Teens’ Opinions of Seniors

By | April 28, 2011


Today at my high school, I asked several sophomores about their thoughts on seniors and why they felt this way. What I noticed is that when I asked why, most of them did not have a reason and replied, “I don’t know.”

My question was “what is your perception of seniors?”, but it quickly evolved to “what is your perception of old people?”, because being in high school, they assumed I was talking about twelfth graders.

Another thing I noticed was that there were many patterns.

The most common words I heard were “cute/adorable”, and “wise.” Sammie said “I think they are adorable. I think they love talking about their lives and we can learn a lot from them.” Aliza said that they are cute and very wise. Perris also thought that seniors tend to be wise.

Others took more neutral stances. Kylie stated that she thinks “some are rude, some are sweet, some are wise,” and then she added “but Hugh Heffner is just gross.” Noah said, “I don’t like the mean ones, but I like the nice ones. Also, they drive slowly.”

Some people viewed seniors as frail because of their age. Kayla felt sorry for old people because they are older and weaker in her eyes. I should add that Kayla is a bit of a track star, so maybe even I am frail in her eyes! Jerold and Madison both said that they are always afraid that seniors are going to fall when they see them on the street.

The fourth category consisted of those who just don’t like seniors very much. When I asked Amelia, she said, “I try to stay away from them because they have different interests.” Ashley thinks that seniors are moody and they bother her sometimes. She added that they are not fun to talk to. Cameron thinks that “they are sometimes annoying. They always try to correct [his] mistakes.”

Another friend of mine, Gabby, thinks that seniors are generally sweet, but she also thinks that they can be a little naïve in terms of our generation. She feels that there is a generation gap. Alyssa, a friend who is familiar with this project, hammed it up little bit and said, “I like old people. I think they are nice for the most part. They always have good stories.”

Tasha pointed out that seniors don’t get as much respect as they should. She reaffirmed this point by saying that all of these people are referring to seniors as naïve, adorable, bothersome, and cute. I agree with this, “cute” and “naïve” are words best saved to describe babies and puppies.

I am certain that at least a few of these replies have resulted solely from personal experiences. Not one senior is the same (as cliché as that sounds, it’s true.) This project’s mission is to have teens familiarize themselves with seniors, and seniors with teens. Some of these conceptions may stay the same, others may change. But we won’t know which until we all get to know each other.

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