By BELA KIRPALANI
Seventeen years old is a milestone in a young person’s life. It is a time for new freedoms and the first taste of adulthood. While it can be stressful, it is also a time for positive future planning.
“Junior year is the life changing year,” said junior Anthony B. “It is the year that makes or breaks your high school career and determines what college you get into and then what you do with life beyond college.” While this may be true, junior Vanessa E. also believes it is the year of new-found freedom. “I can do a lot of things that I couldn’t do when I was 16. Now, I can drive and go into rated R movies.” Many teens agree these are two of the most important privileges gained when turning 17. Although many of his peers are already 18, 17-year-old senior Kyle M. doesn’t feel a rush to age. “I like the freedom. l like to be able to drive. I like to have a later bedtime. Junior year is very stressful, whereas senior year is a little stressful in the beginning, but now that it’s the second semester, it’s a lot calmer.”
However, as Uncle Ben from Spider-Man says, “With great power comes great responsibility,” and junior Jake C. understands that. “Being 16 is different because when you’re 17, you’re approaching more of an older age and it just hits you that you’re getting older. You realize that you need to take some responsibility, and that teaches you some important life lessons,” he said.
As teens get older, their relationships with their parents change. Turning 17 has helped some teens to ameliorate the stresses. Junior Jake C, said, “Now that I’m 17, I feel like they respect me more. It’s more personable and we get along really well.”
Senior Kyle M. said, “I think my parents can trust me more now that I’m 17, and I think they’ve given me more freedom because I’m more of an adult.”
Almost all 17-year-olds think about the future. Junior Anthony B. said, “I really would like to go to film school because I absolutely love movies and I thoroughly enjoy writing screenplays and imagining new stories.”
Kyle M. said, “I will be attending the University of Wisconsin, then I will get a job, then get married, and hopefully start a family.”
Junior Vanessa E. has ambitious plans. “I want to set foot on every single continent. I have four down, so three more to go.”