What are the issues that most concern teenagers today? What do you believe the future holds in store for your generation?
The future of young people can be very bright, but only if they work hard to make it so. Killing one another will not make a brighter future, neither will getting involved with drugs and alcohol. That will, instead, wipe us all out so that there will be no future for anyone.
There are several reasons why teenagers become involved with illegal substances. One is peer pressure. Peer pressure can be a very strong force. You want to impress your friends, so you "go along with the crowd." You never stop to think that since your so-called friends want you to use drugs, maybe they're not really your true friends.
Another reason teens use drugs is their inability to deal with problems. Some teenagers turn to drugs or alcohol to forget about their troubles. What they don't realize is that when they come down off that high or sober up, the problems are still there -- and probably have gotten worse.
I think that the majority of today's teenagers have managed to avoid situations such as these, but there are still a few who need guidance. They need to be shown that there is a better way to live.
CHARLENE HARDY Eastern
There are many issues concerning teenagers today. The major one, however, is preparation for the future. The teens of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. They are aware of that fact and are, consequently, concerned with the years ahead.
Under the issue of preparation for the future there are some sub-issues, such as looking for the right college to attend and learning how to get along with parents as fellow adults.
Another would be the building of friendships, male and female alike, and learning to deal with the opposite sex and sexual issues.
I believe that if things remain peaceful with foreign countries, the future will hold prosperity for my generation. I believe that the U.S. will be more economically sound in the future.
This generation has many ingenious and competent people who will hold the country together well.
DERICK HEGGANS St. John's
There are a lot of issues that concern today's teenagers. Teens are involved with drugs, fast money, expensive clothes, expensive cars and sex. It seems as though teens no longer have values and morals. It's no longer a shock to see 16 and 17-year-old boys driving Mercedes Benzes and BMWs. It's no big deal to hear your girlfriend tell you she and the guy she met last week are having sex. Boys praise and admire their friends for shooting someone. Hustlers are looked up to and respected.
I'm afraid the future doesn't look too promising. Young people who have goals and who are going places are letting drugs destroy them. With the way things are going now, I don't know what kind of government, educators and leaders the future holds.
NOIRE JACKSON Coolidge
The issues that concern teenagers today are material things, drugs and education. There is so much pressure on teens to possess something that will make them stand out among their peers. Drugs are always a major problem with today's teens because they see other teens driving around in fancy cars and making more money than they could in an honest year's work at a McDonald's or any other place of teenage employment.
The teenagers of today will have a rude awakening when they realize that they have to step up and lead this country into a new century. They will have to cope with their problems as well as the giant deficit that our loving parents, better known as the "baby-boom generation," have left for us.
This is an educated generation, and if anyone can deal with these problems, it is today's teenagers.
JAMES TURNER McKinley
The current generation of teenagers is most concerned about what will happen to them when they become adults and how they will feel in the real world. These issues become very stressful to teens as they advance to their senior year in high school. When a teen gets closer to graduation, he begins to have more responsibilities, such as getting himself into college, and he becomes more concerned with his schoolwork.
There are some phobias about "growing up." Teens observe the many financial responsibilities and family-care problems faced by their parents and other adults. They worry that they will not get a job to support their families. They wonder if they will be able to handle the pressures of being an adult.
The older teens get, the more concerned they are with the future. They notice other teens selling drugs or shooting one another and begin to wonder if things are going to be that way when they become adults. For this generation of teens, the future is either a guaranteed good-paying job for the college graduate or a guaranteed cellblock in a government-funded prison facility for the drug hustler.
WILLINA ROBSON Woodson
Our generation today puts much of its concern into being "a part." The need to belong and to be accepted is the top priority. Wearing the most expensive clothes, shoes and jewelry are the most important step in being a part: knowing the right people and hanging out at the right places.
The teenagers of today put less value in education and more in their peers. They have the attitude that if their friends don't accept them, then they are nothing.
The future for today's young generation is open, but because of their negative and closed minds, the future could be very short. The older generation must make a point to stress the importance of education to the younger generation. Without the younger generation, there is no future.
DARLENE JACKSON Notre Dame
"Drugs." We hear that word every day in our schools and in the written and spoken media.
This is one of the major concerns teenagers have in today's society. Being a teenager, I have noticed how drugs have become a strong force in teen-age society and a real part of our day-to-day life. I have had friends who deal in drugs; some have lost their lives, and some are so strung out on drugs that you may as well say they have lost their lives. The teenagers today have to solve this drug problem or the future generations will live with the stigma, "You are a black teenager, so you are involved with drugs." Now who would want that hanging over their heads?
As Michael Jackson sings in his song "Man in the Mirror," "We're gonna make a change for once in our lives." Please, teenagers, become aware of this problem and make that change.
TERRENCE HOLLOWAY Spingarn S.T.A.Y.
Teenagers today are interested in popularity, fast money, expensive clothing and cars. They are usually interested in only the issues that affect them and their happiness. This is a problem, and if there isn't a change in our priorities as a whole, we won't have a very bright future as a generation. This leaves much to be desired for the next generation.
Popularity isn't as great as it seems. Being in with the crowd while in school can bring you down. Most young people don't realize this until it is too late. Your peers can use you and make you think cutting class, using drugs, having sex and so forth are the greatest things since pizza. But they aren't. It's okay to have friends, but don't let them control your life. A good education, virginity, and a drug-free body are some of the best things in life.
CELINE PARKER Burdick Career Center Topic for March 17:
Who are the individuals teenagers admire most and why? What are the qualities teenagers look for in role models today?
Responses should be no more than 150 words in length and typed or written legibly. Political-style cartoons on the topic are welcome and should be drawn on posterboard. All submissions should include the student's name, school, age and grade.
Responses should be addressed to: Weekly High School Section The Washington Post 1150 15th St. NW Washington, D.C. 20071 Deadline for responses is Monday, March 7.