"What is on the minds of America's youth today?" was the prompt for an essay contest. The top of the page hosted two images; one of the youth of 1968 protesting racism, and one of teenagers on Spring Break in 2004. The magazine claimed that 30 years ago, young people were so focused on sit-ins, protests, and what was happening in the world around them and today, teens are content solely with "watching their MTV, and following the love lives of Brad, Jen, Jessica, and Paris." I was intrigued by the article. I let the prompt linger in my mind. I felt what Vanity Fair was offering me seemed biased; they did not acknowledge the fact that life in the 60's and 70's wasn't just about voicing your opinions. For example, Vanity Fair didn't show pictures of teens in the 60's and 70's jiving to groovy records, or experimenting with drugs. After all, that period is known for their hippie fests and psychedelic acid trips that would "liberate you". Why does a girl scantily clad in a bikini, chugging beer from a beer bong sum up the 21st century? I admit, kids today have more on their minds than how to be more politically involved but where are the pictures of kids today volunteering and getting out in the community; trying to make a difference? Adults are judgmental of youth today, and as I mentioned before, their views can be biased and one-sided.
So what is on the minds of America's youth today? Contrary to what Vanity Fair said, America's youth are not content text messaging their friends, playing with their X-boxes, and listening to iPods. Kids today have an incredible amount of pressure placed on them. Friends, family, adults, and the media: all these sources are telling us how we must maintain a high GPA if we have any hope of getting into college, and also that we must engage in as many extracurricular activities as possible, all while being thin and perfectly groomed. I have everything from college and extracurricular activities to what outfit I'm going to wear...
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