Nothing but a number

Staff reporter explores confusion about turning 16


Charlie Clark

After idolizing the age of 16 as a child, Staff Reporter Charlie Clark comments about the age, claiming it it not what it is chalked up to be.

As a kid, I thought 16 was the epitome of being a teenager: the perfect, prettiest number associated with pink sparkles and boys. I thought I would be the girl with a huge sweet sixteen and ball gown for a prom dress. But 16 was just a number. It is an age that everyone passes at one part in their life. It was nothing but a number.

When I turned 16, I realized the world was just the same as when I was 15 the day before. Sure I could get a driver’s license, get vaccinated for Covid-19 and donate blood, but when I woke up one day in March to no fireworks, no sudden interest in boys and no invites to parties, I did not know how to feel. I was not expecting any of those things in the slightest, but I could not help but wonder if I was missing out on something. 

I, like most other young girls, have been told 16 is the time to shine. The year where we are still young enough to be pretty, but not yet old enough to have any real responsibilities. As an introverted person, I do not have the big friend groups you see in the movies. Although movies often portray things as a much bigger deal than they are, growing up with that sort of media has an impact on a person.

My younger self would be disappointed to learn the only stereotypical teenage things about me now are my love of boy bands and enjoyment of vanilla-scented perfumes. As a kid, I harbored a love of every stereotypically feminine thing a little girl could, and that led me to confusion when I turned 16. I felt like I was losing a vital part of being a teenager. You only get to be 16 one time, and I was worried I was throwing my chance away.

When I turned sixteen, I realized that the world was just the same as when I was fifteen the day before.

— Charlie Clark, Staff Reporter


I  realized I have been on this earth for 16 years, which is a fact that seems obvious, but does not feel like it. My sophomore year is almost over, and I am just two years away from graduation. While the thought of moving out and going into the real world is exciting, it also scares me. I think back and wonder how time moved so quickly. It seemed like yesterday I was a confused freshman with no idea what high school would be like. 

Once I got to high school, I felt like I had to know what I wanted to do with my life. I needed a plan, but I did not have one. I have to pick out classes that will get me into a good college with a good major of my choice. Am I going into science? Or do I want to go into English? At the same time, I would not mind spending the rest of my life sitting behind a piano. I did not know and still do not really have a proper idea.

I just turned 16, but I am also just 16. I have time to figure things out. I do not need to know what I want to do with my life, and I do not need to worry about the future. I am not going to be the person my childhood self thought I would be, and I have realized that I am okay with that.