It’s not easy being a teen
Kermit said it best — it’s not easy being green.
Same goes for Goldfields youth. Not the green bit, of course, more the sentiment behind the Muppet’s lyrical lament for his lot in life — his struggle to fit in, be accepted by those around him and ultimately find a way to be comfortable in his own skin.
Those in their early teens face the twin struggles of balancing growing pressure from the folks to get a good education and reach their potential with increasing demands from mates to enjoy a burgeoning new social life and — parents, block your ears — even first love or first sexual experience.
If they somehow manage to navigate this socially awkward and, at times, painful rite of passage and emerge unscathed, they then face the challenge of finding a good job, tackling that university debt mountain and picking the least dodgy, least offensive flatmates they can bear to share a house.
And that’s all way, way before they can even think about how they will ever be able to afford a home of their own.
Pile on top of all that the state of the world around then. There is turmoil at every turn — financial, environmental, geopolitical, religious.
Is it any wonder so many young people retreat into a world of social media or lose themselves in video games?
A quick flick through the pages of a newspaper or an hour spent watching TV news is enough to send even the hardiest of well-travelled adults to the bookshelf in search of an escape, let alone seeing it through the eyes of someone who, with today’s medical advances, still has a good 70 or 80 years of life to live.
They quite rightly might ask: “What in the world are these people leaving me with.”
Decisions made today by the generation in charge will have very real consequences for those to follow. They will either rejoice at their elders’ wisdom and foresight or be left picking up the pieces of the idiocy and ignorance.
Closer to home, the pressures are just as great, particularly in recent months with reports about rampant youth crime throughout Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
There have been meetings, proposals, strategies, calls to action. Social media has been flooded with comments on how to tackle this rebellious scourge.
Such news cannot and should not be ignored, but all too often the voice of the majority is shouted down by a vocal minority.
So, from next month, the Miner, with the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Youth Council, will bring readers a fortnightly column covering the ideas, agenda and achievements of our region’s young people, with news of special events and activities just for them.
The council is a dedicated bunch of 12 to 25-year-olds who give their time freely because they believe in the place they live in and want it to flourish.
Members of the council will focus on issues that affect them and highlight what they, with help from the City council and their friends, are doing to make Kalgoorlie-Boulder a better place.
They will also nominate a local young person they believe is worthy of praise and tell you a bit more about them.
Keep an eye out for the first column in the next few weeks.
There is no doubt our region’s youth have a lot to offer but, more importantly, as future custodians they have a vested interest in its continued prosperity.
You may think that’s something worth shouting about. We do too.
Daniel Newell is the editor of the
Signed Alston prints are available, framed or unframed, from www.westpix.com.au or by phoning 9482 2378.
Kermit has lamented his struggle to fit in a world not of his making.