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  Society Trends -
Chris Gilkes, City-As School Student Intern

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With each new year, new opinions arise within society about teenagers. Teenagers are perceived differently by elder generations and are always a hot topic in the public. They are seen as irrational and aggressive; young adults with out self-guidance. As a young adult, I do lack the experience adults have, but I want to be treated as a mature individual, to have my opinions valued, not to be judged based on my age.

My family comes from Spain, Brazil, Mexico, and Italy. My family's values and my values are different from one another because of my American way of life. What may be looked upon as offensive to my parents, often suits my wants. For example, I enjoy staying out late without the nuisance of calling home to check in, even though I am still a minor. My parents feel that not calling is irresponsible. In their eyes, family comes first. They feel I am shrugging that off and it continues to be a constant struggle for my independence. My family and I have come to a compromise of weekends and some weekdays are mine without the need for verification of my whereabouts.

The music I listen to and the festivals that I attend have as much to do with my Spanish heritage as they do with my American nationality. I enjoy going to clubs that play salsa, merengue, but mostly Spanish reggae, techno, hip-hop, and rap. I enjoy these last four more than salsa and merengue because the type of dancing done with another person of the opposite sex.


I feel that one way to help counter the negative images of teens is to volunteer in your community, join after-school programs, or carry out a hobby. Countering negativity could change the image of teens being seen as irrational in today's society. There are constructive ways to show a different side of yourself.