Failing at Perfection

January 21, 2008
By Erika Der Sarkissian, Glendale, CA

We are constantly reminded by adults to not generalize people. They could lecture us endlessly about how people cannot be judged as a group, but rather as individuals. Yet, how often do they listen to their own advice?
As a teenager, I have heard many accusations about how easy we have it and how effortless our lives are. On the contrary, our lives are filled with stress and expectations coming at us from every direction. In the classroom, I am supposed to be the perfect student. On the court, I am driven to be the perfect athlete. With my peers, I am pressured to blend in. With my parents, I am expected to be perfect. It’s evidently impossible for one teenager to fulfill all of these requests. This is the reason why many of us feel like failures.
In addition, we are also going through the most complex stage of our lives. We are not children anymore, but we are not yet adults. This causes a lot of confusion. Adults tend to treat us as children and make decisions for us, like who are friends should be, or how we should dress. However, as soon as we make a mistake, we are judged as mature adults, and should have known better.
The dilemma that goes through each teen’s life is clearly underestimated. I hope that as we grow older and have our own kids, we will not only understand them, but we will also help them get through it, instead of adding on to their troubles.

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