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Youth Is Wasted on the Young

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Youth Is Wasted on the Young

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  • April 2012
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If I hear the phrase "Youth is wasted on the young" one more time, I think I will either scream or rip every strand of hair out of my head. Ah yes, these are true words of wisdom spoken from pursed and disapproving lips, mainly due to the speakers' own dissatisfaction with their lives. They wonder why we, the youth, cannot embrace the alleged innocence and freedom we possess. And yet are we given any opportunity to take advantage of our young age? I argue, no.

So what exactly is so magical about this youthful time? I presume they're referring to our supposed "free time" and the spontaneity we have that must be surrendered upon entering adulthood. Or maybe they're alluding to our innocence and lack of jadedness that we don't even begin to know we possess.

And then they love to shove it in our faces that we are silly little adolescents who can't even begin to comprehend how lucky we are, that we throw it all away, and that we yearn (foolishly) for the future as we cast our childhoods away. I can't even begin to tell you how offbase this is.

One thing I would love to know: Where is all this "free time" we're supposed to have? The same adults who urge us to enjoy being young are at the same time telling us to participate in everything imaginable, stay focused, not act impulsively, apply to the "proper schools," all while shaking their heads and muttering, "Youth is wasted on the young."

Well, some of us recognize our youth and vitality, as shocking as this may sound, and we also see it being squashed under the everyday activities that carry the guarantee of a solid future. And since we are so young and naive, who are we to decide what is best for us? To act impulsively, to break out of the monotonous chain of events that bind almost every human being would be inconceivable, irrational, self-destructive.

If we ever want to catch a glimpse of our pre-planned futures, all we have to do is hop on the highway during rush hour and observe people, their faces...

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