if I want something bad enough, then I will find a way to make it happen, no matter how much it takes. This is how I have come to get a boombox, a portable CD player, my first cell phone, and even the geometry curriculum I now use.

There is a huge difference between growing with maturity and trying to grow up too fast. The person trying to grow up too fast takes on more than he/she can handle comfortably at one time, whether it be a job, class load or relationship. The person growing in maturity, however, accepts that to obtain more in this life he/she will have to manage wisely the resources that he/she already has at his/her disposal. This might mean working as hard as possible in school to obtain satisfactory grades, or working hard at your chores.

My parents always tell me that my full-time job right now is being a student. And although I understand the eye rolling you are doing right now, I can assure you that it’s true. As teenagers, we have a lot of possible influence, and it’s our job to make sure that the image we portray to the rest of the world reflects us in the best light possible. Not only for our benefit, but so that the world will take us seriously. Because when we stop letting ourselves be profiled by low expectations, just imagine what we could do to change the world!

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