For this adolescent observation assignment I observed four adolescents at a home get together, there were two girls and two guys. One girl was sixteen years old, while another girl was seventeen years old. Both of the guys were seventeen years old. Their names are Rebecca, Amanda, Elias, and Aaron. There physical appearances did not seem to have much in common. Rebecca is African American, Amanda is Hispanic, Elias is also Hispanic, and Aaron is white. Aaron and Amanda look very put together and wouldn’t embarrass anyone by walking into a church or nice restaurant.
Rebecca is dressed a little more provocatively and wouldn’t look out of place at a club. Elias appears to dress more casually with just a graphic t-shirt and jeans. The adolescents are aware that I will be taking notes for an assignment on their interactions. The evening starts with them just hanging out and talking about what they have been up to. The topic quickly moves into gossip though with even the guys interested in it. I pretty much predicted that gossip would be impossible to avoid because it is so ingrained in our lives.
They discuss who’s cheating on whom, and who likes who, and all sorts of romantic coupling possibilities. Everyone in the group seemed to be happy and comfortable with each other and don’t seem to be changing their behavior because of my presence. There is a lot of joking and innocent teasing going on, but no one seems to be taking it personally. A lot of Theories would indicate that adolescents would be more inclined to hang out with people in their own “clique” or with people who have the same interests as them.
However things seemed to have changed in recent years and it is not as odd to find more diverse groups of friends. This is different than when I was in school because even though we didn’t do it on purpose teams and clubs seemed to stick together. I am still best friends with all the people I was in band with, and I recognized this rule even when I was in school. Because I really hated band but I knew that if I wasn’t in it I wouldn’t be able to hang out with my friends and we would drift apart.
Something that doesn’t seem to change based on age for girls is going to the bathroom together. While playing a video game that pit the girls against the guys I assumed that the guys would get more competitive because they wouldn’t want to lose to girls, but it was the girls who were more competitive. It didn’t even start gradually, after their first loss they immediately had accusation of cheating and were yelling at each other about whose fault it was. Luckily food arrived then because girls were getting pretty intense.
My prediction that guys would eat more food than the girls was right at first but throughout night girls continued snacking while guys only ate during that one seating so they ended the night evenly. Another prediction I made going into it was that there would be gossip involved, and there was. I didn’t know that the guys would be so into it either but apparently relationship drama can interest anyone. I notice that they use a lot of cuss words without even thinking about it because most teens are so desensitized to them that they don’t even know why they are not allowed to say them anywhere.
When teens are brought together, especially boys, violence is a given so I wasn’t surprised when they start wrestling over who got the “good” chair, with the girls cheering them on. I thought for a while that there would be no drama for me to see their emotions better but just before the second hour was up Rebecca got a call from an ex-boyfriend that left her in tears. Amanda immediately started to console her while the guys offered to beat him up or key his car for her.