This essay was written by a Cal State Channel Islands student.
I believe that one of the hardest aspects that goes in regards to instilling an idea into youth is that youth wants to do our mistakes instead of learn from them. One of the biggest lessons I would try to instill on youth is the fact that everyone should live at their own pace and do what is right and what is safe for them.
The only dilemma with that idea is that when people that are older than me would try to teach me something I would want to learn for my self or I would have the ignorant response of “well you did it, so why can I not do it?” For any youth that is willing to listen and understand, I would suggest to them to live at their own pace. Throughout high school friends and I would have drinking competitions, which would always end poorly. Outcomes ranged from people blacking out, getting lost, throwing up, or making other mistakes.
People believe that youth does not know their limit, but that was not the case for us. All of us knew our limits, we just wanted to “outshine” everybody else. We did not realize that compromising our safety and the safety of others was not worth it. I always envied my friends that were able to cut themselves off and stick to their limit — or even not participate at all. I think it is really brave to be able to step back from what the crowd is doing, and do what is right and safe for you and those around you.
This is the message I hope that I and we as a community and even as a nation can instill on our youth. We are listening to you — you can be a role models for other and you don’t have to follow the pack . If you realized can can set the example and still be respected, individuals and the world as a whole would be safer.