It seems like everywhere I go, the message to never grow up is conveyed in some form or another. You hear the phrase “Don’t grow up, it’s a trap” all the time. It’s very common for people to tell “teenagers” that they shouldn’t act like adults but rather they should act like kids and enjoy it while it lasts. It’s everywhere. I hear it all the time, I see it all the time. The problem is that it’s some of the worst advice I’ve ever received, yet, no one questions whether or not it’s true. We all just go along with it. And for a long time, I thought it was the right thing to not want to grow up. I thought trying to act mature was wrong, and something to be ashamed about. Since I’ve always been more mature than my age, I was always embarrassed when someone pointed it out. I took it as more of an insult than a compliment.
My guess is people give this message because they’re not content with their own lives. Maybe they dreamed their lives would look a certain way once they reached a specific age and the realization that their life falls short of that dream is humiliating. They feel as though they failed because they expected more so they wish they could live in the “good old days” when they didn’t have a clue. As a way of justifying how they feel, they tell the next generation to “live it up while you can”. I understand that this advice may come from good intentions - no adult wants to ruin someone else’s life by giving poor advice. (At least I hope not.) But there’s a lot of problems that are caused as a result of giving this advice, it’s tragic.
For one thing, it’s never a good idea to live in the past. Stop setting that example- it’s not good for you and it’s not good for younger generations either. If you’re not content with your life, good, use that as motivation to improve it. Please don’t go and pass on the message that “adulthood” is too hard, too boring, or too demanding. Because if that’s the message you convey to younger generations, what do you think their reaction is going to be? Yeah, it gives an incentive to party while they can, rebel while it’s cool, and not take life seriously since being an adult is a trap anyhow. Most people don’t realize this is the cause of their saying “Don’t grow up”, but it makes perfect sense once you think about it.
On the flip side, It’s not okay for a youth to fail to own up to their mistakes. That’s stupid too. Just because you didn’t get caught doesn’t mean it wasn’t a waste of time. Act like an adult even though everyone else says it’s foolish to do so. The only true aspect of this poor advice is that time is precious, but that doesn’t mean you should live in the past.
The problem isn’t that “teenagers” are one way and “adults” are another, it’s that there’s a lot of miscommunication going on. Most of the time, it’s nonverbal communication. Stop trying to give good advice, be good advice. Live like you actually give a rip about making an impact, don’t just say a cheesy saying. It’s always annoyed me when someone says “Well, you’re young so you should act like you’re young.”. I’ve always viewed it as a sign of weakness - it’s always driven me crazy. I don’t want to offend anyone, but it’s really important to me that this is taken seriously. The teen years are essential. From around age thirteen and on into the twenties, a lot of growth is happening. There’s a lot of stress put on people within this age and I’m sure you don’t want to add to it. Even if it was a joke or meant lightheartedly, it can still make a big impact. Youth suicide rates have skyrocketed within the past few decades, maybe we should ask ourselves why.
There’s issues with the system we live in, there’s also major lack of communication between generations. I just wish everyone agreed adulthood can be great if you're smart about it.