One of the things our generation is notorious for is being the root of all that is wrong with society today, or at least being blamed for these problems.

When you see one of those extremely graphic texting and driving commercials, most of the time it’s a teenage girl behind the wheel. Or in movies, the bully is always the varsity football player, followed by the clique of blonde cheerleaders. 

The sad thing about the world we live in is that you’re categorized with your age group, so no matter how intelligent you are, you’re always just going to be another delinquent teenager. 

These problems branch out way farther than just your age. You’re stereotyped by who your friends are, where you grew up and your ethnicity. Growing up in a small community, a last name is way more important than you think and almost everyone knows who your parents are.

So these problems don’t just start with teenagers. It’s a societal issue, and teenagers just happen to be at the bottom of the chain.

When you’re younger, speaking out against authority makes you seem disrespectful, even though there is a difference between speaking out and being disrespectful. Many people don’t like the idea of someone younger than them being smarter or having a mind of their own. 

We are in a generation where you can fact check something in less than a minute, whereas previous generations had to learn more things for themselves. But you can’t blame a generation for having the luxuries that were once unavailable. Technology is inevitable. It’s always going to be around and it’s going to continue to advance. 

Teenagers are constantly learning. We’re still learning about ourselves and right from wrong. We’re growing up in a completely different time period than our parents. We may be the generation in which technology is deemed more important because it’s easily accessible – or the generation of bad manners.

But we will also be the generation that breaks societal norms and stereotypes, because when you’re a teenager, you are just a stereotype. 

Katie Heckman will be a senior at Pleasant Ridge High School.