The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Walking on the wild side

American Pie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, 10 Things I Hate About You: all different stories, yet all epic teen movies. Though the formula to create hits such as these may change slightly from movie to movie, there is one ingredient all teenage movies must have in order to be considered a success: rebellious teens.

Teenage rebellion is nothing new; in the ‘50s listening to rock music was considered a sin and was even labeled “Satan music.” In the ‘60s rebellion was all about the tie-dye and drug use while in the ‘80s no teen was caught dead without big hair. Modern teens may consider tattoos, multiple piercings, shoplifting and underage drinking rebellious. But has rebellion really changed over the years?

“There will always be rebellion,” Software Applications teacher James Collins said. “I remember when I got my ear pierced and my dad said he would never be seen with me in public. I said ‘cool.’ Now, [with children of my own] I’m on the other side of the power struggle.”

Senior Guilherme Cardoso, a “self-proclaimed rebel,” defines himself as someone who does not always follow the rules and tries to break out of the “Potomac mold.”

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“Everyone is a little bit rebellious because no one abides to the rules all the time and we’re teenagers,” Cardoso said. “[I am a rebel] just by acting different. I don’t dress like everyone in Potomac and I don’t [shop at places like] Abercrombie.”

Senior Emily Olusanya also considers herself a rebel.

“I would [describe myself as a rebel] because I tend to break the rules and when I should listen, I don’t,” Olusanya said.

According to Olusanya, she believes that in the past, rebellion was seen as a bigger deal when it involved things such as Civil Rights race riots, but now it is defined as going against parental control.

“I went on spring break and got my tongue pierced and a tattoo,” Olusanya said. “My parents don’t know [but] my mom would probably tell me to take it out. [Going against your parents] is fun. After I got my tattoo I felt more [satisfied].”

According to senior Ashley Austin, today’s society promotes rebellious behavior.

“Culture expects kids to be naturally more rebellious, which makes them think it’s OK,” Austin said.

Non-rebel, junior Georges Hermes agrees that society and the media worship rebellion.

“TV shows glorify drug and alcohol use and there are kids who want to do those things,” Hermes said.

Although he admits there is peer pressure at parties, Hermes does not give in to rebellious behavior.

“No, I would not [consider myself a rebel],” Hermes said. “I don’t want to make anything harder than necessary, so I do what I’m told.”

Reformed rebel and AP Psychology teacher Jared Pulliam believes teens are rebellious because they simply want to challenge their surroundings, although this dies down later in life.

“Once people figure out their place in life, they settle into it and stop challenging everything around them,” Pulliam said.

Pulliam, who in high school “knew the principal’s office like the back of [his] hand,” rebelled because he resented his surroundings.

“I was that kid who occasionally showed up to class and when I did I sat in the back and read the newspaper,” Pulliam said. “I was a jerk to my teachers. I hope that I never have to teach a ‘me.’ On top of that I was a repeated receiver of ISS.”

As a former rebel, Pulliam offers advice to current rebellious teens.

“Stop. You’re embarrassing yourself. Trust me. When I think back to why I repeatedly got suspended, how I acted like an idiot in school and how I acted to my parents at home I wish I had just… been happy.” 

Although this is sound advice, many CHS teens are still into the rebellion craze.

“[Rebelling] gives you a high,” Olusanya said. “Who doesn’t want to take a walk on the wild side and get that adrenaline rush?”

Even though the modern rebellion might not be considered rocking out to Elvis Presley, or even Nirvana, the rebellious stage seems to pervade society in its own way every generation.

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Walking on the wild side