Recently my school district shared a blog post detailing the characteristics of JUULs, a brand of vape, most likely as a guide to oblivious parents whose children may have been keeping one right under their noses. It’s easy with that brand — they are shaped as USB chargers and can charged in the same ports as USBs as well. It’s a clever device; clever enough for ones in illegal possession to be used without any red flags. For these reasons, the devices have seen an influx in popularity among high schoolers (the ones in my area, at least). My district surely had good intentions in sharing this information, to help prevent the consequences of nicotine and smoking on it’s students. After I got past them confusing vapes and e-cigarettes, the article itself was fine.
I’m lucky enough to say that the confrontation from my mother lasted all of thirty seconds. She asked if I knew what a JUUL was, so I said yes. She asked do I have one, or have I used one? In all truthfulness, I said no. That was it.
Some of my peers may not be so lucky.
Others like me who have no involvement with that sort of activity could tell the complete truth, but still experience doubt or distrust from their parents in any form. Worse, if someone who is involved in that kind of activity should not be, they could suffer some serious verbal or even physical abuse.
The answer as to why my mother and I’s conversation only lasted thirty seconds is plain and simple. She trusts me.
It’s become the norm in our society to inherently distrust teenagers, mainly because some have made bad or impulsive decisions. The entire demographic has been burdened with the harmful stereotype that we are bad.
That is not to say, though, that teenagers who vape are bad. Teenagers who vape aren’t bad; they’re teenagers.
In a time as difficult as your teenage years, the last thing you need is to be a villain to society. You’re busy figuring everything out; what you might want to do with the rest of your life, what kind of person you might want to do all that with, and who you are; to name a few things. You’re finding your place in the world. It’s, in a word, overwhelming. Having a million fingers pointed at you and your friends at all times does not make it any easier.
There are bad teenagers, sure. But there are also bad children and bad adults.
Today, teenagers all over the world are changing it. But for some, they will never be given the time of day, all because they were born in the 20th century.