France Through My Eyes: Teenagers / 我眼中的法國:青少年

What struck me the most about French teenagers is how adult-like they seem. Not only their appearances, but their daily lives too. 

The first thing I remarked on my first day at school was how nobody looked like a teenager. From the way they dress, for Asian standards it is already quite mature. However, I found myself very content to be among an atmosphere like this because, for once, I didn’t get remarks such as “you look 25” because of my European-American styled outfits. And I could finally put some use to my makeup bag that I rarely touch back in Taiwan.

Teenagers here pay a lot of attention to their appearances, but it never seems to affect their schoolwork, like many Asian parents would think. They coordinate clothings and change their hair however they want. I love how everyone can express their personal styles liberally, and their confidence that radiates when they are in their most preferred states is just mesmerizing. 

However I guess it’s because of the difference between the two cultures – in Europe, students have more free time. They can balance their studying time with dates, nights out, sleepovers or simply some relaxation. 

Speaking of dates, I find that French teenagers start serious dating when they’re pretty young. Most French parents are quite open-minded, too. They don’t freak out when their children get in relationships, neither do they chase after their children with a thousand questions and make the kid feel uncomfortable. In fact, they encourage them to devote to their partners. The parents also make efforts to get to know their child’s girlfriend or boyfriend, inviting them to eat or just to spend time with the family. And I think it’s partly because of this kind of support that teenagers get from their parents that they are able to engage in such steady and long-term relationships. 

Overall, French teenagers give me the impression of being very independent. I believe it’s because they are given a lot of personal space and well-respected by their parents. Most importantly, they are treated and expected to act more like adults. 

法國的青少年都不怎麼像青少年,外貌和生活習性皆是。

還記得第一天到法國高中,踏入校門口卻感覺像是走進一所大學 — 同學們看起來像大人,這是第一眼從他們的穿著就能做出的結論。比起亞洲的社會文化,他們的穿搭風格顯得成熟。但我來到這個環境是挺開心的,因為總算不會有人看我的歐美式穿搭而說「妳看起來像25歲耶」之類的話。在台灣很少碰的化妝包也可以派上用場了。

這邊的青少年都非常在乎外貌,但亞洲家長們「顧外貌就不會顧課業」的想法在這邊都看不太到。在這裡沒有所謂的「學生樣」,大家想穿什麼就穿什麼,髮型隨意變換,最重要的就是要展現個人風格。而他們在自己最喜歡的狀態散發出的自信是很迷人的。

大概是因為文化差別吧,在法國的青少年有比較多自由時間可以做喜歡的事情。他們都會以約會、出遊、放鬆等等各種活動來平衡讀書的時間。

說到約會,法國人都滿年輕開始交往的。但是家長們也很開放,不會因為小孩交往了而擔心一大堆事情,更不會追在小孩後面問上百個問題讓小孩感到很不舒服。他們反而是鼓勵自己的小孩,並且主動去認識他們的孩子的男女朋友,邀請對方到家裡吃飯或參加家庭活動等等。我想,這邊的青少年能穩穩的維持好幾年的感情有一半以上的原因是有家長的支持。

總之,法國的青少年給我的整體印象是非常獨立。我認為是因為他們有很多的私人空間,父母也非常尊重他們,以同等的方式對待他們。反過來說,法國的青少年能如此的成熟,是因為父母很早就開始要求他們處事態度和作人要像個大人。

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