The Teen Wire: As the world turns, it affects teens' future
Around this time of the year, just as the leaves are beginning to turn their autumnal tint, we realize that we are students once again. Most of us have only started to make sense of the meaning of summer, of relaxation, of freedom, of sleep. Yet here we are at Office Depot doing our back-to-school shopping. In just a few days we will be back to the seemingly endless toil of the next nine months. And with the return of school naturally we feel a range of emotions - excitement and dread, hope, fear, anxiety.
Some of us teens have been through the routine many times before. We know how stressful it can be to figure out new teachers, work out our schedules, and make new friends. Eventually, we've found that the dust will settle and that the year might not be so bad after all. It just takes some time. Yet no matter how many times we've gone down this road, the beginning of school holds an element of uncertainty, for all of us.
Few of us could predict a year ago where would be today as a world, nation and community. As teens, we are now indeed at the crossroads of history. This summer we saw how our technology had far-reaching impacts in Iran's "Twitter-lution." We saw how a new California budget cut deeply into funding for our education and schools. And we saw how the job market continued its downward spiral and how even in the midst of affluence, financial pressures can be indiscriminate.
In many ways the worst of the economic crisis was a burden that fell most heavily on Wall Street and the banks. Though the worst appears to be behind us, the difficulties that remain will be our generation's burden, more than anyone else's. After all, "long-term recovery" is very much our future at stake. Consequently, this upcoming school year will be different from what we're used to. UC and Cal State tuition rates have already gone up. In addition, expect larger class sizes and more scheduling conflicts at the high school level. If the past is any indicator of the future, this will lead to more uncertainty come back-to-school, not less.
However, I do not mean to bring anyone's expectations down. Generation Y, perhaps, is the most ready to navigate the uncertainty ahead. Maybe it is our teen culture- our Facebook and Twilight- which give us some assurance in an unsure world. Maybe it is our creativity and passion, free-spiriting thinking and openness, which will be our best merits today and tomorrow. Maybe even, it is our shortcomings which allow us to be introspective and to challenge ourselves. I think this is so.
From time to time, I might interpret the teen scene differently from how an adult or even another teen would. Admittedly, it is a formidable undertaking to try to judge where my own generation stands, without the vantage point of a passive observer. And sure, there are those teens who don't care- those who will continue to not care given any amount of persuasion. I know, get real, right? Who really cares about what goes on in Sacramento, much less in Iran. If anything, that's what the Daily Show is for. And why should our views matter to older generations? We don't vote or pay taxes. We are often underrepresented in the mainstream media and portrayed as "screw-ups."
Though I believe that for today's young people, the consequences have never been more severe for ignorance and generalizations. We are responsible for the course of our own future and what we learn and know today will surely reflect upon that future. Thus, I will endeavor to speak on behalf of my peers and represent their voices to those who would listen. And when school comes to an end, and the Teen Wire comes to an end, hopefully I will have taken a small step toward understanding.
The Teen Wire provides a perspective on today's youth, in the face of a changing world. Daniel Morizono, a senior at San Ramon Valley High School and news editor of the Wolfprint can be contacted at email@example.com.