I work at a mall in a chain of trendy girl clothing store. Never having worked at a mall I was astounded - literally left speechless - to find out the average age of my co-workers.

Sixteen. My co-workers are sixteen years old. I myself am 22 and have a hard enough time fitting sleep and work together as it is and the idea of a sixteen year old fitting work, sleep, school, church, boyfriends, girlfriends, and the other million things that come with adolescence absolutely boggles my mind. These girls work hard and all the while talk of trying to fit in homework on their 15 minute break as well as fit in a date for Saturday IF they aren't working. Maybe I wasn't responsible enough at sixteen to do these things that these children do without blinking or maybe it is the sign of a society which youth is fast becoming a yester-year trend. I honestly can't decide which I think it is.

I both admire and pity these girls. I could not have done what they are doing when I was sixteen with the finesse and stride they seem to be taking it in. There is also that sadness that they are finding out all too early the there are never enough hours in the day and one has to play "rob Peter to pay Paul" just to survive. And yet here they are - in the most turbulent and confusing time of any person's life - doing just that.

I may be twenty-two, but these teenagers have a lot to teach me.