Picture, if you are so inclined, a modern university; a campus overflowing with eager young people, full of endless motivation and hungry for knowledge. All of these teens have finally arrived at the promised land of opportunity, intelligence, and FREEDOM. I’ll say it again in case you didn’t get the full effect. FREEEEEEEEDOM! Books and parties and sex (oh my)!
For all you young’uns that may or may not be skimming this blog post and waiting to see a fun gif, I’ll save you the trouble- stop now. I don’t even know what a gif is.
I’m a college student and I’m working on my first four-year degree. What sets me apart is that I’m an adult and most of my peers are still children. I may be somewhat reminiscent of an old woman screaming at kids to get off my porch, but you kids need to get off the porch already. And when I say porch, I mean your narrow-minded view of the world. And by get off, I mean step out of. Please start reading books again and try to understand other points of view besides your own. Please look at other things on the internet besides social media. Please be eager to learn.
I want to preface this by saying that I know I’m not special. I’m only about eight years older than most of my classmates, which may not sound like a huge difference. What I’ve discovered many times over these past two years is that it is, more often than not, a humongous difference. Of course this does not apply to all age-appropriate college students, just most of them. I roll my eyes so much during class discussions that I am now cross-eyed. Thanks a lot.
I had an interesting day in my Anthropology class when we discussed religion. Yes, ladies and gentleman; there are other religions aside from your own. There are other belief systems and ways of doing things that work for other people. Make sure you wipe off your jaw once you remove it from the floor. I can understand how some of those beliefs and rituals may be surprising and even off-putting. Here’s an interesting piece of information: you don’t have to change your personal beliefs to learn about others.
(I lied about the gifs)
That particular class period was a fascinating study on widespread ignorance. All many of these kids seemed to know is that there’s Jesus and he is the way, there’s some Jewish people out there for some reason, and Muslim = terrorist (allegedly). One guy asked if there was any documented proof of Eastern medicine’s effectiveness. I could actually hear him rolling his eyes every time my professor spoke. He was shocked and hesitant to believe that there are ENTIRE schools devoted to learning about acupuncture and herbs. One of my other classmates told us a little about Wicca, as her grandmother practices it. He scoffed so hard that his larynx nearly collapsed. He even told us a heartwarming story about a man at his church that was cured of cancer through prayer, and so those other religions can’t possibly be real. After all, “There’s a difference between prayer and rituals.”
But is there, really?
I’m not here to bash anyone’s religion. I think each person should believe whatever makes sense to them and makes them feel good. However, no one with unlimited access to information should have a blind spot that big. Furthermore, I think the woman with the PhD who speaks three languages and has lived among other cultures has a better understanding of religion than some 19-year-old dude that doesn’t like Halloween because “witchcraft.”
My overall point is that teenagers are annoying, and they don’t have to be. I was an annoying teenager once, but then I grew up and listened to other people. Do I know everything? Yes. Yes I do. I’m always right and everyone else is always wrong. Life has nothing else to teach me, so I’m now going to curl up and die at the ripe old age of 98.
In all seriousness, though- ya’ll. Come on. Get off the damn porch.