Teenage relationships merit respect

By Kayla Kurmaskie

I always get overwhelmingly annoyed when I am in a situation where adults try to minimize my emotions or struggles because I am a teenager. Sure, I’m young. Sure, these problems probably won’t even be relevant to my life in a year, let alone into adulthood, but that does not mean my tribulations can be brushed off with a smile and semi-sympathetic pat on the back.

The relationships we as high schoolers form now are exceedingly important to the development of ourselves for the future. The friendships I have made and detached myself from within the past five years have shown me how I want to be treated, as well as giving me invaluable knowledge about how others should be treated.

The combination of these experiences has revealed what it feels like to be in a healthy and unhealthy friendship with peers. With this knowlege in my emotional toolbelt I feel more prepared for what adult relationships will bring.

If these relationships are so important, why do adults feel the need to brush them off as a part of the carefree and often overdramatized events of youth?

Heartbreak is almost a rite of passage for high school; even I have not been able to escape its cool sting. Though at the time I felt like my world was ending and I would never be the same again, I came out of the experience stronger and more knowledgeable than before.

My parents were by far the most helpful individuals not only during this time, but during other times of friendship drama. Instead of flippantly giving me the “there are other fish in the sea” speech they acknowledged that the pain I was feeling was real and that yes, the situation was indeed really miserable. This validation of my emotions, not just calling me a silly teenage girl, made emotional recovery a much easier and quicker experience.

We are young. We are foolish, and we will make stupid mistakes and decisions that will probably cause tears, but that does not mean that we, the youth of the world, are not human too.●