Life experience isn’t the end-all-be-all


Photo credit: Farrah Fasse

By Farrah Fasse, Editor-in-chief

Far too frequently teenagers and their opinions are written off by adults simply because of their age, and their so-called “lack of life experience.” As a young adult, having your own experiences completely disregarded by someone your senior is far too common and disheartening and those who behave in this manner are close-minded and exude arrogance. Some adults assume that their opinions are automatically superior because they’re “older” and “wiser”, and tout having more life experience as the ultimate trump card. Not only is having more life experience not a valid winner in all arguments, it’s also ludicrous to assume that teenagers all have it easy. Additionally, ignoring young adults’ ideas simply because they are young invalidates our future leaders and closes one off to other opinions.  

Though I am not a proponent of discourse over social media, I occasionally can’t help but state my two cents on an issue I am passionate about. When I have engaged in online public forums, there have been several times where my opinion has been belittled on the basis of age and my supposed lack of life experience, which apparently designated my opinion as naught. This rings true even when “life experience” had next to nothing to do with the conversation at hand. Though life experience is essential and it’s undeniable that you gain wisdom as you age, it does not automatically mean one is right for having more of it. 

Life experience definitely does not solely come with age, however. The assumption that teenagers are unfamiliar with any sort of difficulty or challenge in life before they turn 18 is ridiculous. Many may have less responsibility than adults, but the term “life experience” is broad enough to where it can encompass any sort of formative experience, not just paying a bill or having a job. Teens are humans, not untouchable beings that are exempt from being affected by tragedies or stressors, and it’s time to start treating us as the near adults that we are, and not discounting us to being solely “children.” 

Teens are our future leaders. Devaluing young adults’ opinions solely on the basis of age does a disservice not only to that person, but society itself. In civil discourse, the validity of arguments should be central, not one’s “lack of experience” or some sort of false perception of their characters. Though teens are young, we still deserve to be taken seriously. 

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