Our Opinion Matters

Our Opinion Matters

Jacqueline Ho

This year’s election has got to be the most shocking events in all of 2016. The day after the election, I’ve never seen so many cynical, downtrodden teenagers in my life. Most of us weren’t expecting the outcome that played out that night. People were outraged, confused, cynical. Some were planning on leaving the country. Some were complaining how the country is doomed. As a collective whole though, all of us were frustrated by the fact that our future was controlled by the obsolete older generation. Because of their decision, we now have to take the brunt of our new president. This election exemplifies how powerless teenagers feel in today’s society.

Society’s perspective of adolescents is not a positive one for sure. Society says our opinions don’t matter because we apparently have nothing “substantial or meaningful” to say now a days. Yet when we talk about politics, world problems, and what they consider significant, We are downplayed because we do not fully understand the topics or have any experience. They say we don’t have significant influence on the rest of the world. All we are seen as are reckless, arrogant trouble-makers isolated in their own little bubble called high school. Even individual teenagers don’t even like teenagers as a whole because we believe society and have experienced it. However, human stupidity exists among all age groups, not only adolescents who still have developing prefrontal cortices.

If we continue to have this degrading mindset of teenagers as a collective whole, none of us will prove society wrong. Instead of giving in and becoming exactly what others think us to be, why not go beyond their low expectations? When they say we know nothing about politics, counter with a barrage of statistics and facts, making the ignorant fool second guess themselves. Being educated makes you credible and gives you authority over that topic. The more you know, the more confident you are. Being educated about what’s currently plaguing the country gives weight to your argument and opinions.

The older generation judges us on how we have no experience, not taking into account that we are decades younger. Even though we’ve been on this earth for a shorter time, we have the right to have our opinion listened to. If some old geezer on the brink of death can be taken seriously in the polls, why can’t a well informed adolescent? To prove them wrong, we can expand our reach and influence by getting more involved in the community. Instead of isolating ourselves in our social circles in school, we can build connections elsewhere, earning respect as honest, trustworthy individuals.

Unfortunately, we have no power over the past election. It’s done and over. There will be other times where our effort and outcries are fruitless. We may not start a revolution or rebellion anytime soon, but that’s okay. If we all don’t give up on ourselves and continue to voice our thoughts, we as whole can be heard. Like how every vote matters in an election, each and every of our voices does too.