Young people's problems are a matter of serious concern, aren't they? What is the most important problem for you?
Youth is a period of life which is of utmost importance in the life of man. First, man's entire life is rooted in his early years. The morals and beliefs, range of interests, education, health and habits are all laid in childhood and youth, the personality is shaped. Second, youth is a time when a person is trying to find his place in the world. This period is usually associated with problems: young people 'struggle' to fit themselves into society. Difficult decisions and adjustments face young people in today's society. There are several problems the young generation faces. They are the eternal problems of choosing a career and getting education, the problem of independence and money, the problem of unemployment of young people, the generation gap. Young people have many problems of emotional and personal character which may look silly and unimportant in the eyes of grown-ups but appear to be extremely important to the young. They are the problems of friendship and loneliness, as well as the problem of the first love.
Probably the most vital problem is choosing a career, which is really difficult. One thing that makes it so difficult is the responsibility you have to take on Ч it is widely known that your future life depends on the choice made early in life when your personal experience is not so great. Sometimes you may even be not quite certain about the field of knowledge you are interested in. The second reason is that to make this choice you have to get some idea of the labour market and job opportunities. Third, there are parents who usually have their own idea of your future career and, in many cases, try to make their child choose the career path they prefer.
Perhaps one of the most fundamental problems faced by young people today is unemployment. Young people today have certain needs and aspirations. Because of the universal downturn in the economy combined with technology when particular jobs and skills are made obsolete, many youths today are experiencing problems in obtaining jobs. Unemployment means financial worries, frustration and discouragement. To solve the problem of unemployment, young people should strive for higher education. Then they would be qualified for skilled labour required by industrialized society.
Another problem facing young people today is the tension which exists between parents and children, or the 'generation gap'. In their eagerness to achieve adult status and live their own life, young people may resent any restrictions. They believe that their parents are overanxious and overprotective, which usually creates tension. The 'generation gap' problem is really inevitable. Firstly, every generation is unique in its experience, and young people have always rejected or at least questioned the values of their parents. They have always wanted to learn from their own experience, not from their parents' standards. Secondly, every younger generation tends to be more educated and better-informed than the previous one; they grow more quickly and enjoy freedom more. Thirdly, parents tend to aggravate the situation: they try to impose their ideas upon their children. It results in young people's revolt against adult authority. Parents should exercise control over young people, and try to overcome the differences but with sympathy and understanding.
One more youth problem is the problem of friendship. Youth is the time when a person is vulnerable to opinions of different people, especially to the opinions of his peer group. Another problem is problem of love and dating. Some parents are democratic in this respect, and allow their children considerable freedom in their relations with the opposite sex. Others are overprotective and forbid their teenage children to go out with people they like, which, in my opinion, can result in many psychological problems as they prevent their children from getting an experience of communicating with representatives of the opposite sex, and this can lead to serious family problems later.
Many youths may not be mature enough to cope with such problems, that is why they go in the direction of crime, drugs, vandalism, drinking etc. Often young people are forced either consciously or unconsciously to become involved in those antisocial activities by people of their own age group. Moreover, they compensate for their feelings by revolting against society and adult authority
Grown-ups should work together with young people to help them solve these problems. We must remember that the young people are the leaders of tomorrow. For me, the most important and difficult problem is that of friendship. Firstly, in spite of the fact I have some conflicts with my parents, I have always known they love me, and I love them, too, and will always do my best to help them and make them happy. Friends are people whose trust and affection you have to win; friendship is art for me. Secondly, my friends normally are my peers, we have common interests, likes and dislikes, so having friends is of utter importance to me. As to dating and love, I don't think much about it yet. I think I have to solve the problems which seem most important to me at the moment, that is choosing the career and entering the university I have chosen.
Read the dialogue and do the assignments following it:
Clean Up Your Room (After Art Buchwald)
(You don't really feel the generation gap in this country until a son or daughter comes home from college for Christmas. This dialogue is probably taking place all over America this week.)
Nancy, you've been home from college for three days now. Why don't you clean up your room?
Ч We don't have to clean up our room at college Mother.
Ч That's very nice and I'm happy you're going to such a freewilling institution. But while you are in the house I would like you to clean up your room.
Ч What difference does it make? It's my room.
I know, dear. And it really doesn't mean so much to me. But your father is much afraid of the plague. He said this morning if it's going to start anywhere in this country, it's going to start in your room.
Ч Mother, you people aren't interested in anything really important. Do you realize how big corporations are polluting our environment?
Ч Your father and I are very much worried about it. But now we are more concerned with the pollution in your bed room. You haven't made your bed since you came home.
-- I never make it at the college.
Of course you don't and I'm sure the time you save goes toward your education. But we still have that old- fashioned ideas about making beds in the morning and we can't give them up. And since you are at home for such a short time, why don't you do it to please us?
Ч Oh, Mother, I'm quite grown-up! Why do you have to" treat me like a child?
Ч We are not treating you like a child. But it's difficult for us to realize you're an adult when you throw all your clothes on the floor.
Ч I haven't thrown all my clothes on the floor. Only those I wore yesterday.
Ч I'm sorry I exaggerated. Well, how about the dirty dishes on your desk? Are you collecting them for a science project?
Ч Mother, you don't understand us. You people were brought up to have clean rooms. But our generation doesn't care about things like that.
Ч No one respects education more than you; father and I do, particularly at the prices they are charging. But we can't see how living in dirt can improve you mind.
Ч All right, all right. I'll clean up my room if it means that much to you. But I want you to know you've ruined my vacation.
Ч- It was a risk I had to take. Oh, by the way, I know it's terrible thing to ask you, but would you mind helping me to wash the dinner dishes?
Ч Wash dishes? Nobody washes dishes at college.
Ч Your father and I were afraid of that.
a free-willing institution Ч заведение, где можно делать все, что хочетс€, plague Ч чума
to pollute the environment -загр€зн€ть окружающую среду, exaggerate Ч преувеличивать