Teen Corner – Enjoy each day of being 17 because it goes by too quickly

Aaliyah+Lewis

Aaliyah Lewis

Being 17 isn’t for the weak.
We’re in an era where young adults are being more open and expressing themselves through makeup, music, clothing, and countless other ways. Many things are more acceptable than they once were, but teenagers can still be just as mean.
At 17, you’re stuck between adulthood and childhood. You can drive and get a job, but you can’t finance a car or vote.
It’s an awkward age where you’re beginning to learn about yourself and who you are. More often than not, you fall in love for the first time, and in many cases get your heart broken as well. When you do get heartbroken at 17, adults start to invalidate your feelings by telling you “you’re too young to know what love is,” as if there’s an age limit on when you’re allowed to hurt.

What I have learned while being 17 is everyone deserves a chance. Judging someone based on the money they have, the clothes they wear, the house they live in, and the cars they drive is wrong. You cannot possibly know a person’s character by using the naked eye. We, as teenagers, do that a lot in the little amount of time we’re in high school together. I will never understand how we could care about our social status more than we could care about our peers.
The rich girl isn’t always snobby and “stuck up.” She’s actually very giving.
The kid who wears hand me downs may not physically have much, but they have one of the greatest characters you’ve ever seen.
The troublemaking kids who came in acting like they don’t care about school are in reality is extremely smart. They just need a little push in the right direction.
There is so much more to a person than just his/her image, and I wish more of us thought that way. 
However, 17 flies by and before you know it 18 went from being around the corner to knocking on your front door.
Enjoy it because you only get to be 17 one time — 365 days of being 17, and I used every single one wisely. You shouldn’t be scared to take risks at 17 — fall in love, meet new people, try new things, get that job, whatever it may be.
At 17, we put a rush on life because we’re almost adults and we can’t wait to get a taste of that freedom, having your parents not telling you what to do constantly. We can’t wait to grow up, until we finally do. Then we can only wish we were still 17.
I rarely come bearing advice, but today I do, beginning with don’t be in such a hurry.
Be 17 for as long as you can. I’d be 17 forever if I could. 
(Aaliyah Lewis is a senior English/writing student in John Henson’s class at Harlan County High School)