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Being young

BEING YOUNG

Everyone has once been young. But everybody hasn't gone

through this difficult period in life the same way. Which

possibilities and living conditions have teenagers nowadays?

Some people think that you leave childhood when you

become a teenager, and that you are still young up in your

twenties. I don't think there are exact limits that tell you

whether you are young or old. According to christian tradition

one is considered adult after the confirmation, but I wouldn't

call fifteen year-olds adults. At that age, they're still not

ready to handle the consequences of their own actions. When

you are eighteen, you are considered an independent

individual, and have all juridical rights, such as driving a

car and the right to vote. You are also bound to serve in the

military. Nevertheless, one can't buy spirits before the age

of twenty-one is achieved.

Now, more than ever, fashion seem to dominate the youth's

everyday. Perhaps the reason is that they feel insecure and

think that the "right" clothes will give them a feeling of

being accepted by the group. This phenomen has a negative

side. What if a pupil can't afford to buy these clothes? Will

he or she be excluded from the gang? Some schools in various

countries have tried to solve this problem. They have

introduced a rule that allows pupils to go at school only if

they are dressed in a specific school-uniform. But many

students don't like these uniforms. They want to decide for

themselves how to dress.

During the last years it has become more usual for

parents to divorce. Some people think that this conflict may

have a positiv effect on kids, because the children get a

bigger family to hold on to. Others think the opposite. But it

is obvious that parental separation can harm or ruin many

childhoods. I don't think it is healthy for the kids if they

feel dragged between their mother and father, and perhaps it

is even worse if the child is allowed to choose which parent

to live with. In Norway, children above twelve years have the

possibility to make their own choice.

When youngsters today seek entertainment, he or she has a

tendecy to drop down in front of a television set. This is not

very constructive, because it leads to passivity. In the past,

kids used to tell stories to each other and play games, both

inside the house and out in the streets. I think that was a

more developing way of entertainment. One can already see the

results of the television's influence. Young people are

getting more violent as the movies today contain a lot of

violence. There are exceptions, though. Many teenagers are

members of athletic assosiations, and this is a solid

counterweight against bad television influence.

Another and perhaps just as frightening problem in the

big cities is that drug abuse among youngsters appears more

and more frequently, and that several young lifes are ruined

because of this. Increasing juvenile crime may be a result.

The authorities have difficulties finding the solution to

these problems. The abuse of drugs or alcohol may start

harmlessly with a beer or two at an early age, often because

of insecurity or because of a negative gang mentalitity. Young

people want to show off and in this way perhaps feel more

secure and "grown up".

But being young is also positive. At this age, you

haven't got the responsibility you get when you get older.

That is why we like to enjoy ourselves while we can, because

later in life we might never have the chance!



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