The teenage brain is made up of four primary components: overreaction hemispheres, ventricles of injustice, a central canal of anxiety and lots of door-slamming matter, writes Eliza Sinclair Kidd.
So, when Nicola Sturgeon made her most recent announcement, the teenagers of Glasgow once again slammed their doors on the outside world and prepared themselves for another lockdown.
Being dramatic is integral to being a teenager.
Before taking out the bins became a treasured opportunity to breathe fresh air, our response to such a gentle instruction would have been a soaring eye-roll or a guttural sigh… or both.
We grumble out of bed at eleven (at the very earliest) and rub our eyes in youthful exhaustion.
Like every befitting teenager, this aspect of my sleepy existence hasn’t changed much in lockdown, except for one detail: I rub my eyes with the added hope of clearing the blur of a pandemic nightmare.
We try to remind ourselves that the force of nature inside our heads is just the work of pesky hormones.
But recently, it seems that our stereotypically teenage responses are completely rational amidst the emotional earthquake that life has become.
Last year, it felt like the world had completely fallen apart.
Not the kind of falling apart that ensues upon adolescent heartbreak or a failed physics exam or tripping up the stairs when you arrive late to assembly.
The international catastrophe set our hypersensitive brains on fire and truly woke us up.
In the past few days, the aftershocks of the 2020 earthquake have been rather distressing.
Not the-university-applications-deadline-is-next-week sort of distressing but far, far worse.
This time, it isn’t just our frontal lobe of panic at play.
We are approaching two million Coronavirus deaths worldwide. The American President ignited an attack on the US Capitol. Brexit barriers are destroying the British arts community. The Gender Recognition Act threatens a rollback on trans rights. To name a few.
The word ‘woke’ has been popular in describing teenagers who concern themselves with such issues surrounding social and racial justice.
- Young Voices: Humbled to help local foodbank – Mairead Chapman
- Young Voices: Life without our football team – Tyler Cutting Quinn
- Young Voices: Balancing part-time work and school – Grace Lawlor
- Young Voices: ‘Life without school clubs’ – Catriona Ferguson
- Young Voices: ‘The sound of music’ – Rhona Macdonald
Recently, this label has been weaponised and young activists have been deemed ‘pretentious snowflakes’.
Something I’ve realised this lockdown is this: the teenage sense of injustice is vital. We should own our exaggerated emotional reactions.
Many of our leaders lack this passionate attachment to a problem.
We must continue to ‘whine’ and ‘complain’ until change is effected.
- Eliza Sinclair Kidd is an S6 Advanced Higher English student and school captain at Hyndland Secondary School. We welcome submissions to Young Voices from any school in the area.