Being young today is not the easiest thing in the world. It is a big challenge for most of us, coming up to the expectations that are hanging over us day and night. Many people struggle to redeem them, others may not even care.
To have a chance to make it well in life we go to school, starting as young, curious children. We go from primary school to secondary school, and this is often where we get showered with all the responsibility and hard work and, of course, expectations. Our parents – and other relatives – expect us to do well and get good grades, the teachers expect us to deliver our homework in time, even friends have expectations; they want you to be a good friend to them, as they hopefully are to you.
All this at the same time can be very confusing and frustrating. Many teenagers find it exhausting and too much. I think it’s no wonder that so many young people get problems. We get stressed and nervous and burnt out. It’s good that we have all the holidays and weekends.
But being a teenager is also about finding a place in society that make us fell good. Many people have trouble finding their place and this makes them disabled to do their best in school, at work and at home. This concerns grown-ups as well as those under twenty. You don’t have to be handicapped or outstanding in any way for this to happen, it just does. And it’s up to you to handle it and do something about it.
I think it’s harder to be young today than before. Yes, we have more opportunities and technology helps us a lot, but with that comes bigger responsibility, and bigger (you know the word) expectations. It seems to be all the grown-ups are talking about; their children, the future... Because after all, we are the future. It’s us, we who are teenagers today, that are going to lead our country further, it’s only a few years ahead of us. And that’s why it’s so important to try and make an effort. The challenges in our lives are not going to get smaller or less, so if you think getting out of bed is a problem now, you better start to prepare yourself. Think about when you’re thirty; you have to wake up at five o’clock every morning, feed yourself AND your possible family, then go to work. And when you get home you have to make time to take care of family and home again. Even though I am young myself I can see the future as something like this, and it both exhausts me and frightens me a little bit. But hopefully you will not be alone on all this responsibility. Hopefully it will be a good life.
So what about those who didn’t care about it all? How will they make it i n life and live up to the expectations given them? I don’t know. It’s never to late to pull oneself together and try again. But, of course, if you want to lead a life consisting of a sofa, a TV and a frozen pizza in a messy single room apartment you’re welcome to do so. Not everyone wants to be a part of the country’s destiny, everyone can’t be happy that way. We are all free to choose our own lifestyle. It’s only you who can decide what you want to do with yours.
Our parents worry about how we will be able to take care of our country. They see all the young people in the streets and from how they act I can understand why our ‘old’ generation thinks so. But too often they forget all those who are actually willing to try and make it good. There are lots of them and I don’t think there’s that much to worry about. We are a good generation!
Engelskeksamen, 20. mai 2005.