“Well that was a bad idea..”

“Then later on, on the drive home

I called her mom from a pay phone

I said I was the cops

And your husband’s in jail”

Teenagers constantly make mistakes and come up with bad ideas.  We don’t think things through all the time and there are disastrous consequences in some cases.  Everyone’s had that moment when a parent asks, “What were you thinking?!” and you reply with, “Uhh I don’t know” because you weren’t actually thinking in the first place.  Teens overlook the consequences of their actions and flaws in what seem to be foolproof plans.

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The adolescent stage of life is said to be one of the most difficult and overwhelming times of a person’s life.  We’re going through a transition to adulthood and trying to sort through this gigantic mess called life.  We can be a little dramatic at times and overreact, thinking that the universe is out to get us and that every obstacle we face is the “end of the world.”

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People shouldn’t expect us to be perfect or do the right thing all the time.  We, like everyone else in the world, want to be happy and enjoy life.  Sometimes we’re more focused on the experience than thinking everything through.  Hence, we come up with bad ideas.  Bad doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the law; I’m referring to the dangers to ourselves or those around us. Basically, things are more than likely to not turn out well.  It’s important for us to realize, however, that sometimes bad ideas have great results.  It could turn out better than you imagined or it could lead to new ideas.  The bottom line: what seems like a bad idea at first may turn out better than expected, especially if it wasn’t intended.

experience

This whole bad idea thing was one of the steps in my English class’s “innovation projects.”  By the end of the year we must come up with an innovation and we’ve been working in groups to come up with an idea.  Last week we were given a piece of butcher paper and told to write as many bad ideas as we could according to a need we thought needed to be addressed.  During one group’s presentation, the rest of the class would expand on a certain thought and the result was an even larger quantity of bad ideas.  However, some ideas that had initially been a silly idea transformed into an idea that, when tweaked and modified, had the potential to become a possible innovation.

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It sounds crazy, but bad ideas might not be bad after all.  Bad ideas might even be considered instrumental in the process of innovation.  I think that teens, with all their ridiculous thoughts and endless imagination, have just as much potential to create something amazing as an adult.  Obviously, some of our ideas are complete and utter nonsense, but I feel that teens with awesome ideas are overlooked for the sole reason that we’re “just kids.”

overlooked

Bad ideas not only lead to innovation, they lead to memories.  Sometimes, our failures or misfortunes are more memorable than our successes.  If you’re constantly doing what you’re told, you won’t have anything to remember.  But if you break the rules now and then (and I’m not suggesting anything I’m making a point), you might find that you look back at those moments more than others in your lifetime.  We can look back at our bad ideas and laugh about them.  They create experiences.

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