Fellow teens discuss Chang’s column
October 12, 2009 · 11:16 AM
I just read Kyle Chang’s article “We’re teenagers — let us roam free in our invincibility” and, myself being only 16, was very discouraged by his representation of our generation. I was quite offended reading this because his views are completely opposite of mine and he depicts all teenagers to have this view of ignorance and responsibility.
He also says, “Parents shouldn’t rush their children’s maturation.” And my response is why not? I believe teenagers being mature at a young age would be one of the best things for our country. So instead of constantly making mistakes and so called “learning” from them, why not just learning from our parents and building a mentor-like relationship? There is real pleasure or fun in doing our own thing without parental supervision. But, in fact, it is the guidance of an experienced parent, who would tell you that there is much more satisfaction that comes when you do the right thing the first time, that will help our generation grow up more responsible than the previous.
One other thing that disturbed me was that he believes that he can fool around all he wants, but when he has a baby he’ll all of the sudden be ready and responsible enough. If this is what my generation starts to believe, we are deceiving ourselves. Teenagers today need to realize that becoming responsible is a process. I can’t imagine what society will be like in 10 to 20 years if we continue in this manner of thinking.
His disrespect for the older generation is absolutely mind blowing. He had the gall to say that our parents envy us. Well, I could prove otherwise. There is a kind of wisdom that our parents have from experience that we can’t get in only 16 years. I would not want to be caught trying to tell my parents that they envy me. How in the world is ignorance more attractive than age-old wisdom?
I hope that maybe you consider what you are publishing because I know I am not the only one thinking this way. I’m asking on behalf of the well being of my generation, please do not let us be free because that will be the one downfall we will face that we really don’t need to encounter when we have the wisdom of the older generation.
Michaela Sandstrom, age 16, Bothell
I recently read an article in your newspaper called, “We’re teenagers — let us roam free in our invincibility,” which was written by a local teenager named Kyle Chang. He wrote about his belief that youth was the time in everyone’s life in which they were able to be free and live without cares or responsibilities. I thought it was well written and fairly persuasive.
But it seemed to me as if he felt he were speaking on behalf of all teenagers; that we all had this certain cry in each of our hearts to be free from rules and live as if we were invincible. But however, I found no areas in which I agreed with the ideals he was putting forth. In the article, he said that youth was precious. But if it was really precious, why would we be OK with letting it go to waste? The definition of waste is “to spend carelessly.” So if we are living life while we are young without cares, or carelessly, wouldn’t that simply be wasting our youth? I would rather spend these years that I don’t have as many responsibilities to prepare for when I actually do. How can I expect that one day, when the need arises for me to take responsibility and ownership for something, that I will automatically know how to do it without first training myself and learning from my parents? I think that these years are very valuable and that we can learn a lot in them.
Another point that was made in the article was that parents were needlessly yelling at us probably only for the reason that they wish they could be young again. But what I think teens need to realize is that they are missing out on a lot when we disqualify our parents. I know that my parents were once young and have gone through most everything that I am going through and still facing. So why not save myself from the trouble and stress of figuring out my problems myself when I can receive advice from someone who has experience with both the issue I’m facing and with me?
And yet another point that was made in the article was that youth should be the time in a person’s life when they are able to live free of consequences and live for the fun of the moment. But, in all honesty, decisions are never free from consequences. That’s not my opinion; it’s plain-old fact. I think that if we are looking ahead now, we can save ourselves a lot of trouble later, as opposed to living in the moment and just rolling with the punches when they come.
Responsibility does not have to be a burden. And maturity is not a desolate transition. It is not the death of our freedom or fun. Actually, if we are continually growing in our maturity and responsibility, it causes things to actually be easier because we are not suddenly jumping unprepared into life. So is youth really ignorance? Well, it may be filled with a lot of it along the way, but I don’t think it has to be defined as ignorance. Rather, I think youth is the time in our life when we should be preparing ourselves for a life of success rather than a life of failure and regret.
Zoe Dreyer, age 16, Bothell