What It Feels Like to Be a Littlun

By Beatriz Warnes


Isabelle Hunter

Many parents consider a great issue of their time was having to walk to school.

I never walked to school. I never had to leave an hour early to bear the cold weather that I had grown too used to. Instead, I put on my shoes that could never be walked more than the five feet it took to get to the car in the driveway.  I would sit in the passenger seat and look at the blizzard outside, internally grateful for the bulk of metal that takes me to school. Were I not to voice my gratitude, I’d hear my mother drone on of the lengthy miles she’d venture to get the education that she got for me. The words would go in one ear and out the next because I have heard this speech so many times. I get out of the car after five minutes, leaving thoughts of walking behind and preparing for so many other thoughts instead.

I never walked to school. I never was able to come home at one in the morning without my parents batting an eye. I could never talk freely about societal issues without hearing the words “you’re too young”. So, I ran. Not to school, but away from those older that beat down their mindset and theirs alone. I pushed away their thoughts to make room for my own. It was a battle between what I had known and what I had been taught. It was the want to be better than the issues of the past that was the deciding factor in my independence.

I never walked to school. I never felt the need to know such a feeling before for it was never something those older than me had experienced themselves. I hear stories that have been passed down from many generations and cringe at the difference of opinion; I use my actions to support others instead of using others as my support. I feel the desire to walk the path less taken hoping others will follow me. I would rather carve down my own path than walk the footsteps of my parents, as they had done to their own.

I feel a constant need to be perfect when I walk into a room of adults. The room holds tension and judgement, nearly all being pointed towards me. They expect me to walk with grace and perfection because that’s the path they paved for me, but more importantly, that’s the path they never followed. It’s as if they assume the issues I deal with as a teenager could never compare to what they went through.

Stories are shared and comments are made of the moments I could never dream of doing. Such as, going to church every Sunday. Religion has never been something I connect strongly with. I can’t seem to lay all my problems onto someone else when I, myself, can’t even hold them all on my lonesome.

With that, yes, I do feel alone. I feel isolated without those my age to agree with what I feel towards older generations. Were I to voice my opinion, I’d be shut down and pushed away. I’ll be shoved into a box titled “ignorant kids” without any way to get out. I can talk about politics with my friends and feel as if I have it all figured out and that when I am of age to vote, society would be thankful for my opinions. Then I talk to my parents, teachers or someone random at a business party. After that my self-esteem drains into some abyss that can only be described as what I had said before; isolation.

At this point, I sympathize with the Millennials. They were beat down by the First Generation until the workforce was depleted of any allies. They pushed themselves away because they knew it was those older who lost them so many jobs, had college tuition raised and many other things that left them, for lack of a better word, stuck.

I too feel stuck. Stuck in place, but psychologically and not physically. Physical traumas are brought up in conversation and yes, I can’t relate to any of them, but so what? So what if I never ran a mile to lunch or worked a labor intensive job every summer? Why should that matter if nearly everyone I talk to that’s my age calls themselves “depressed” day in and day out?

I didn’t race home from the park late in the evening, but my mind races with problems I can barely comprehend. Stress levels are nearing an all time high in my generation and I feel as if there’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t stop stressing about college and how I could never possibly pay for it — all at the age of 15. There’s a constant desire to have everything planned out and ready to go nearly years prior.

With all the technology that I was born into, I’m so used to everything being extremely fast paced, including myself. Nevertheless, I never asked for the 2000s to be the years of smart devices, yet I feel blamed for it. Whenever a mistake of mine is made or brought up, something always leads back to technology and media.

Media wasn’t created to be a villain like the elderly make it out to be. Contrary to popular belief, I use media as a way to connect with those like me. I find out new, interesting facts every single day and I share that knowledge with my friends. I follow the people I like and double tap their posts because I know if I do, it’ll boost their self-esteem that society has taken apart in tearing down.

It’s hard to imagine a world unlike the one I live in today, but that doesn’t mean I want to. Even though it’s online, I feel connected to people that are thousands of miles away from me. I’m grateful for the road paved ahead for me, but sometimes that “fork in the road” phrase doesn’t work. It makes no sense for there to only be a left or right. With each person comes a new path and no one should be allowed to tell them turn around.

I’m not here to be a spinning wheel in society, and I know others feel the same. We as the latest generation take pride in our differences, instead of conforming to those around us when they themselves are too scared to embrace what makes them unique.