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Let that be the one thing I've learned in these past few months. Looking for Alaska by John Green has taught me the confusion of youth, how we teenagers really don't have a clue about anything. The reason why we appear so clueless, as I have since reasoned, is that we think that there is more to this world than our own feelings. We adolescents think that there is some kind of constant in human existence that puts our own feelings to shame, whose sheer might and all-knowingness can show us how nonsensical our feelings really are in comparison to the entire world.
So what do we do? We are young, we are determined in our youth, and we are determined in our ability to take advantage of our youth, so we try and chase after this constant. We try to chase after that universal truth. We chase after it by trying to experience as many different areas of life as possible--whether drugs, relationships, or simply secluded places in our hometown. Our common reasoning for such exploration is that something, somewhere will teach us this truth, will tell us how nonsensical and petty our feelings are in retrospect. Because what teenager wants his emotions to be the only things composing his world? Adolescent emotions are as passionate and fickle as your fat uncle's eating preferences at an all-night dinner buffet, so such a world would be quite the mess indeed. Some will of course object to my thoughts with examples of adolescents acting like they are always in the right, like they know more than every adult on Earth combined. We've all seen or been that stubborn, thick-headed teenager at times, haven't we?
What the adolescent breed is trying to accomplish with such hardheadedness is even more exploration of the constant mentioned above; by being so stubborn, adolescents are testing whether the constant lies in accepting their own opinions as God-given law. We're bombarded with enough stubborn figures being successful and enlightened--Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Rudy Giuliani, Gandhi, even Teddy Roosevelt--that we can't help but investigate. The realization soon comes, however, that our brains don't harbor enough maturity to lead such enlightened lives, and we continue to act so stubbornly because of our bitterness concerning this fact.
Eventually, the truth comes to us: that human feeling is all that defines tour world. There is nothing greater, nothing less, and no hope for anything greater either. The problem is that after this revelation, we stop experiencing everything, we stop searching for that truth, we accept that our emotions are all that can ever be, and we become adults.