All About Perspective

Students face discrimination on based on assumptions


by Siandhara Bonnet, Editor-in-Chief

Two photographers are standing on the field taking pictures of a football game, one in their teens, one in their twenties or so, same gender. They stand in the same place, do the same thing, and don’t bother anyone. One of them gets called out and is told they’re breaking the rules, the other has a nice conversation. Guess which one is which?

That teenager, unaware the rule was broken, is confused about why the twenty-year-old did not get called out as well. If the rule is the rule, it should be followed, so why is the twenty-year-old an exception?

It’s all about perspective. Perhaps, in the eyes of the adult who called the teenager out, the teenager is more likely to act out and do something wild and crazy that will result in something bad. Maybe, to him, the teenager is just there to wreak havoc. But that’s not what the teenager was doing. The teenager was just standing there, doing the job they were assigned to do. Not bothering anyone, not breaking equipment, just minding their own business and doing what they were supposed to do.

Teenagers, sometimes, have a relatively negative connotation. They are sometimes looked at as rude, disrespectful, overly-opinionated, dramatic, and ruthless. Adults, young and old, are considered to be trusting, kind, mature, and responsible. These characteristics that are used to associate with these age groups are not always true.

This doesn’t just happen to photographers, though. This happens everywhere. It happens to workers at restaurants, on the phone at home when someone is filing a complaint, even when applying for jobs.

Being a teenager does not equal not taking a job seriously, no matter what it is. Just because the teenager is younger and more inexperienced does not mean that they shouldn’t be treated with the same amount of respect given to the older, more experienced worker, so why is one treated unlike the other? Why is the teenager immediately distrusted while the twenty-year-old is not?

 The only way this will change is if people start having an open mind. By all means, do background checks for job applicants, ask questions about what someone is doing, but don’t just judge someone based on their age. If people were a little more trusting or gave people a chance, at least, or maybe even had a standard that applied to everyone, not just a specific age group, then there wouldn’t be a problem.