The True Secret Life of the American Teenager

By Alexa Milano
September 21, 2012

If you were to ask anyone what their opinion was of American teenagers, I’m sure they would all say the same thing: lazy, impersonal, immature. Although these words may sound accurate, I respectfully disagree.

In today’s continuously moving society there is a pressure to always be doing something. It makes us feel like if we have free time it has to be spent doing something productive. If you have a free hour after class, why not tutor? If you’re free on the week nights, why not join a club? I really don’t think other people understand how truly hard it is to be a teenager in today’s society.

It’s almost as if in order to have a successful future, we need to always be adding things to put on our resume. A common expression I hear from staff at Cabrini is “it would look great on a resume.”

And trust me, I’m not saying I’m not grateful for the opportunities offered here, I take advantage of them and I appreciate the fact that the professors and administrators are looking out for our future; but the constant reminder to join in on activities makes me feel like I need to be a part of many extracurriculars just to stay in the game.

Ever since I can remember, my friends and I have not only been active members of our community but kept our grades up. I have been working since I was 15-years-old and have always been an honors student. I have always taken up more than I can handle and most of the time, I have achieved.

I’m really not trying to brag, but rather, trying to prove a point. No matter how many extracurriculars I did in high school, it seemed that one of my friends always did more; not just within our school, but part time jobs as well. We all understood if one of us couldn’t go to the movies or dinner because we had to save money.

Even here at school I know so many people who participate in so many different programs. My roommate works two jobs during the school year and is a participant in the theater program. My friend is a starter on the lacrosse team and carried a 4.0 the entire year last year. My hall mate plays on the soccer team, works on campus and is a member of the sorority and Alpha Lambda Delta. My other friend is president of his class, a student ambassador and lived here over the summer to plan our orientation program. Not only do all of these people participate greatly in the college life, but the more importantly, they do it voluntarily. It seems to me that the way teenagers act and behave are drastically changing.

I recently participated in the orientation program here at Cabrini. It was probably one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. But what struck me while I was participating is that every single one of the other orientation leaders voluntarily applied to it too. Being an orientation leader is not a paid experience; it’s a lot of hard work, and it’s a lot of long days.

Most people who were orientation leaders have participated in this program before and knew what to expect going into it. I feel that it truly says a lot that all 55 orientation leaders willingly choose to participate in the program; it says that teenagers today are a lot more concerned about helping others, and getting involved, and being active members in their community than previously thought.

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Alexa Milano

Junior communications major, marketing minor at Cabrini College. News editor of The Loquitur, President of the Campus Activities and Programming (CAP) Board, student ambassador. Enjoys napping and being productive all at the same time; irony at its finest.

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