I hate the stigma that comes with being a teenager. It seems all people need to know is to see you and know your age before they have decided that you must be an absolute basket-case of a child, rebelling against your parents and hating the world. Straight away they figure that your clothes must be piled in heaps across the floor of your dirty room where you sleep until midday, only to stumble around the house like a zombie, warning people of your approach by your deafening death metal blasting out of the headphones that are beginning to form cobwebs between themselves and your ears.

But, what annoys me more than any of this stereotype profiling is the fact that people are so often correct. We teenagers don’t seem to do much for ourselves by swaggering into a store with the look of a guilty thief, hoody pulled over our head. Is it that we like being the laughing-stock of the world, stuck in an in-between stage when the games of childhood are no longer enjoyable and the pursuits of adults are too much work and seriousness for us to handle. Did we think that we could wear a shirt peppered with dismembered human heads which have rotten through to the bone and not scare people away? Maybe we think that the skulls of dead people must really be attractive to others or that we are being cleverly symbolic by visual representing the way our brains were when we bought the shirt. Or perhaps teenagers are really soft inside. They hate the stares of the outside world, and as a jet fires off its flares to protect itself from missiles, they pierce their faces with small metal trinkets, hoping that when they talk, the moving studs and hoops will distract the listener from the fact that they never actually made it through their tenth grade English class.

At some point in our life, teenagers decide to take off the skulls, turn down the blaring music and get down to working a real job. Perhaps it comes when we see that there’s nothing to prove and no one to prove it to. When we find ourselves all alone, rebelling against a world that got on with their lives years ago. Perhaps it’s when we realize that the biggest thing confining us from reaching our dreams and desires is ourselves.