You are a young person, say in your teens. You feel you have walked a long distance, holding the hand of your parents. Now is the time to be on your own, be independent and do what your peers do. You don’t like constant prescriptions by parents on how to live life. If you think like this, read on …
A young man was going on his bike. Not sure of his way, he asked an old man on the way, “Where does this road go to? The man asked back, “Where do you want to go?”. Not sure, the young man replied. The old man then said, “ If you are not sure where you want to go, then take any road. How does it matter?”
Getting a sense of direction is the first critical issue. You need that. Parents want to help you with that. Think about what you want to achieve in next five years and set yourself a goal. The goal must be related to enhancement of knowledge and skills (like pursuing a hobby, sport etc.) Remember, this will be the first plan that you will make for you. This will keep you focused and provide you with a sense of direction. Now, write down your plan, and implement it as earnestly as you can.
Friends are important indeed. You can choose your friends. Choose friends who have similar values and interests like you. This way you will not be distracted from your goal. It is critical to have a core group of friends. You never know this friendship may last for ever.
Now, you have a written goal and core group of friends. However, there is a much larger group of peers, who may have a different life style. You may constantly face the pressure to be like them. You must learn to negotiate with them. Your possessions, your dress, your school/college, your life style, etc. do not define you. Your values do. Never compromise on your values. Smoking or taking alcohol (even drugs) may be cool for some but it is not a healthy life style. I have met so many young persons who are infected with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). They could not handle the peer pressure and fell prey to substance abuse/injecting drugs or casual sex during their college days. Lean to say no to peer pressure. Think, if you can take the initiative of starting some social campaign in your college or neighborhood. This way, you will influence your peers as wel as others towards a healthier and responsible life style.
Your core group of friends and parents will help you. Never hesitate to discuss with them. An open and regular communication, based on mutual respect, is always useful.
If you ever make a mistake, don’t take any drastic step. Don’t ever hesitate to tell your parents. They will help you always. You may be growing up or may have grown up but you will always stay in the hearts of your parents.
This is my first post inviting young people to the youth Café. This café will discus issues concerning youth. I invite all my young friends to write comments, send feedback, and raise issues concerning them.