How a teen can have a good future?

Teens having fun outdooors

What kind of future do you want? As a teen, how are you responding to that question? Knowingly or unknowingly, you are answering the question. You are answering it by what you are doing, by your actions.You cannot escape it, your actions today are going to affect your life tomorrow. Whatever you sow today you will unquestionably reap in the future."

Although your teenage years constitute a relatively short space of time in comparison with the normal life-span, what you are doing during these formative years will have a profound effect on what you will receive out of life.

In this sense you are comparable to a young tree, which, if it does not grow erect in its youthful years, will be crooked the rest of its life.

So, in what direction are you headed? What kind of a foundation are you laying for future life? Just what do your actions indicate you want out of life?

In search of a happy life


In view of the things many youths are doing these days it would appear they are not sure there is going to be a future for which to live.

The attitude they have apparently adopted is, 'Let’s live it up today, for there may not be a tomorrow.’

And, for many young teens there proves to be no tomorrow. They unwittingly decide that for themselves, oftentimes just by one regrettable act.

It may be by taking just one “trip out of this world” with LSD. For some it has been the “trip of no return.”

Others, in search of the “happy life,” try smoking “pot” or marijuana. But to what can this form of “entertainment” lead?

One teen student before he knew it, he was ‘lying in the dirt in jail, near hysteria, considering what he would tell his parents.’ Is that what you want out of life?

While such practices are often death-dealing in themselves, what they often lead to can also result in other severe consequences.

For instance, the use of LSD, marijuana and solvents for “kicks” often leads to drug addiction. And what do drug addicts want in life? More drugs. And what is their life like as a result?

One female teen addict said:

We are all animals in a world no one knows. We’ll step on one another for a shot if there’s no dope. I’m no different from any of the others. I’ll beat somebody for their money just as fast as look at them.That’s why I say we’re animals.” 

If you do not want to become one of those “animals,” then you will not want to seek your excitement via the drug or glue-sniffing route. You, too, could become “hooked.”

The glue sniffers, the “pot” smokers, the drug addicts, the drunkards, those seeking first the gratifying of the flesh, are not the truly happy, satisfied ones.

By their unprincipled actions they are merely compounding their difficulties.

And many of you teens know that. Thus one teen girl, bent on the pursuit of pleasure, calmly viewed suicide as the way out if things got too complicated.

Many young people are looking to suicide as the way out is evident from the report that it is now the second cause of death among the fifteen to twenty-four-year-olds.

But since when do people commit suicide because of having such a good time?

Obviously their pursuit of the “happy life” has been misdirected. They have been disillusioned.

This raises the question: In what way can you satisfy your desire for fun without jeopardizing your prospects for a happy future?

How can a teen have fun?


Many young teens are of the opinion that they must isolate themselves from older folks, such as parents, if they are going to have a good time.

But others, instead of disdainfully considering parents and older friends as “old fogies” or “killjoys,” have come to appreciate that older folks can contribute much to their enjoyment.

And in this day, when many children and parents are practically strangers to one another, there is the advantage of drawing family members closer together.

No doubt your parents would be very happy to have you suggest doing something together for diversion. But, what to do?

It is always exciting to go places, is it not? Are you acquainted with the tourist attractions in your area? Other persons travel many miles to see them.

Have you ever been to a publishing house, an auction, or passed a few hours as a spectator in court?

Or, more appealing to you may be hiking in the woods or fields, climbing a mountain trail or camping under the stars.

Hobbies such as photography or studying the habits of wildlife can add to your joy on such excursions.

A game of baseball can be very enjoyable too, can it not? If Dad has had all he can physically take after an inning or two, at least he can serve as umpire.

In some parts of the world families and friends get together for an outing and make a soccer game the big attraction, while others like to swim.

Where the winters are cold, there are such exciting sports as skiing, ice skating and tobogganing to be enjoyed.

Where the entertainment is wholesome and up-building, a pleasant time is also in the offing when friends come together for a social evening.

On such occasions young and old may enjoy a good old-fashioned square dance.

Others perhaps are able to entertain with song or music, or all can join in singing familiar tunes. Some may engage in a game of darts or table tennis.

On occasion, slides or movies may be shown. At such gatherings cultivate the habit of being a good conversationalist.

Take an interest in meeting new people. You will find that people are interesting.

Of course, to satisfy your desire for entertainment you do not always have to be with others. Some youths enjoy having a skill or hobby.

It may be rock collecting, leather tooling, woodworking, sculpturing, painting, sewing, cooking, or another of any number of practical hobbies.

Or, you can be an armchair traveler through the medium of good books.

Effects of association on your future


In considering what you want out of life you must give serious consideration to the company you keep.

That is because your associates affect not only what you are doing now but also your prospects for the future.

Whether you will “become wise” or will “fare badly” depends on your choice of companions. The need to be very selective in choosing companions, then, is obvious, is it not?

Yet, many young persons are unsuccessful in making a wise choice. Why?

Is it not because of their desire to be “in” with the crowd, to be accepted? However, if you do not choose your companions wisely, your desire to be accepted can have serious implications. Why?

Because of the pressure to conform and the tendency to imitate. It is unnatural to want to be different. Oh, it is true that many young persons make the claim of being individualists.

Yet, by conforming to the group in hairstyle, dress, speech and actions, do they not show themselves to be conformists to the group that they have chosen?

To illustrate how your desire to be accepted by the group can seriously affect your future, let us suppose that a teen-age girl is anxious to be accepted by other girls who are popular among the boys.

She finds herself at a party where, because of not wanting to be “chicken,” she smokes “pot.” Since, after smoking marijuana, she ‘feels she loves everybody,’ she also has unprotected sex. What could be the result?

Pregnancy, venereal disease, remorse, loss of self-respect, and more—in short, her prospects for a happy future jeopardized because she wanted to be accepted by the crowd.

You are revealing what you want out of life by your choice of companions.

The best way to avoid bad associations is to cultivate good ones, not those who are living for only the pleasure of the moment or merely for the acquisition of material possessions, but those who are living with their future in mind and who will help you do the same.

Practical preparation for future


While some millions of teens are not privileged to receive even a basic education due to poverty or inadequate educational facilities, others show contempt for school by playing hooky or attend only because they have to.

Do you manifest such indifference toward your schooling? Or do you manifest the recognition that the education and skills you acquire now will have a great bearing on what you will get out of life?

Schooling involves more than book learning. It also involves the developing of abilities, habits and attitudes.

Through this development a foundation is being laid on which you will build throughout the rest of your life. Therefore, in connection with your schooling, look beyond the present.

Habits you acquire now during your formative years will in later years be automatic, to your benefit or to your detriment, depending on whether the habit is good or bad.

For example, if you learn to exercise your brain now by applying yourself to your studies, thinking and reasoning powers will be developed that you will use every day of your life.

Your preparation for the future involves more than just your schooling. At home, too, you should be developing qualities or traits that will later identify you as a mature adult.

Cultivate such qualities as orderliness, cooperativeness, submissiveness, humility, dependability, initiative and thoroughness.

The possession of such will have a profound effect on your relations with others and on privileges received.

So take hold of a brighter future by making the right decisions now before it is too late!

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