Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Real Teen Answers

On Friday you asked some pretty awesome questions! And today our teens provide some pretty amazing answers!

What kind of curfew do you have and how has it changed since you were twelve? Do you have a specific time you need to be home? Do you still have a bed time? Do your parents have trust issues with you? What about your friends?

LYNSAY: My bed time has been eleven since high school. In middle school it was ten. My curfew is usually between ten and eleven depending on if it's the weekend, if Mom wants to go to bed, or where I am. My Mom doesn't have trust issues with my because in the two years I've had a curfew, I've only been late once (and that was because I accidentally fell asleep), but some of my friends' parents do because they give them a reason to by not doing what they're supposed to do.

LENNON: I don't really have a curfew, I don't really go out so there was never one really needed. On weekends with my friends normally they want me home by 11-ish or so. I have a "bedtime" on weekdays but I don't really stick with it. During the school year or weeknights, I need to be in my room by 10, lights off/phone off/no reading at 10:45, sleep by 11. But since I have a TV in my room that doesn't normally happen. My parents don't really have trust issues with me, they come to me directly if they are worried. I've never given them any reason to worry so they trust me.

EMILY V: I've never really had a curfew. My parents have never encouraged staying up (or out) late, but they've always trusted me and my siblings to use our own judgment in such matters.

LEXIE: I . . . don't really have a curfew, because I don't go out very often. There just hasn't been much reason to establish a solid curfew. And I've never really had a bedtime, either. My parents have grown to accept the reality of me, still awake at three in the morning. And they don't really have many trust issues because I've never given them a reason to. I'm essentially the poster child of the "responsible kid." As for my friends' parents, they tend to be a bit more distrustful.

LISSA: My curfew – thank God – has changed a lot since being 12. At 12, my parents hardly even wanted me out during the day because they felt I was too young to be off “gallivanting on my lonesome,” which is a direct quote from my mother. As of now, my curfew is about 12 AM since they still have to drive me everywhere as I’m car-less and license-less, but it’s not set in stone and depending where I’m going and what I’m doing, we change it accordingly.

Do they have trust issues? I don’t really know how to answer that. I mean, they trust me with family issues and dealing with schoolwork, getting from one place to another and doing the “right thing,” but they have in the past proven they don’t trust me when I say stuff sometimes, and in situations where they don’t believe me. And some of my friends have curfews while others don’t, but the ones that do have curfews have parents who are REALLY strict.

GRACIE: I've never really had a set curfew. As we get older, my siblings and I just ended up being out later some nights, and my parents trust us to call them and tell them where we are or let them know if we'll be home later than we originally told them. As long as we call, they're fine with whatever time. My parents trust my siblings and I because we've never done anything significant to lose their trust. I don't have a set bedtime, but I try and go to bed at a reasonable time anyway! :) As for my friends, I think it's kind of the same thing. Bedtimes and curfews aren't strictly set; they vary depending on the situation or activity or whatever.

MADDIE: It depends on who I’m with. If I’m with a friend my mom trusts, I don’t have a curfew. And my mother actually trusts all of my friends so…

I don’t have a bed time, and haven’t since I was 12 (I’m 15 now). My parents and I have a very trusting relationship, because I don’t believe in wasting time by lying. If I need something, or want to go somewhere, I tell them straight up what I want and, most of the time, they say yes because I told them the truth. My parents like all of my friends, as I previously stated.

Are prom and homecoming a big deal at your school? Are there any alternate activities (organized or independent) for students not interested in prom?

LYNSAY: Yes, Prom and Homecoming are a pretty big deal. I've heard of some people getting dressed up and going out to eat instead of going to Prom or maybe having a sleepover or helping other people get ready.

GRACIE: Since prom and homecoming are American things (I live in Canada), no, they aren't a big deal at my school... actually they don't exist (I think at one point we had a prom, although it was basically just a formal dance near graduation). At my school we have a grad dinner and dance on the night of convocation instead.

MADDIE: Yeah, they’re kind of a big deal. Everyone finds all sorts of creative ways to ask, and then you have to plan a big dinner, and get all these fancy clothes. It’s a really great time with friends and dates. There aren’t any other activities as far as I know.

EMILY V: No, being home-schooled privately doesn't really facilitate large social events like that. But my church throws a no-date prom (of sorts) every year, so that's always fun.

LEXIE: Yes, they are a relatively big deal, and no, not to my knowledge.

LENNON: We don't have homecoming at my school. Prom is only for 3rd, 4th, and 5th years. I don't really see it as a huge deal, of course, I'm only a second year so it doesn't matter if I care or not. With the friends I have an anti-prom will probably be organized by the time we can go.

LISSA: Prom is for grade 12s and it kinda gets the whole school excited to see the creative ways people are asked out and to see all the pictures. I’m not sure of any alternative activities, but I don’t think there are any organized.

What are some of your favorite YA books that are quieter and more character-driven? Do you think such books get enough attention nowadays?

LISSA: JELLICOE ROAD. JELLICOE ROAD. JELLICOE ROAD. (I will never stop trying to sell this book, my favourite the bestest book in the world.) That book has so much character-driven awesomeness and a quiet sort of frenzy that starts in the beginning and builds up to complete awesomeness for the end. Also, yes. I feel like only some books get a lot of attention while others don’t get any at all.

EMILY V: A couple of my favorites are: Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatramen, and Wildwood Dancing/Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier. Neither of them are very well known, and it's sad because they're way better than a lot of the really popular stuff today.

LENNON: I'm currently reading Nevermore by Kelly Creagh and it is amazing!! It is not the type you see a lot and is, in my opinion, really character driven. It's really really good. I wouldn't have read it if I hadn't seen a review for it online.

GRACIE: Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard was quite character-driven. I think most books are driven by characters anyway, because that's what readers connect with over anything.

LEXIE: Hold Still by Nina LaCour, Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard, Hate List by Jennifer Brown, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, Saving June by Hannah Harrington, How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr, and many more I'm certain I'm forgetting. No, sadly enough, I don't think these get enough attention nowadays; publishers tend to focus more on the thrilling, action-driven stories, the ones with a crazy, never-ending plot and an insane premise. While these can be fantastic stories, the character-driven novels are, without fail, my favorites. They tend to be the ones with more of an emotional impact, the ones that truly stick with me, even change me, and that is what I love in a book, more than anything.

What do you think of books where the character's age is left ambiguous? Is age an important detail you need to know, or can it be enough to have a sense that the character is, say, in his or her early or late teens?

MADDIE: I think if there are enough clues to tell you what general age they are, it’s okay. I like to know everything about a character so I can get a better picture of them in my head. I guess it would just depend on how the author went about describing the age without actually telling us how old they are, if that makes any sense.

LISSA: Not many books have ambiguous ages, but it doesn’t really matter to me, and the only thing that does matter to me is how old the character is because for some reason, I have a very difficult time reading about characters who are 14 and under.

LENNON: Those books kind of bug me because I like to know everything about the characters and the age is important to me. However, if it was REALLY written well, I could probably deal with it.

EMILY V: I think so long as the reader can get a feel for the age of the character, it's okay. But age is kind of an important component in most stories, especially as it can add/subtract credibility to/from the story (i.e. the actions/words of the character).

LEXIE: I . . . am not crazy about it. There are some cases where age is really relevant--say, their ability to drive a car, or the legality of their relationship with an older love interest. I'm not saying it could never work; I think, for certain novels, it could work quite brilliantly. Just be careful as far as the details are concerned, and be aware that it will frustrate certain readers.

GRACIE: I think as long as I know that the character is in some 4-year age range or something, then I wouldn't mind too much. If I couldn't tell whether the character was a new adult or a young teen, then that would be a problem. However, I would much rather know the character's exact age.

LYNSAY: I'm a big detail person, so usually I like to know because maybe something comes up like the character has to walk somewhere, and then I'm thinking why don't they drive? Are they not old enough or they just can't drive or they don't want to? But I think it's doable as long as at least a general idea is revealed.

Xbox or PS3? Apple or Droid? Obama or the other guy, that vampire dude? Bottles or cans? Do you text while driving, or drive while texting? What's your dream car? Does it scare you that neither of your parents have ever owned their dream car?

LYNSAY: I'm a PS3 girl. I have a Droid phone and an Apple iPad, so I don't know what Team that makes me. I don't know which vampire guy we're referring to. My dream car is probably one of the old Corvettes from the 70s, and no that doesn't scare me, I'm my own person, and it is just a car.

EMILY V: Honestly I've never used an Xbox, PS3, or Droid so I guess I'm not much help there. Definitely the other guy (vampire dude!?). Bottles. I am totally against text-driving. My dream car is a royal blue VW bug. I think I have a pretty fair chance of getting what I want someday.

GRACIE: I don't play video games! I'm Canadian... so I'm not quite as into US politics, but probably Obama. In my province it's actually illegal to be on your phone while driving... and I actually don't have a cell phone, anyway. Does it scare you that neither of your parents have ever owned their dream car? Nope

MADDIE: XBOX!!! I’m kind of a girl gamer, haha. I talk about Skyrim in front of my guy friends sometimes and they stare at me like I have two heads or something. Droid, all the way! I never text while driving, when I get the chance to practice, and I think very little of those who do. It’s not fair that you’re willing to risk an innocent person’s life because your conversation can’t wait until you get wherever it is you need to be. I don’t really have a dream car, just anything drivable will do.

LEXIE: Never played video games, haven't had a Droid so I can't say, always Obama, bottles, neither because I can't drive, and I don't have a dream car so I really can't say and couldn't care.

LISSA: Both because I have both. Apple. Uh, Stephen Harper? Cans because they can help fund for wheelchairs and bottles are horrible for everyone’s health and the environments. I don’t have a car, but I text while walking, though I’m ashamed to admit it. I don’t have a dream car because I’m not really interested in driving right now, but I would like to drive a nice Audi.

LENNON: Neither, I don't really play video games but when I do, I play Wii. Droid is my phone type but I'm no expert. I don't get involved in politics. They are pointless and can tear relationships apart. I'm "Independent" but I think the government is screwed up and unless I'm really passionate about something, I couldn't care less.

What if, God forbid, all those clueless a-dults turn out to be right about all that BS about hard work and honesty and being happy with the little things and doing the best you can with what you have? And, if they are right, how will you get revenge and rock the world anyway?

LISSA: I think they’ve already been proven right about how much BS and hard work goes into life, and how to have fun when you can get it. School is so taxing and troublesome and is just SO MUCH WORK that I can’t imagine that having a job would be any more difficult. How will I “get revenge?” I’ll try to make time for things that are important to me, aside from my job or school or all that other BS adult have to deal with.

EMILY V: I believe they are right. However, I also don't think there's anything wrong with working hard to achieve dreams/goals. And I fully intend to do that.

GRACIE: I feel like this question is implying that teens don't care about hard work, honesty, being happy with little things, or being satisfied with what you have. That's not true, because teens do care about these things. OK, not everyone, but more than adults give us credit for sometimes. Actually, I think teenagers are a lot more caring about issues than a lot of adults. This question also seems to imply that all adults believe these things as well, and I honestly don't see a lot of evidence of that sometimes. I don't think either age group -teens or adults- are completely to blame, though. There's lazy, apathetic teenagers and there are lazy, apathetic adults. But there are also enthusiastic, involved, caring teens along with enthusiastic, involved and caring adults.

LENNON: I'm hoping they're right honestly. I'm depending it. I'm not the prettiest or skinniest so I can't depend on my looks, I'm not the richest so I can't depend on money, I'm really hoping hard work will do the trick for my life.

LEXIE: My revenge will come with the inevitable zombie apocalypse, when I am the last one left standing. No BS about hard work and honesty and being happy with the little things, and just a little of doing the best you can with what you have. Mostly, sheer badassery, with no room for parental BS.

LYNSAY: I think they are right, and I'm planning on rocking the world. I just graduated high school, so first step is furthering my education.

So...what would YOUR answers be?

Huge thank yous to our SPIES and ANALYSTS! And thank YOU for asking such amazing questions! Also, if you've thought of another question, or missed the post to ask it--don't worry. We'll be back with another ask-a-teen feature next month!


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