There really is no point in making your bed

There really is no point in making your bed

Karishma Mehrotra

There is really no point in making your bed.

Junior Special Report Editor Cynthia Mao's notebook captures the chaos in a teenage journalist's brain while brainstorming for this issue. Photo by Karishma Mehrotra
Junior Special Report Editor Cynthia Mao's notebook captures the chaos in a teenage journalist's brain while brainstorming for this issue. Photo by Karishma Mehrotra

No matter what my parents say, my teenage brain will always calculate costs and benefits of making my bed. And the decision my brain will make is: “No.”

Ever since the first intense fight with my parents about this useless chore, I wondered why all adults consistently tell me that making my bed is so crucial when there is no logical reason to it. On one of my lazy days, I came across the book “Nurture Shock” and immediately opened up the Chapter 7: The Science of Teenage Rebellion.

So now, when adults ask, “What were you thinking?” I can say: Apparently, the little happy parts in my brain, like all teenagers, only light up when I receive a large net benefit. Little gold coins along the way don’t matter. I hate making my bed because I can’t see any direct, large competitive edge that comes from it. Any small, unforeseen advantage is completely formulated bull crap by the imposing generation above us.

Think of this: when you ask an adult, ‘Should you jump off a cliff?’ they feel instinctively that the answer is no. When you ask a child the same question, their brain has to formally weigh the costs and benefits before calculating that the answer should be no.

It’s just our brains.

As teenagers, we don’t want to admit our brains are different because we don’t want them to think that we that we are incapable. Maybe the disconnect in our conversations with elders arises because they acknowledge the difference while we sturbbornly will not.

But thinking about the ways in which our brains are different, not inferior, fascinates me. Imagine a world in which adults and teenagers had the same brains.

Would the world still have the same ideas?

Would the term childhood take on a whole different meaning?

Would conflicts still arise between different generations?

How does the fact that our brains are undeveloped change our lives?

This month, our staff chose to explore the teenage brain because of its nuanced implications to each and every one of us.

And maybe next time they ask you, “What were you thinking?” you can answer by showing them this news magazine.

But if that doesn’t work, just make your bed.