Coming of Age

Being an adolescent isn't always particularly easy Boxed up in cages like an animal, we're forced to mature fast and articulate the adult way as soon as we're out However the feeling and questions we have about life and each other are locked up inside of us just like those boxes Simply expressing ourselves wouldn't be the "adult" thing to do From adulthood to childhood we are taught to skip over our coming of age experience With parents who tell us to grow up at 13 and teachers who say, "Handle the situation in a mature manner," at only 11, our childhood slowly begins to slip away from our fingers Once high schools starts, cartoons become no-no Games become a fad And playtime is over At 14 teachers rush over and ask us about our college plans and ask where do we see ourselves in 10 years But we don't know what we're supposed to plan We're already lost and baffled by the complexities of the adult world we've been thrown into Teenage chills run up our spine as we think about sex and weed Many adolescents have already lost their virginity and have been scolded by parents who have lost theirs at the same age They scold their daughters and sons out of hypocrisy because their children reflect on who they used to be Yet parents have forgotten what it's like to live in a teenage nightmare Nightmares filled with the fear of being pushed into lockers, being rejected by the ones we're head over heels in love with, and the pressure from teachers expecting us try even harder when we fail As we try to figure out who we are, adults still continue to mold us in a way where we are expected to emulate their examples They teach us that an art major will be left starving and a lawyer will have it all Business suits will get us somewhere while torn jeans and combat boots will get us nowhere But we're only 16 We've already met adults twice our age with a below average IQ who still claim that we're too young to understand anything whenever we outsmart them We're already working and told to save our minimum wage for a college we don't even know about Teachers begin to preach about how badly drugs can affect our loves But we don't listen We're caught up in weed and the smell of cigars We know how to carefully roll out a blunt yet we're at that age where we don't know how to carefully plan out our future because we're too busy rebelling against our mother and father Our future doesn't cross our minds because we think we have a lot of time ahead of us So we continue to gossip and worry about being part of a clique  Yet at age 18 we realize that our time is over We have to answer to our college choices And we have to know where we'll be in 10 years As we approach 4 more years of school, we start to feel relieved about leaving our bullies and exes behind Yet something is missing... Could it be our friends? Teachers maybe? Our perhaps even our own foolishness? No... What we missed was our coming of age experience We were left out on learning about ourselves and the world From adults who tell us what to wear because our current attire isn't appropriate for future careers to teachers who tell us what to expect in the outside world, we box ourselves up Even though we are expected to be an adult and make our own independent choices, we're continuously being held by the hand from adults who tell us what to do as if it's textbook We missed out on finding  our passion, and most importantly, who we are Many of us haven't discovered our sexuality We haven't discovered our thoughts on controversial topics because we're shunned by adults And we never discovered how we define ourselves We spent 18 years of our lives dressing to impress parents, yet we still don't think they're proud We're too caught up on trying to dress to impress and act as someone just for the sake of our parents and because of that our identity is lost We don't know how to dress and act for ourselves And we can't pick our dreams for ourselves as well Our destinies are being marked down by parents  and teachers who claim they know what's best for us And now we're 20 More than 2/3 of us have chosen a major that our parents didn't want for us A lot have realized that some of us are gay and some of us our goth We have taken advantage of the adult life  So we do what we have never done before as teens We showed our true selves As biologists, voice actors, and psychologists, we study the passion we never thought we could find We party without worrying about being grounded And we drink until we drop dead We let go of the shackles and begin to lose our minds together before 25 We have bachelors and masters degrees while others stayed back for a doctorates  As we go into the career we dreamed of, we marry and begin to have children of our own We promise to raise our children differently from how our parents raised us But as our children become teenagers, it becomes a game of rinse wash and repeat We dampen their inspiring young minds and replace their thoughts with our own Instead of understanding them, we scold them out of anger and with the lost mindset that they are a reflection of who we used to be

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Our world

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