Recently a correspondent for the Herald Sun, an Australian newspaper, sat down with four teens and asked them to share what really matters to them?
As you can imagine, the teens had quite a lot to say on a wide variety of topics ranging from generational stereotypes to social networking, video games & family life.
- We are not all a bunch of depressed and lazy kids running the world into the dirt. In fact, most of us care about the world more than anyone, for it will be ours in years to come and we want it to be the best it ever was. (Lana, 16)
All that the anti-bullying programs and guidance councillors did was drive bullying underground until it was it was almost impossible to pin down and report. Bullying is a topic that is not readily discussed over school lunch. It's something that no one wants to acknowledge - yet everyone knows is happening. (Beatrice, 16)
- What things in my life matter most to me? Schoolwork and how hard I have to study at it is one thing. Another are my friends. They are always there and able to help me if I have a crisis on my hands. My family is also important to me. They can help with just about everything. (Justin, 15)
- Because I am a 16-year-old girl who has grown up with technology and computers around me, I'm going to strip on webcam, take naked photos and cyberbully the shortest girl at my school. The fact is, all of this couldn't be further from the truth. That is not the type of person I am, nor the type any of my friends are. (Lana, 16)
The primary subject of talk between my friends and I are video games, and I am not ashamed to say it. They provide an escape. I enjoy sitting down to play my Xbox to maybe forget about something bad that had happened at school that day. I know that the older generation will read this and say that they entertained themselves by going outside. It was never going to be like that forever: advancing technology made sure of that. (James, 15)
Many of my peers won't admit it but having parents come to see you dance/debate/compete in sport is such a big thing. This is most noticeable when parents don't show up - or worse, when they do and sit in the back reading a book throughout your entire presentation. (Beatrice, 16)
Yes -- dating, Facebook and sex are topics of conversation, but they are not the pillars which we revolve our lives around. Surprisingly, sometimes we talk about things that matter. At my school, the emphasis on helping others is huge. We send students to Cambodia to teach English in schools and orphanages, build houses and assist landmine victims. (Lana, 16)
- I am one of the lucky ones who has never been seriously bullied or forced to do something that I don't want to do, so my life has been pretty simple so far. Certainly, I have seen other kids being bullied or pressured and my sympathy goes out to them, but thankfully I have never been the target. (James, 14)
- I have often been irritated by teenage rampages, but I believe that most young people are good and will grow up to be good citizens. However, the "ferals" amongst them hog the publicity because crime and stupidity make better media stories. There have always been bullies, fools and stupid people [always will be] but the % of them now seems to be much higher than when I was growing up. (Reader Comment)