How American Teenagers Are No Better Than Italians

Today we are going to be talking about teenagers. Italian teenagers vs American teenagers. 

How American Teenagers Are No Better Than Italians
How American Teenagers Are No Better Than Italians

After coming in contact with both Italian teenagers and American teenagers, I've noticed a few key differences.

Social Difference

Italian teenagers are much more socially developed...

I think it's because since their parents give them a lot of freedom...

teenagers have a tendency to rebel, right?

They're going to do exactly what their parents tell them not to do, right?

So when your parents are telling you, stay inside, be good, behave yourself or course you are going to NOT stay inside, be good and behave yourself!


I notice with Italian teenagers that the ones that usually go out and get wasted are the 13 yr olds to about 16 or 15... about 16 or 15 you're usually in liceo or high school and they start to pay more attention to their grades and then you'll never really see them go out because they're in their houses studying.

They don't go out and essentially take all these risks to ruin their lives.

As a result of the fact that they're allowed to go out, they're allowed to drink, they're allowed to be... um... not even independent but just allowed to do what they want from a young age by the time that they're 18 drinking isn't this crazy hidden thing that they have to go out and exaggerate in doing, they're used to it.

they know how much they can drink before they actually get drunk, they're a lot more responsible with it and I just feel like in this sense, Italian teenagers are so much more mature than American teenagers.

Parents here are super laid back in general and so I feel like you can really see it reflected in the kids and for the most part they're more socially developed than American kids.

Risk Takers

American kids and teenagers are more risk takers because we are way more sheltered than Italian kids.

We're not allowed to drink until 21, you're not allowed to really... do anything in America.

Since you're not allowed to drink, there's no such thing as aperitivo for us, there's no going to the discoteca, some clubs are 18 and up but those clubs usually suck so you don't really go to the clubs... half the things that Italian teenagers do to unwind and have fun, we aren't ALLOWED to do in America.

Like I said, teenagers will always go against their parents and do exactly what they're told not to do ... so since they're told: you're not allowed to drink, what are you going to do?

You're going to drink so much that you black out and you can't even remember what happened we live in CT right?

so in the middle of the wilderness when I was in high school, they would have these bon fires and parties in the woods... where everybody would meet up at some desolate location in the woods and just drink and talk and listen to music and that was the American party everything is just so hidden and it develops this mindset that I don't see here (in Italy).

In Italy drinking, since you're so used to it and it's more of a social behavior, it becomes a social drink.

You drink in a social way... but in America, since we're drinking to get drunk- it's different.

I feel like the reason we have such a high 10 pregnancy rate, we have such a high drug usage rate in America... and I'm not just talking about other things.

If you go onto an American college campus, you're gonna know which person has the adderall, which person has the ritalin...

American teenagers are much more likely to engage in risky behaviors unless you live in a big city, like I said before, in my city of Norwich, there was nothing really for anybody to do you could go walk around the marina or you could go to the mall but there wasn't a lot to do and so... since kids are bored, what're they going to do?

They're going to have making love and drugs and that is what you see happening today.

The point that I'm trying to make is where Italian teenagers are much more socially developed,

  1. they're more mature in these kinds of situations, 
  2. they make better decisions in these kinds of situations, 
  3. American kids end up being huge risk takers and I think that a huge part of it is because of boredom and just excessive restrictions that are put on them by parents (and the law). 


I think that Italian students are a lot more cultured.

In most Italian schools, you are required to study philosophy.

If you study history you're not going to just study Italian history, you'll also study world history...

In America we study other people's history buuuut it's always with America in the center, It's always in a context of America I've had really good history teachers that try to be impartial and try to give it to you like it is but even that...

you can get past what is says in the syllabus and what it says in the syllabus is very Ameri-centric In a way, Americans, I've said it before, live in a bubble and they don't know what're really going on out there in the world Whereas in Europe it's much more international.

Because of entities such as the EU, you're forced to think of things in a context outside of your own country.

You have to think about what's going on in France, you have to think about what's going on in the UK.

They study a bit of American history in Europe.

I didn't study Italian history outside of my Italian class but I guess everybody here knows some basics American history ... which is kind of weird but whatever.

  1. They're way more cultured, 
  2. they study more things about art, 
  3. they study more things about literature, 
  4. they study those things very in-depth where as unfortunately, in America, those things are being deemed as 'useless' 
  5. They're trying to put a lot more emphasis on science, computers, technology, which is fine, those things are necessary... 

but I think that by diminishing the importance that we have on civics and the humanities, it really dumbs down the population... YOU NEED CULTURE! YOU NEED IT!

Just as much as you need science and math.

In Italy they preserve that a lot more (maybe even too much) than they do in America and as a result the teenagers know a little about that art piece, they know a little bit about that writer, they know a little bit about that social movement, about that country... and this and that! [they know about] what's going on in the world!

Whereas an American is much more likely to be living in their bubble On the other hand, where Italians are much more cultured, I'd say American teenagers are more diverse (and open to other people's differences).

The pro and con to living in America is diversity. 

Racial Issues

We have a lot of racial issues, ethnic tensions in America but I'd say that Americans themselves aren't racist.... they aren't INHERENT racists rather it's the system that is.

There are laws that were put in place hundreds of years (or even decades) ago that were not really renewed for the new society and so this builds a system (of institutions) that is inherently racist.

You can have a white person that really doesn't KNOW there's anything wrong with the system because for them... nothing bad has ever happened to them.
You can have a black person they don't even know that the system is flawed because in school they're teaching you about equality and justice but then they see that they're treated a different way, it's a clash of what should happen and what actually happens and then you get confused.

Those are some of the reasons for ethnic and racial tensions it's not that Americans don't like each other...

I think that Americans are very open to other cultures, we're surrounded by them our whole lives, I have no fear of someone who is different than me and I respect everyones culture and I feel like that is because I come from America...

In America different is cool, different is how things are supposed to be whereas in Italy,

  1. maybe in a big city like Milan you won't have this problem, 
  2. maybe you're kid will go to a really diverse school, 
  3. mind you Enrico says he doesn't wanna raise a kid in Milan but whatever, 
  4. maybe you'll have more diversity there but in a much smaller city like Fano everybody is gonna pretty much be Italian everybody is gonna have usually the same skin color and when you grow up in a culture like that especially for kids and teenagers, it makes it seem like everything that's not different from you is bad. 

Things that are different from Italian will automatically be seen as the OTHER, weird, bad... that's very prevalent here and that's kind of a thing that I hope will change.

As Italy becomes more multi-cultural as Italy becomes more diverse they should hopefully adapt to the changes but as of right now, diversity isn't really a thing here.

American teenagers are much more open-minded in terms of if you're different, in terms of ethnicity, sexual orientation, if you're a different anything, for the most part, in America, you're still going to be accepted.

American teenagers are way more independent than Italian teenagers. 

I've kind of touched on this in the 'how old are you' blah blah blah.

American teenagers are told from a very early age that if you want to achieve the American dream, YOU have to work hard, YOU have to achieve, YOU have to do this this and that so that YOU can be successful.

We have a very "you" oriented culture in America, individualism is a very American thing and so it pushes American kids to go out and be the best individual they can be which sometimes can be a problem because there's not enough stress in America, I think on society and bettering society, everyone is really into better themselves.

If you're looking at it from a like... a professional perspective or again and individual perspective I feel like Americans are more put together individuals.

They'll start working earlier, they start their own lives earlier and I really don't see that as a bad thing...

no, I don't think it's a great thing to be considered a kid when you're 30 or 40.

I do think there needs to be a time when you can take care of yourself and then it will be good! If I am financially stable and independent at 20 that means I can spend my whole 20s traveling the world, experiencing new things, doing things that I want to do because I'm independent.

If you're depending on your family, if you're completely attached to other people around you, you won't have that same kind of freedom so I do think that it's a good thing that American teenagers tend to be more independent, more 'go-getter' more ready to take risks...

One of my other points was that Americans are more risk takers this could be the good side of being a risk taker.

Italian teenagers are way cooler and way more stylish than American teenagers, I have to say. Something about growing up in Italy... 

it's part of the culture here, being well-dressed and presentable is engrained in Italian culture and society.

Mothers will dress their children well from the moment the come out of the womb and they grow up looking good.

Even if you have an Italian that doesn't care about style at all, for example, Enrico, you'll notice that he still looks better than the people than the people that don't care about style at all in America.

It's weird, they're just effortlessly more stylish and cooler than us.

I remember when the Italians came to my school for the exchange and every body was just taken aback by the way they dressed and as soon as the Italians left, all the Americans started dressing exactly like they dressed.

With the light blue jeans, the white converse, and the risvoltini, everybody was wearing that once the Italians left... with the blazers.... it was laughable, it was laughable... but I can totally get it because who doesn't want to be cool and stylish like an Italian.

So yea, what do you guys think about this discussion, do think that I got anything wrong, do you have anything to add to what I say? Are you a teenager in America or Italy reading?Do you agree with me? Let me know in the comments section below! Let's have a discussion about it! I hope that you guys liked this article and found it entertaining, and as always, I will see you guys in my next one! 

Today we are going to be talking about teenagers. Italian teenagers vs American teenagers.