As a teenager, I often hear about how reckless and ignorant teenagers are. This stems from the fact that we are not yet adults, but are not given the leniency that is given to children when it comes to world news. We are expected to keep our grades up while doing extra curriculars and have an exciting social life. The busy schedules that come with being a teenager makes some adults think that we have little interest or knowledge about real world issues. This is a common misunderstanding because when given the chance, teens can give a great deal of insight into the world we live in and are more than willing to express their political opinions. Our opinions and thoughts on politics are often dismissed due to "not knowing" anything and "not having lived long enough to have life experience", however, the internet we are seemingly so addicted to gives us the tools we need to make informed decisions about society. Social media is a great way to connect with friends, but it is also a great way to see different points of view on many issues. News articles and information on politics are readily available, and it is almost impossible to go through them without ending up with some knowledge and an opinion. The elections this year have most of the world talking about who will be our next president, and this does not exclude teens. The political decisions made by the generation before us will mostly affect us, and that interests us greatly. Wanting to live in a country that is good for us is something that every person wants, regardless of age.There are, of course, some teenagers that have no clue what is going on in the world around them, but there are also adults like that. Ignorance does not just apply to teenagers, and the idea that we are the only ignorant ones is absolutely absurd. By junior or senior year of high school we are expected to know what we want to do with our lives, we have to know where we will study for our degrees and how we will pay for it. If we are expected to know who we are and what we want, why are our opinions seen as invalid? How come we can't know who we support in politics and what our country needs? Teens are used to learning and are eager to express ideas and help come up with solutions to the world's problems. We are ready to talk about our views and ideas if adults are ready to listen.
When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.
Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.
Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.
Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.
The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.
Thank you for showing me how to love.
From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.
Thank you for making me strong.
Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.
Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.
I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.
Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.
Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.
According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.
The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.
But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.
If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.
Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.