Oh, the Teenage Darienite
The Ballad of the DHS Student
Boats. Money. Clothing awash in pinks and blues. Lacrosse games. Darien teens are a glorious exception. There’s a Jeep Wrangler in every driveway. Nantucket trips are almost mandatory. An annual pilgrimage to said island or some other excursion of similar fare is something one must do every summer if they live here–and trap music is the only acceptable soundtrack to these flights of fancy. It’s a unique way to live, and the positives and negatives found in this lifestyle are just about evenly split.
Do I, a Darien teen, have the right to write this seemingly damning article? Many of you will say I don’t, but I beg to differ. I don’t own any Vineyard Vines clothing. My family does not own a boat. While I respect some trap music, I rarely listen to it. I don’t play lacrosse, and I drive a 30-year-old Nissan as opposed to the stereotypical Wrangler. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I’m not a Darien native–originally I’m from northern Illinois. So, being in this position, I decided to briefly take a closer look at the social anatomy of your typical teenage Darien resident.
The stereotype of teens in this affluent area are the epitome of what almost every teen in America aspires to be–life is fun. Risks are minimal. Life is fast if you’re in this position. Damn it, I enjoy being a Darien teen, even if I’m far from the average example. Life here is a Brad and Chad thing. A 5th Year thing. A Barstool thing. An Old Row thing. Living here is the key to attaining the ultimate excesses which life so often holds two feet above our waving hands. When F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, he was talking about this sort of extravagant, fleeting life. An existence of raw freedom, a one not restricted by any sort of heavy-handed authority.
Yet, within that story, there lies an aura of violence, an air of savagery, that a life like the one of the typical teenage Darienite can produce in an individual. So while I love living here and reveling in the fruits life so generously provides one in this position, the Darien teen has to have a sense of caution, a self-awareness that, when lacking in an individual, as Fitzgerald told us, can lead to a rather problematic lifetime.