We've all been there: You're out in the world, minding your business and probably buying stuff you know you don't need, when out in the distance you see a pack of wild teens, existing and being teens.
Your body immediately goes into fight or flight mode and you regress back to the insecure teen you once were.
So you try to turn around and go in the other direction, but it's TOO LATE. The pack has spotted you and are walking in your direction. The youths have you in their grip now.
"Are they judging my outfit?" you ask internally. "What do they know that I don't?" "I'm cool, right?" The questions refuse to stop taunting you.
"I'm an adult now. I'm bigger! I have more life experience! They don't scare me!" you tell yourself in a super-unconvincing way. They scare us all, Jan; don't fool yourself.
But you were also a teen once, right? What could be so bad? So you walk past them, avoiding eye contact, and remember how you feared teens even when you were a teen yourself.
You hear one of them whisper something to their friend as you stop and reach for the last frozen pizza, and you just KNOW they're talking about you (even though they probably weren't).
You then run out of wherever you were, clutching onto what's left of your self-esteem and frozen pizza for dear life. You've faced yet another group of teens and made it out alive...for now.
If this has ever happened to you or if you're scared it will, I'm just here to say this is a very valid fear and you're not alone.
We're out here!
And we won't be silenced.
Now don't get me wrong — there's nothing explicitly wrong with teens (minus the whole Tide Pod debacle). They're smarter/cooler/more open-minded than any of us and are the literal future, but when they congregate in packs, I'll ALWAYS run in the opposite direction.
There's no real rhyme or reason to this fear — me and my former emo 15-year-old self just wants them to think I'm down with the times!
And I say that as a teen who used to loiter around Target and Food 4 Less (don't ask) with my pack of friends. I never thought I'd get to this point in my life, but yet here we are! Also, my back hurts.
If you're one of the few who's not afraid of youths, you must have reached the magical age of "no fucks given," which I hope to achieve myself one day. Congrats.
For now, I'll be avoiding groups of teens in public spaces like my life depends on it. Respect my fears at this time!
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