I am not too young

Riley Cornelius, Beginning Journalsim Student

I have been asked to decide what I want to do for the rest of life from the age of five. I am going to be asked to vote on decisions that can drastically impact my country at the age of 18. Yet I am still told I know nothing about my world and do not know what I am thinking.

Do not tell me that I am “too young” to know what I am talking about. I don’t know everything that is happening in the world, but I know enough to form my own opinion. I pay attention to the news and I listen to the adults when they talk politics. I understand Watergate, the Ethiopia-Eritrea border reopening, and why our government is shut down. Though I still hear my family talking about what’s going on without me. They say both true and untrue things about the world. When I jump into try to tell them what’s right, I am brushed off and told I am spouting fake news. I own up to the fact that I get things wrong from time to time. Fake news is a real problem and sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake with all the crazy things that happen. So instead of yelling at me or ignoring me, educate me. Help me to form a stronger opinion.

As people age, their opinions change. Do not brush off someone’s opinion just because they’re not the traditional demographic.  I was raised Republican and conditioned to think that my grandparents and family were crazy for being Democratic. I am only 16 and as of right now, I know I am a liberal. I agree with equality for all genders, immigrants aren’t “evil”, and that education is a right not just for the rich or white. Do not tell me I am too young to know how I feel.