Its tough enough being a teenager in todays world without the temptations of drugs, sex, and violence, but in the year 2000 this is what the adolecents face. We face more obstacles and trials and tribulations than teens faced twenty or thirty years ago. There is more sexual content on todays televisions, more violence in todays school, and more peer pressure to try all sortsof new drugs. Yet it seems the youth of today have acomplished more. We are chess champions, graduates of college, star athletes, crucial holders of our countrys economic wealth, multi-millionaire entrepreneurs, and Grammy-award winning entertainers. Most of these had, at one time, a direct correlation with only adults. But our current society has taught us to be strong, independent, young go-getters, who fight for what we believe in.
This independence and strong-will was started and nutured when we were children, probably by loved ones such as parents and grandparents, and ministers and teachers. They encouraged us to play educational games and read. By the time we got a little older we were inspired to compete or participate in activities to expand our minds (or maybe to keep us out of trouble), such as playing a musical instrament, or participating in a sport, or attending class in computers. I saw this poem on the internet and it reminded me of those special people that helped me through my childhood. I would like to read it to you,
Are the kids the only ones who see the knots that tie in the family tree. What is not, What could be, but not one person not just me. Kids may have little spines but they have full minds. Full of hope, Fame and Glory, Happiness and Joy, A sublime story. But in what day will you see? Kids make up you and me. How long will it be Until you can make a fee? A fee for smiles and laughs, A fee for bliss, undetermined crafts. But remember when you are blue, at one time, you were a kid too.
When we were kids we had little responsibility, but now we are teenagers. Teenagers responsibilities have been enlarged by a tad bit, and we are carrying these responsiblities like the talented young adults that we are. The adolesecent of today are looking toward our future by preparing for higher education and the workforce. Hundreds of thousands of young people graduate from high school each year which is a wonderful step in progressing to keep our nation one of the strongest superpowers. Did you know that almost on half of high school seniors advance to college? This is a great accomplishment for this generation!
Many more mature adults feel as though we are a wild and rambunctious youth, but in fact the teenager has not changed that much over the years. The physical anatomy of puberty has not changed Peach fuzz is still accquired in new places, mood swings become more frequent, and problems and peer pressure are still here, although our problems may be slightly different from senior generations. Sure our predecessors have dealt with violence and lust and alcohol and illict drugs, but ours is now at full scale. It is a wise person who can see through the lie that drugs and drinking are the way to a good time. In fact, many of teens who have been offered marijuana or alcohol have turned it down.
Okay Id like to ask you a question. Which name has the most significance for you?
You answer was A or B, right? If you answered A or B youve been paying attention to the nightly news or reading your perodicals. Have any of you ever heard of Natalie Toro? What do all these names have in common? Theyre all teenagers. What does C have that A or B dosent. How about a full scholarship to University of Colorado, a Best-of Show at the International Science and Engineering Fair. Thats right Natalie Toro was experimenting with neutrino particles at the University of Colorado laboratory at the age of 14. She received a two-inch by six-inch minor article in the back of Newsweek for furthering her scientific research; whereas for shooting up Colombine High School, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris got six pages featured on the cover.
The media produces much more stories about the Eric Harrises and Dylan Klebolds than the Natalie Toros. Ill admit that all teens are not super genius nor are they all model citizens, but we are not all Dylan Klebolds either. Positive coverage may not sell in our national magazines, but wouldnt you much rather see someone doing something positive rather than negative.
The only way we, the American citizens, can prevent this is to judge each person with open hearts, not prejudging on stereotypes. So I ask you personally please do not judge young people on what you hear or see, but on what they tell you and what they show you.