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Photo Credit: Genessa Gutzait · The Sentry

That’s pretty impressive for someone your age!”

Cue the eyeroll.

The most backhanded compliment of all backhanded compliments. 

The crème de la crème of patronization.

The most annoying, infuriating, and frustrating thing anyone could ever say to an 18-year-old. 

I get that a lot.

Look, I get that in every way except legally I’m still a kid. I bite my nails, I cry when I stub my toe, I’m a big fan of Go-Gurt. But whoever decided that being young automatically means being unaccomplished or incapable of achieving incredible things, turn on your location because I want to talk. 

I do not set an alarm at midnight for four in the morning, only getting few hours of sleep before finishing up some homework, so that someone can tell me my accomplishments are only impressive because of how young I am. 

Would it be impressive if I was 34, Deborah? Would it? 

To the adult world, teenagers are summed up as hooligans, whippersnappers (what does that even mean?), and sometimes just “you damn kids!”

We are definitely all of the above, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. In the past few years, teenagers and kids have been in the news countless times for doing revolutionary things, such as creating innovative apps, organizing protests, and leading the resistance.

If grown-up things are happening to us, like gun violence, poverty, assault, racial profiling, etc., then why should we be prohibited from participating in activities classically considered to be adult?

One day, we are going to be left with what the generations before us have made, mistakes and all. We should be starting to counteract those mistakes now.

And the next time someone wants to hit you with the, “That’s pretty impressive for your age,” make sure you let them know that it’s pretty impressive, period.

 

Guest columns are written by The Sentry staff to give them the experience of writing  an editorial and the platform to share their stories.

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