By Maggie Costa
Teenagers know everything, they may not have been alive as long as you have, but trust me, they are MUCH smarter than you. They have more knowledge than you will ever have, how nice it must be to have everything figured out before you’ve seen the real world. Funny isn’t it, how when you were young you had no idea what it was like to be rebellious? What it was like to be bullied? What it was like to have friends? But of course, YOU didn’t have a cell phone. I mean, the legal age for alcohol now is 21, but it was 18 for you “back in the day”, so hey, thats only two years away for them, so why not get a head start?
Alcohol poisoning? No way. Drunk driving? Never. Oh, it’s a leading cause of death for teens? Cool. Let’s play the choking game instead, or maybe take eyeball shots to get buzzed quicker. Scars and burns? Who cares, let’s live in the moment, You Only Live Once, so it’s best to try everything and have no regrets.
Hey, we’re friends right? Lets brand each other with a lighter so we are bros for life. How about we jump off that bridge and go swimming? 500 feet isn’t THAT far, unless of course we hit the pavement, but this is water, soft and wavy, completely harmless.
What are seat belts? You mean they keep us from being thrown out of our windshields if we are texting instead of paying attention to the road and we accidentally (but it really wasn’t our fault because they put on their brakes) hit something? Had no idea that’s what those were for.
You mean police officers aren’t there to ruin the fun but to keep us safe? I swear parents pay them to ruin our fun. Tax money is for making teen lives hell, not to catch the real bad guys. I mean, all we’re doing is killing a few brain cells here and there.
Maybe shoplifting a $15 shirt when I had $40 in my wallet, but who’s going to miss $15. 99 cents for a pack of gum? If it was a dollar I might consider paying, but nope, there goes the price tag. Oh no sir, that wasn’t mine, you need a receipt? Oh I must have dropped it inside. Me steal? Never. Even if I did, you wouldn’t catch me, maybe the next idiot who tries to get by, but not me, I’m way too sneaky and my parents would kill me if they found out.
How about going 91 on the interstate? In a hurry? You wouldn’t be if you knew you would be the one dead on the road. That text your friend sent you. You know, the one where she was talking about that girl who went to that party with that one guy with the nice hair and the cute smile at the one guys house that everybody hates but he is rich so who cares and they hooked up but she said it didn’t happen but everyone knows it did and she’s just in denial and everyone really hates her but she doesn’t know that and oh by the way please don’t let anyone find out I’m saying this because she is a sweet girl and I have nothing against her. Remember that one?
Go ahead, you say, she knows I read the message and she will be so mad if I don’t text back right away. I mean, this is a serious conversation, the road can wait, it’s not like I’m going to hit anyone. It’s not like the average text takes my eyes off the road for the length of a football field. Oh you didn’t know I could run over 300 feet blindfolded? Yeah, I’ve done it, I do it everyday, every few minutes actually, sometimes every thirty seconds depending on the importance of the conversation. Cars will see that I’m obviously distracted and not looking so they will wait for me, and if they don’t, oops. Mommy and Daddy will pay for the damage.
Law suits? Those only happen in movies, I have nothing to worry about. Oh I killed the other driver? Sorry, you should’ve been paying attention. And even if the worst that happens is getting pulled over, it’s not like the cop can do anything about it. I’ll just make up some really good story about how I woke up late and I make good grades and I have never been pulled over before in my life and I really can’t get in trouble or my promising future is down the drain. Too bad cops can’t know the person you are just by looking at you. Too bad they can’t know your life story and what a respectable person you are. To them you’re just another teenager, a creature no one will ever understand, not someone who feels sorry for doing the wrong thing, but someone who delights in rebelling against any and every rule set in place.
And what about college? No need to study, I’m taking all the easy classes so I don’t have to try. Rejection letters aren’t real, and if they are, they won’t come to me, I’m too well rounded. I don’t need the GPA, I just need my ACT. They could care less what kind of student I am, whether or not I apply myself is my business. I’ll get into whatever school I choose, because rejection is not something that can happen to someone like me. My parents say I’m perfect, and so will the admissions people, I have nothing to worry about. No need to ever be on time to anything either. Mom and Dad always say it’s a “life skill”. If they need me that badly, they can wait. So will the people interviewing me for the job. There’s no way they will turn me away, I mean, it was only half an hour. Nice coffee break is what I’m thinking. It’s not like I wasted their time. Punctuality… can’t spell it so it must not be important. I’ll get there when I get there, and if that makes someone unhappy, I’m better off without them.
Money will never be a problem either. Mom and Dad work hard to keep me happy. So will my rich, doctor, heir to the Rockefeller fortune, super successful, undeniably handsome, perfectly perfect husband that I haven’t met yet but will someday. He’s going to go for someone who partied and wasted their life in high school, flunked out or got rejected to college, killed a person in a texting and driving incident, shoplifted until they got arrested, and never knew the meaning of work. Men go nuts over people like that, someone that they can take care of, who has no idea how to lift a finger for themselves.
No matter what happens while you’re a teenager, don’t worry. Your life will turn out exactly how you want it to. It takes no effort, bad things will never happen to you. You’ll make good grades without studying. You’ll survive the texts behind the wheel. You’ll be accepted to the school of your dreams without a doubt. You can drink all you want and never get a DUI or MIP. Your record will be spotless. You will be interviewing companies for jobs, and you will have to turn them away. Your life will be a Cinderella Story.
You are invincible, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.