Simply Shreya: our first mistake


Morgan Kong

Wingspan's Shreya Jagan shares her personal take on issues and experiences in her weekly column Simply Shreya.

Shreya Jagan, Staff Reporter

I don’t think any person fits into one specific label.

Over the past few years, I’ve seen videos everywhere stereotyping teenagers and assuming that we all fit in a specific box. For the most part, these videos are made by people in their twenties that think there is a category for everyone. Before, I used to only see such stereotypes in videos but now it’s being established in our everyday life. 

If you have a hydro flask, you’re a “vsco girl”.

If you like acting, you’re a “drama geek”.

If you wear the color black, you’re an “e-girl”.

We have a label for people that like a certain color. And I know that some will tell me that there’s more to it than just the color black, and while that may be true, it’s still a label and that’s the point I’m trying to make.

This way of thinking confuses me because I don’t see anything wrong with any of those names. 

Our first mistake? We created labels.

Our second mistake? We treat those that like black, and hydroflasks like they’re different than everyone else. They’re really not. I’m really not. 

I like all of those things, I think they’re cool. But, I have to now be worried about inevitable ridicule for “fitting into a label”.

Sure, people can be steered toward certain interests but that doesn’t even begin to define who they are. 

For as long as I’ve known, our society has always had this obsession of being judgemental. We cherry-pick certain words for people and see them solely through the lens of those words. It’s time to stop taking everything at face value.

It’s like everyone thinks that there is this list of different boxes and a number of us are put into each one. But really, we each have our own box that is nothing compared to the next person’s. 

And to me what’s most annoying is that as the generation before us grew up, it was like they forgot what it was like to be a teenager and to go through all these phases and confusions. But now, sometimes us teenagers itself forget what it’s like to be a teenager and not know who you are. There are more than 2,000 students at our campus. It’s simply impractical to think that we can segregate people.

Each day is a new day. Each day, I’m a different person. I never have and never will be able to be tethered to one entity that describes who I am.

And after thinking for a while, I’ve figured out what the problem is.

Others used to label us, but now we’re labeling each other.