We have all been there – talking to people, especially adults, about the things we care about and believe we can improve while constantly receiving the response, „you are too young to talk about that“. One would think that the years of not being taken seriously by adults would have taken its toll by now. Well it may have worked on some, but the voices of youth are rising, and they are aiming quite high. A group of teenagers is not just talking back, they are taking the US government to court. #GenerationRYSE as they have tagged themselves will soon receive a ruling from a federal court as to whether they have the right to sue the US Government, President Barack Obama, and multiple federal agencies for failing to tackle the issues of climate change. The group is supported by the not-for-profit organization Our Children’s Trust and the renowned former NASA scientist, Dr. James Hansen. Members of the group are aged between 8 and 20 and they say that young people have a constitutional right to life, liberty, and property which is violated by the Federal Government and its support of fossil fuels. If this sounds a bit childish, do think again. All of the major polluters and almost every fossil fuel-related company in the US have asked to join the government as defendants in the case. These major corporate and governmental entities see #GenerationRYSE as a threat.
Originally published at News.com.au.
Adapting the past to the modern
Another inspirational story from the US caught our eye this week. The story is about a theater in California. Now being that it is 2016, and most young poeple are not particularly fond of theatre, what’s so special about this one? It named Cinnabar Theater, and it is located in Petaluma. The news we saw is that it’s doing a play that’s more than 2000 years old. Yep, they have chosen a comedy that was written by Aristophanes in 414 BC. This is also a common thing to happen: a theater choses a classical play to perform. That’s why most of us sit at home watching Netflix while our parents go to see plays. However, 28 students will actually take the stage. The play has been adapted to suit the young people who have actually chosen to participate as actors. And yes, all the actors are quite young, aged between 12 and 17. Now that’s really fascinating to hear. Taking a piece of Greek literature and making it interesting for teenagers, not a lot of theaters can say they have succeeded in this task. The Education Director, Nathan Cummings, has emphasized the importance they give to the youth program at the Theater and has stated that the values young people learn there are priceless. Come to think of it, a place where young people can learn to work together, think outside the box, use their creativity, and be comfortable with their bodies and voices is a place every city, every town, and every community needs. Do you agree?
Originally published at Petaluma360.com.
Young people want to hear about taboos
We are all living in a modern society where globalisation is a term we often hear and where the possibility of having friends from the far side of the globe has never been greater. Yet the more we know about others the more we see our differences but also what similar problems we have. Lets face it, in developing countries sex is still the biggest taboo. The issues that young people face that are directly linked to sex and sex education vary from country to country, but the common thing youth activists emphasize is that WE WANT TO KNOW. PHAU (Public Health Ambassadors Uganda) have noted that the biggest problem in their society is unprotected sex. The lack of educational services for young people is leading to an increasing number of teen pregnancies, and HIV is also an issue. In Argentina, despite the recently adopted comprehensive sex education law, young people are often denied much needed information on sexual and reproductive health. According to the work of human rights activist Paula Melissa Trad Mamod, this is mostly due to the big impact of religion and its propaganda. In Pakistan, a patriarchal society and traditional norms are also the main reason why young people are not being properly educated on their sexual and reproductive health. These issues, to be honest, are sensitive in most societies these days, but there are a lot of ways by which we can tackle them. One example comes from Ghana, where a radio show has been broadcasted for 20 years, and its purpose is to talk about all issues, including taboo issues, with the young people in that country.
Originally published in the Guardian.
One deficiency every student has
Sleep. We often do not consider the consequences that come with the lack of a good night’s sleep, probably because they are not so severe in the short-run. Come to think of it, I don’t know many students who consider the impact their daily routine will have on their health in the long run. We are too busy. Under the pressure of dealing with exams, research papers, internships, parties, road trips, fellowships, workshops, and part-time job interviews, most students will bow to the inevitable and cut back on sleep. So if we lose the 8 hours RAM sleep we need, what do we get in return, and is it worth it? The cost of studying in 2016 is not just a certain number of dollars or euros depending on where you live. The cost is now much higher, and so are the expectations. Not just the ones our parents have when it comes to our future but the ones we have when it comes to being students. We are all filled with stories and myths about the student life. These are supposed to be the times of our lives. But frankly, my idea of „the time of my life“ is not writing an essay at 3 am after taking an exam and doing a shift at the local restaurant while being upset that I couldn’t make it to a party a friend was giving. The obvious solution would be to attend the party afterwards and not sleep at all, turn in your essay looking like the walking dead, and take on the tasks of the new day. Obvious solutions may not be the smartest ones while the smartest ones may not be the coolest. You will be telling the next generation about them as the time of your life. So make sure your choices as a student are based on your real needs, wishes, and aspirations.
Originally published in Huffington Post.
London: the place to be for young people
We have discussed this before: the Millennial generation, Generation A, Generation social media, or whatever they call us. Studies on the lives of young people are in the spotlight every single week. What makes us so interesting? According to a book by Robert Colvile, The Great Acceleration: How the World is Getting Faster, the number one place to be, if you are under 30 years old, is London. Despite the overpriced housing, the low-paid jobs and the fact that you have to compete with young people from all around the world to land an unpaid internship, if you are young, ambitious, and wild you want to be in London. The neverending dispute of our time – whether we are rude, selfish, narcissistic, or whatever seems to have taken a positive turn for us at least. We are, according to the words of experts, the multitasking generation, the most sociable generation, and the most sensitive one. Using our multitasking skills, we find the time (usually at the expense of our sleep as noted before) the do our job, finish our studies, attend protests, meet our friends, and tweet about all of this. And if you really want to be a true representative of this generation, pack your bags and head out to London.
Originally published at Standart.co.uk.