Drugs sold via Snapchat Stories and worries about climate change: teenagers reveal what it's REALLY like to be young in 2019

Can you remember what it was like to be a teenager? Really remember?
And how do you think the teenage you would have coped in today's fast-changing world of Brexit, social media, climate change and mental health awareness?
Too often, today's teenagers do not have a voice. That is why the Mirror is publishing a special Next Gen edition, produced by a team of teens from across the country .
Here they share how they feel about their lives - and what they think others think of their generation. 

Dimeji Sosimi, 17

8 What you need to know about young people

Delinquents, hooligans, ruffians. This is how I think older people view teenagers. They seem to think that teenagers have been bought up with no manners or any sense of appropriate behaviour. This is pretty discriminatory. All teenagers are being given a bad name because of the actions of a few teenagers.
I smiled at an elderly woman as she walked past me – I was ‘loitering’ outside a shop waiting for a friend – she looked at me with fear and trepidation on her face clearly suspecting me of being a troublemaker. It is such a shame because the majority of us are not troublemakers. We do have respect. We do have good manners. We do not all get in trouble with the law, miss school and pick fights with everyone we see.
But to be completely honest I don’t blame her. Whenever teenagers are on the news it is usually about something negative and rarely ever something positive. So assuming that she watched the news, seeing a teenager outside a shop ‘loitering’ she would assume that I was up to no good.

Shameelah Khan, 16

8 What you need to know about young people

Teenagers aren’t as oblivious as the older generation might think. Even though I’m 16 I feel that if I had the vote it would go to much better use than some people I know who vote but don’t know what they are voting about. Some of us are perfectly level-headed yet we will be the ones to suffer the consequences of Brexit in the future just because we were once too young to vote.

Saleem Akhtar, 16

Adults, we may not act like we need your support; mothers, fathers, carers, but we do. We sometimes need to be told we can do it, and that you’re proud of us. Be proud. Being proud of someone needs to be spoken, especially if the person you’re proud of is younger than you, because we do look up to you for guidance, support, and everything else.

Yasmeen El-Mansoob, 16

8 What you need to know about young people


I want older people to see that we’re not all the same. We’re not just teenagers, we’re a frustrated future. We are really the ones facing climate change and all the natural disasters that come with it. Something the older generations have caused. It is said we only have 20 years to save our Earth before all the damage becomes irreversible. You are worried about the youth? Address climate change now.

Karina Tautkute, 17

8 What you need to know about young people

Poor mental health is not an illusion, but rather a harsh reality we must fight internally. We are too young to understand how it can damage us. Some lose, and only then does it become apparent that action should have been taken earlier. Don’t judge. Listen and love.

Chloe Kennedy, 16

It may be hard to believe but once upon a time our grandparents were teenagers just like us. However, as time has evolved, our grandparents have grown older and their perception of us and our generation has changed despite them once being our age. This makes us think that maybe as we grow older and new generations arrive our perception of teenagers will also change.

Jane Stapley, 15

The main cause of today’s teens turning to drugs and alcohol is stress. Today’s teens are able to get hold of drugs including marijuana and pills more easily than ever. So many adolescents advertise their drugs on their Snapchat stories, for all their audience to see. Many young lives are being ripped apart due to early substance dependence. To combat this issue, a more serious punishment should be issued to young individuals found in the possession of an illegal substance and more effective police patrols are needed. Government officials who choose to deny the serious issue of substance abuse within the young community are denying young people their future.

Jake Baynham, 14

Sometimes adults should re-think their attitudes about teenagers. Yes, we may say something rude but that doesn’t mean we mean what we said, sometimes we just need to be left alone to go on social media or play Xbox or PS4. It’s different now to how it was in your day when if someone had a problem with you they would say it to your face. Now people will talk behind your back and when you’re not there and it’s the worst feeling when you don’t know what you have done wrong. So, remember when you say something to your child like “you’ll be fine” or “get over it” that actually it might affect them.

Tom Leman, 16

Being a teenager in 2019 can be a stressful but joyful time. From friends and family to exams and breakups, one should proceed with caution when navigating the teenage mind. Knowing your place in society as a teenager can be difficult. Being treated as both a young adult but still restricted by childhood rules can be confusing. Although the enjoyment of freedom can come with being a teenager it is often hard to get your voice heard.

Poppy Shergold, 17

8 What you need to know about young people

As young people in today’s society, we have become accustomed to the idea that we must shout to be heard or else we will be dismissed, labelled as ‘children’ who do not know what they are talking about. The thousands of students taking part in protests around the world, led by other young people, is proof that our generation is willing to shout over the noise and will not stop until we are heard.

Cameron Bradley, 17

8 What you need to know about young people

Being a teenager in 2019 is a rollercoaster of a ride. You’ve got the ups and downs of coming to the end of school, with relationships and exams. But you’ve also got the older, more “mature” people constantly nagging at you, saying what you’re doing is wrong and it should be done “this way”. As teenagers we’re repeatedly reminded how we are almost adults, yet whenever we start acting our age or older we are pushed down by our older generations.

Lucas Bishop, 17

8 What you need to know about young people

We watch as decisions that will control our future are made in front of us, without our say, but we will have to live with the consequences. We feel dismissed by older generations, yet we understand the severity of our situation as young people living in a dying world. We worry that as we come to an age where we can make change, it will be too late. So we are trying our best to save what we have left.
Drugs sold via Snapchat Stories and worries about climate change: teenagers reveal what it's REALLY like to be young in 2019 Drugs sold via Snapchat Stories and worries about climate change: teenagers reveal what it's REALLY like to be young in 2019 Reviewed by CUZZ BLUE on May 22, 2019 Rating: 5

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