What is youth and what are the advantages and disadvantages of being young? It is said that youth is the nicest time of one? s life. As a young person you are fit, strong and have enough energy to face problems. In fact you do not think about any problems, but look forward to every day in which you may try something new and challenging, and people around you tend to tolerate your faults because of your lack of experience. There are two different groups of young people: teenagers (13 to 19 years old) and those between twenty and thirty. Both groups have something in common, but there are also differences between them.
Teenagers are a special group. They are not children any more, yet neither are they adults. They are strongly influenced by their friends, reasonably influenced by their parents and partly influenced by their teachers, but there are also youth culture influences that may be important. As teenagers grow up, they interact with people outside their homes, each becoming an individual person with his own ideals. Teenagers want to live independently and oppose the older generation so they often have conflicts with their parents and teachers. Most of them attend secondary schools and prepare themselves for their future profession.
They spend most of their time at school or studying for the following school day. In their leisure time they like getting together with friends, listening to music, playing computer games and going to parties and discos. Most of them live with their parents, have to help around the house and are given some pocket money to spend on cassettes, cosmetics and small luxuries. Those teenagers who want to have their own money try to find a part-time job, especially during school holidays. Working in the afternoons or at weekends could be very useful, since it may help them to prepare for their future.
Some teenagers, especially in the USA but also in other European countries, leave their family at the age of eighteen and live with their friends in rented flats. Parents usually do not object because living on one? s own may help young people become responsible. Some people say it is better than any parental advice. Young people between twenty and thirty are a bit different. Most of them have finished school and have found a job, so they are earning a living. Their problems are different from those of teenagers. They are adults and so they have to find a place to live.
Many get married and have children so they become more aware of social problems. They are more concerned about the global problems of poverty, disease, the pollution of our environment, racial discrimination, nuclear and chemical weapons and terrorism. They organize demonstrations for peace and fight for aquality. Many of them work for charities, help the disabled and homeless or collect money for starving people in Africa and Asia. Only a small number of young people join radical youth movements like skinheads propagating fascism or fight against international companies like antiglobalists.
These groups may become dangerous in the future but nowadays their influence on young people is relatively small. What is generation gap? There have always been generation gap between generations, a lack of comprehension, that can be frustrating for the both sides. Arguments between generations are common aspecially quarrels about money, behaviour, knowledges and experiences. The old always think that they know everything the best, because they have been here longer time. They want the young to respect them. But should young people always accept ideas of older people?