LIMERICK, Ireland — Teenager — a word that sends chills down many adults’ spines.
Once upon a time, the word meant a person from 13 to 19 years old. But now, teenagers are labeled as hooligans, vandals and all-over bad people.
But is this stereotype really fair? Are teenagers truly as bad as adults describe them? We teenagers are people, too.
We, too, see the horrific images on the news — images of war and poverty and global injustice.
And you know what? You can sit at home and cry over the terrible things in this world, but you can also go to bed knowing that none of it will ever affect you.
But we can’t. We go to bed knowing that one day, the world will be in our hands.
One day, when all of the current adults are dead and gone, we will have to face up to a ruined, polluted and deadly world.
And who is responsible for the ruin and the pollution and the deadliness?
It isn’t teenagers that create problems in the world, much as adults would like to think so.
We can protest and scream and cry until we have no fight or lungs or tears left inside of us. But no one listens. Why?
Because we are teenagers: deadly, rough little hooligans who don’t deserve to have a say in what happens to the world.
But remember this — the future is in our hands. We are teenagers — hear us cry.
Marese Heffernan is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.