Voices of Teen-agers
For the most part, kids involved in sexual activity are kids who just don't care what happens to their lives. But I have plans. Amy Adams, 19, Edina, Minn.
Peer pressure is very real. It's very much a part of your life. You're all stuck together in school, and you're so concerned with what's going on. You have to have a sense of yourself, and a little bit of courage. You really have to have a center - something to do that makes you special.
With more two-parent, two-job families, kids have more of an appreciation of how hard their parents have worked - not only for their own achievement but for the family - and of the sacrifices involved. Having a working mother has given me a more realistic picture of their lives and of working. Meredith Spector, 18, Needham, Mass.
My mom works and doesn't have time to make dinner a lot, so we do it. It's just kind of a pulled-together dinner. It was always nice when you'd come home from school and your mom was there, and she'd say, ''Oh, hi, do you want some cookies?'' She'd make breakfast for you, and she'd even wake me up in the morning. Now I have to wake myself up. But you learn how to think for yourself. Mary Rainaldi, 15, Hopkins, Minn.
Even though you have fights with your parents, there are advantages to being a teen-ager. You get free rent, all the food you can eat, transportation, a chauffeur, you name it. I like these years. Sean Brown, 15, Golden Valley, Minn.
Even in my generation, there are a lot of stereotypes we have to overcome. Guys have stereotypes they have to deal with too, but theirs aren't quite as suppressing as women's. Joan Dutcher, 18, Rochester, N.Y.
I went to this homecoming dance last year. As soon as I got in the door, even though it was late and I just wanted to go to bed, Mom loaded me down with about a thousand questions. I thought she was being nosy. But later she told me that it had been so long since she'd been to a dance, and she wanted to know what it was like. She was curious about it. Sometimes kids forget that their parents were teen-agers too.
Sometimes we take Mom for granted. It doesn't even occur to us that maybe she really wants more out of life than carting us around everywhere. When I think about it, I wouldn't want to spend 24 hours a day in a car, driving everyone around. Lauren Kennedy, 15, Rockford, Ill.