How do you navigate charted waters with an outdated map? Not only can you get lost, but you’ll find that the environment has changed enough that you might need a new or better mode of transportation. I bumbled my way through my adolescence. Millions of people have walked that journey before me yet no one could give me updated directions. I just wanted clear directions on how to manage imposed identities and internal expectations. I just needed a leg up. Apparently I received one because I graduated with honors. All of the years of crying, of taking insensitive jokes, of feeling alienated, of waiting for the future paid off. The miseducation I received on “being” who you wanted, on having an actualized, whole self after you finished the best years of your life cost me 24 years of emotional scarring. Not bad considering I only put up 19 years of education! Adolescence is viewed as this “site to worry over” because of rapid changes in the body and in the psyche. However, the people who problematize adolescence are usually those in authority who stand to gain from infantilizing youth. Adolescence is a site to worry over due to the multiple interests out there working to keep it oppressed. In the womb, had I known that my identity moratorium was going to be as troubling as it was, I would have opted for a shorter moratorium. Côté and Allahar (1996) agree with Margaret Mead when she says, “education for choice” should be granted to all adolescents (xiv). In line with Dr. King’s “The Purpose of Education,” teach adolescents to be critical thinkers and agents. I wanted nothing more than to be educated, to be whole. Instead I received a first rate education on how to be fractured.


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