The decline of print media, hastened by the tough economy, has made this the final issue of the Danville Weekly and the final print edition of the Teen Wire. Ironically, this is untimely for a column which last commented on the dismal job market for teens.
However this move comes as timely in light of current events. My generation is witnessing the shift from print media to online media. Only in our time have we seen the rise of bloggers, e-books and social networking, among other innovations. Our parents grew up in a time when the news was provided by several newspapers, radio and TV stations. While these media outlets are by no means extinct, few can deny that the face of news is changing and that this pace is accelerating each day.
Instead of trying to resist this shift though, we should embrace it. Inevitably there will be an uncomfortable and awkward stage at first. Even Gutenberg's printing press was initially met with fierce opposition. Some will be afraid and confused. But this transition is much like the stage of adolescence, which we can all relate to. Getting used to this change will not be an overnight thing, but it will happen. I'll see you on the other side.
A more immediate issue facing teens is succeeding in school and getting into college. As a senior I have recently begun the process of applying to college. This can be a stressful time, especially when you are trying to make the most of your last year of high school. My advice to anyone navigating the application process is to approach it one step at a time and not wait until the last minute to get it done. Of course the procrastination mechanism then kicks in to gear. But really, you stand a better change of presenting yourself to colleges effectively if you take your time.
After apps are completed comes the waiting game and finally decision time. After all the work you've put into your college resume it seems that you and your college application are the same. The two are inseparable. And this seems to make sense. Think of all the component parts that represent pieces of you: grades, test scores, extracurriculars, personal statements, teacher recommendations and interviews. It is easy to conclude from this that if we fail to get into some college, we fail ourselves.
Only a narrow-minded individual would think like this. Are you a narrow-minded individual? I would certainly hope not. Let me put it clearly: You are NOT your college application. You are the only one who can represent yourself. Colleges try as best they can to admit people and not numbers. They have gotten better at it over the years, but they can always fail.
In sports some athletes are referred to as having "intangible" qualities like leadership and hustle. Some are born with these qualities, others come to develop them. These qualities are intangible because they transcend any label or statistic we give them. Cultivate those intangibles that you have a passion for. Carve a niche in the world doing what you love. Have no idea what this is? Well, that's what life is for, isn't it? If you follow your own calling, that will get you further than any college will. I promise.
To be a part of this newspaper has been a great privilege, and is an opportunity I will never forget. Writing every column has been worthwhile. Like the challenges met in growing up, whether it be the loss of a friend or an ill turn in health, irony may make you feel a victim of forces beyond your control. But know that you need not be the passive victim of "circumstances." Always aspire to be what you most want and value. Have the courage to live to the extents of the imagination. You just might be your own author someday.
The Teen Wire provides a perspective on today's youth, in the face of a changing world. It will continue in DanvilleExpress.com.