BY: CLAIRE KIM
From receiving our driver’s license to being able to drink, the line up of events that occur between the ages of 13-21 is undoubtedly a very critical time. The people we surround ourselves with, the community we live in, and especially the expectations we set for ourselves really dictate what path we will take in the future. For us to showcase the best versions of ourselves, we must grow in a safe environment. Refraining from any inappropriate relationships, drugs, addictions, or any other form of harmful activity that can serve as a weapon to our success is critical to keep in mind. Often times, as teenagers when we are given more freedom and opportunities to do what we want, we forget the responsibility that comes along. It’s fine to make memories with friends and enjoy our youthful life while it’s here, but knowing when enough is what triggers our growth from becoming naive teens to more mature adults.
Although drugs and sexual complications are still a prominent issue today, a surprising decline has been shown in the past few years. From the numbers, we can predict that teens of this age are becoming more aware of the importance of refraining themselves to addictive desires and are becoming more educated in what is best for them at their age. However, while it’s nice to hear this decrease, we have to be aware that an increase in depression and suicidal thoughts have risen tremendously to balance out the scale. Because this digital era has progressively programmed us to be addicted to our phones and social media, this could be a huge reason as to why the tables have turned. Many may argue that this increase in mental disorders can be better than the struggles we have had before, but in my opinion, I think it’s a lot worse. While sexual involvement and drugs may seem too addictive to overcome, depression and suicide are illnesses that have essentially been molded within us and can almost be impossible to cure. Because our behavior and perspective on the world have completely deteriorated, it causes us to actually be a lot more open to dangerous and fatal possibilities. With this sudden change in behavior, many are wondering whether we should be proud or nervous about the future of our young generation.