It’s not easy be­ing a teen


Kalgoorlie Miner - - OPINION - Daniel Newell

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.west­ or by phon­ing 9482 2378.

Ker­mit has lamented his strug­gle to fit in a world not of his mak­ing.

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