Hand-me-down minivans


Autumn Towe

The teenage lives of both students and teachers have their differences, but at the core are not too different, just like the Statesman over the years.

Autumn Towe, Staff Writer

Have you ever wondered how your personal and home life compare to your peers’ and even your teachers’ lives as teenagers? I know I have asked myself these questions many times and have wondered how the similarities and differences do and will make a difference in the lives we lead. 

As a teen who has learned the value of work and self-reliance, I have seemed to assume other teens haven’t had this opportunity, or in other words, they have been given everything they have. They drive nice vehicles, while I drive a hand-me-down minivan. I have to buy my own clothes, while they seem to get whatever they want. They get an allowance, whereas all the money I have, I have worked for. So instead of assuming and being bitter towards this mild injustice, I wanted to see how my experience relates to other students and even teachers.

Teens throughout the ages have had similar behaviors: wanting to break the rules, forge their own way and figure out who they are. Yet, the lives that are led can be very different. To look into these differences and these similarities, I compared many teachers and student subjects here at LHS who answered the same questions about their lives as teenagers. The miraculous thing is that not much has changed, and not much is different between me and the lives of other students. I found that both now and in the past, many did not get an allowance, and that their wants were funded by themselves and their hard work only, not by the parents. While some got gas money, others were required to cover that expense on their own. When questioning the amount of home responsibilities each student has, I found that the stress of keeping up a home and family life is present in each student’s lives and in the teacher’s lives, to different degrees. 

One important question I had was how the lifestyles lived correlated with their feeling of preparation for their future. As the seniors and all high schoolers prepare to leave home and support themselves, we have a sense of preparedness or unpreparedness to leave home. To address this, I asked each student if they feel prepared and asked the teachers if they felt prepared to be an adult.  A major correlation I found among those who had the chance to work for what they had was that they felt the most prepared to be an adult. This was a valuable lesson for me, that maybe the hard work required is not such a bad thing if that is what is preparing me for the future.

While the undercover reason for this study was to expose how teens today have it easy and that it will greatly cost our society in the future, I found the contrary. We are all more alike than we think and more prepared than I thought. We have been taught to work and support ourselves while helping our families. More than anything, it was confirmed that work has, and has always had a positive influence on teens and that our efforts to support ourselves and our parents’ efforts to prepare us will pay off when we leave the comfort of our homes to lead our own lives.