The dictionary defines a rebel as someone who rises up in opposition against authority, a ruler or a government, or as someone who resists authority or control. I am neither of those.

I definitely start my work the day it’s assigned, I definitely go to bed early and I definitely always do what my parents tell me all the time. I definitely never fight with my brother, and I definitely only eat healthy food. When was the last time I ate something unhealthy? It definitely wasn’t yesterday.

I’m definitely not the type of person to sneak out or rebel against the government. I definitely don’t mind rules, and in some ways, I even appreciate them. I’m not talking about rules that tell me what fashion trend is in or which social media platforms are the most popular — though many times, I find myself trying to follow those rules as well. But I can definitely appreciate the rules and requirements for school or other assignments, and I usually do what I am told to do.

It’s not that I like conformity. I’m not seeking to “fit in,” and I very much enjoy being my own person. But I like knowing what I have to do, and I like knowing what is expected of me. I also like not getting in trouble — something that has stuck with me since I was younger, when I would cry if I got in trouble for talking in class. My parents know about everything that I do, even if it’s something that might be considered minor.

In many ways, I feel that these traits are things that apply to many teens. Most teenagers really don’t fall into the stereotype of “rebellious teenagers” who don’t do their work; who sneak out at night; who don’t care about school; who often go behind their parents’ backs; and who may, in turn, have bad relationships with their parents, teachers and adults in general.

In reality, every teen I know has a great relationship with their teachers and parents and has pretty honest relationships with them. They’re ambitious and care about their work. Maybe being “unrebellious” has become more popular than being a rebel. Regardless, I’m definitely going to continue eating only healthy food.

Niveditha Bala is a sophomore at Mandela International Magnet School. Contact her at