This I Believe

Tawny - Iola, Wisconsin
Entered on December 6, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: freedom
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How Old Is 15, Really?

I believe that at fifteen we should be considered capable of making our own decisions. I am convinced that the age of consent should be lowered to fifteen or maybe sixteen. I think we should all ask ourselves ‘How old is fifteen, really?’

Adults expect us to be responsible and make our own decisions. Many times I find that they treat us like we aren’t capable of making those decisions. Our laws seem to concur. I think the law should recognize that not all fifteen year olds are at the same maturity or responsibility level and in some circumstances I think that should be taken into consideration.

At fifteen, we are aware of what our comfort level is and we know where to draw the line. Should one of us decide that we want to be with someone over eighteen, then why should it be wrong, especially if our parents are okay with it? Why, if they do decide to have sex, should it be considered statutory rape? Why should they assume that we are not capable of making that decision? If we are capable of deciding that we want to save our virginity for marriage, than why shouldn’t we be capable of making a decision opposite of that?

Every year for the corn roast that we have in our town, my parents let me stay home by myself for the whole weekend while they go on a tubing trip their friends have every summer on that same weekend every year. I think that shows that I am responsible and mature enough to take care of myself and be trusted.

I think our parents should allow us make all of our own decisions, and allow us learn from the wrong ones that we make. Parents really shouldn’t protect us, they’ve taught us what they can and they should let us put those life-skills to use. They should learn to trust us more and have a little faith in us. If we do screw up bad, then they can put us on lockdown. Before adults give us so many rules, give us the benefit of the doubt. Let us figure things out on our own.

I believe that there should be special circumstances for exceptionally mature fifteen- or sixteen- year olds in the United States. The law should see that we are all different, not just assume that we are all at the same maturity and responsibility level, and we are capable or making life-long decisions. They should realize that it is unfair to punish all of us because some fifteen year olds are more immature and less responsible than most of us are. All I’m asking for is a little faith from the world and the benefit of the doubt. I’m asking that we get rewarded in freedom for being responsible and if we can behave as mature and responsible as an adult, we should be treated like one. This I believe…