I am 17 years old and, as every adult never fails to tell me, I am at the point where I get to experience life with complete freedom whilst enjoying an acceptable disregard for any sense of responsibility because of the “teenage” excuse. The ever-present daily force of the media romanticises this age where adults realise their children really aren’t children anymore. Songs such as “Dancing Queen” and “Sixteen going on Seventeen” tell me I'm quite literally “on the brink” of something astonishing.
However, so far my life as a seventeen year old has been missing this Hollywood induced rosy glow. At seventeen, life has been an endless carousel of exams, grades, questions about the future and adults telling me I need to try harder because otherwise I will find my life slipping through my fingers. Most days when I'm not at school consist of revision, maintaining my list of extra curricula’s to show Universities how “well-rounded” I am, as well as the scheduled intervention of a part time job. It seems that as soon as we reach the pivotal teenage landmark we are stuck on this ominous fairground ride by parents and teachers in order to slowly make our way up the education system and hope somehow we don’t submit to our own mediocrity.
I realise this sounds like the ramblings of an angsty sleep-deprived teenager but there is a point hidden somewhere amongst the chaos. As a 17 year old I have realised recently that I know very little of life and have experienced very little. I am frustrated that my childhood is slowly ebbing away whilst I'm being pushed forward into the adult world that I know so little about. I’m tired of a system that encourages children to just climb the ladder of the education system without encouraging them to pause and loom around them. Despite all this, I still manage to find life as a seventeen year old as inexplicably exciting. For the first time in my life I am able to make significant life decisions completely independently but I still have the freedom to make mistakes because, as a teenager, it’s expected of me. I have time to learn how to experience life and I intend to fully exploit every juvenile freedom I can in these last months of childhood, thoroughly “having the time of my life”.