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What do you think makes young people ages 13-24 happy?

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Photo of Jessie Davis

“I think it’s the randomness of hanging out with friends. I’m always bored when I’m by myself.”

Photo of Connie Andes

“Having friends. I think everyone feels happy when they have friends no matter how old they are.”

Photo of Ian Cummings

“Probably the relationships they have with their peers, followed closely by sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.”

Photo of Alan Miller

“I think kids of that age are no different than kids of any age up to 90. I think family is the most important thing.”


jonas 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm willing to guess that most of them would answer with alcohol and the opposite sex. Whether that is, in reality, true or not is of course up to debate.

One week until I get back!! I miss my home.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 7 months ago

having relationships (define as you will).

jonas, would you like some OTSers to greet you at the airport? We could hold signs and cheer. It will befuddle the press.

usesomesense 10 years, 7 months ago

Geppetto - you shouldn't eat your wife and baby. Ice cream is OK though.
Call 1-800-CAN-NIBL if you need some help. :)

trinity 10 years, 7 months ago

informed you beat me to it. i was going to say that i was amused by cummings' post-until i saw what his occupation is.

just_another_ninja 10 years, 7 months ago

Silly people. It's a car. Having a car = ultimate freedom. It's a rite of passage. It helps you look cool. It helps you "fit in". That's all that matters... right?

gontek 10 years, 7 months ago

friends, music, sex, and video games for guys and flowers for girls.

geppetto 10 years, 7 months ago

Eating Sylas and Maddy's ice cream with your wife and baby.

JoRight 10 years, 7 months ago

Their level 70 Shaman on World of warcraft and tweaking that character in anticipation for the release of the Leich King.

Laura Watkins 10 years, 7 months ago

right_thinker (Anonymous) says: Having everything handed to them on a silver platter without having to do anything to earn it.

someone is a little bitter this morning.

sourpuss 10 years, 7 months ago

My first thought was "useless gadgets" like iPods, iPhones, etc. But then I thought that those who said "sex" were right-on, since all of the clothes and cars and useless gadgets this age group buys tends to be used to catch someone for sex. And for the few genuinely not interested in sex, they are probably happy with their Jane Austen books and model airplane kits.

monkeyspunk 10 years, 7 months ago

TOB, because that is the age range the AP and MTV polled.

"NEW YORK - So you're between the ages of 13 and 24. What makes you happy? A worried, weary parent might imagine the answer to sound something like this: sex, drugs, a little rock 'n' roll. Maybe some cash, or at least the car keys.

Turns out the real answer is quite different. Spending time with family was the top answer to that open-ended question, according to an extensive survey - more than 100 questions asked of 1,280 people ages 13-24 - conducted by The Associated Press and MTV on the nature of happiness among America's young people.

Next was spending time with friends, followed by time with a significant other. And even better for parents: Nearly three-quarters of young people say their relationship with their parents makes them happy."

Redzilla 10 years, 7 months ago

Gee...I guess it's nice Jessie Davis likes hanging out with friends, but it gives me a chill to read, "I'm always bored when I'm by myself." Is that the reason some people can't go anywhere or do anything (including use the bathroom stall next to mine) without talking on a cell phone? Do we have a whole generation of people who can't stand to be alone?

Curtis Lange 10 years, 7 months ago

Crap! Does this mean next year I'm not going to be young anymore?! :)

sgtwolverine 10 years, 7 months ago

Come on, TOB. I know you were listening to Dashboard Confessional as you typed that post.

I think finishing a college degree in four years makes young people ages 13-24 happy.

acg 10 years, 7 months ago

I think the age group is too varied. I would say that 13-16 year olds are most interested in getting a bit of freedom out from under the thumbs of mom and dad (I would surely hope that 13 year olds are thinking about sex). From 17 to 20 I would say booze, sex, drugs, partying, moving out and moving on, etc. From 21 to 24 I would say it's all about being "of age" and that age group would be most interested in living it up as much as possible, eeking by in their classes and getting a degree to prepare for the real world. OH, and sex.

samsnewplace 10 years, 7 months ago

Respect and their privacy respected by their parents. Having their opinions matter by their family and friends. Rock music, amusement parks, movies, parties, dances, graduation, college, reaching their goals and setting new ones, video games, vacations, making great memories.

trinity 10 years, 7 months ago

you're right py, although in the wake of stories about teacher/student impropriety-just kinda felt a little skeevey to me.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 7 months ago

Ah, but even Eno can't hold a candle to Ego.

mom_of_three 10 years, 7 months ago

My 3 kids would give 3 different answers. One would say a good book, the other would say sports and friends, and the last would say friends, sports, and probably doing something with the family. It would make the list for the other two, but I am not sure where. I can honestly say my three would not say sex or drugs, but possibly music.

acg 10 years, 7 months ago

I meant to say I hope 13 year olds AREN'T thinking about sex. I know that's probably naive of me, but one can surely hope.

ms_canada 10 years, 7 months ago

Das Ubermime - does your knowledge of garden gnomes come from experience? Just curious. I think young people, those in my vicinity, are happiest when hanging out with their friends. I also feel that the age bracket is too wide. There is a world of difference between a 13 year old and a 24 year old. I would limit it to 13 to 18 year olds. Most of these kids are all about hormones.

mom_of_three 10 years, 7 months ago

My 13 year old isn't thinking about sex. She likes boys, but when you mention kissing, the answer is "uck."
My 14 year old likes boys, might kiss one, but thinks making out in the movies is gross.

I hope they keep those thoughts for a few more years.....

Confrontation 10 years, 7 months ago

"You wanna know why that girl won't talk to you? Because you are wearing fcking make up and nail polish and whining. That's why. And you act like your life is rough when you live in the damn suburbs."

Exactly right! Unfortunately, many girls find this type of junk attractive. Also, have you noticed all the boys with horribly long hair lately? When you're buying conditioner for your son or taking him to a salon, then you know it's gone too far.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 7 months ago

"Also, have you noticed all the boys with horribly long hair lately?"

Does long hair on my chin count? I hope not.

chemegirlie 10 years, 7 months ago

I am 13-24. This is what makes me happy:

Making a home cooked meal and then enjoying it with a friend or my boyfriend Going home to see my parents Working on my Mustang garge sale-ing and antique shopping and using the stuff to decorate A good book Knitting Getting through my design classes and graduating in May with my engineering degree

snazzo 10 years, 7 months ago

magical bubbles and candy drops.. and unicorns. sugary pink unicorns.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 7 months ago

If it makes you happy, it can't be that baaaaaaaad.

jonas 10 years, 7 months ago

Sue: My plane gets in at 11:30 at night, so I won't make you guys suffer just for me. My wife should be sufficient greeting.

Das: You must be travelling back and forth more than I'm aware. Are you some sort of Gnome-fencer now?

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 10 years, 7 months ago

A car and sex. Having a car gets you friends which is how you get sex. Masturbation is fine ( if you spell it right, make a note jimjones ), but sex is much better. The car comes a close second after sex. Some consider the car first, but I and most of my friends always put sex in front of anything and everything. Some 45 years later, sex is still in front of everything. Thank you, Lynn

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 10 years, 7 months ago

P.S. There will never be another ewe. Thank you, Lynn

sunflower_sue 10 years, 7 months ago

Posed to my 13 yr old...her answer: Getting and A on a paper. Being with my family. A full belly. A warm bed. A roof over my head.

Now what she didn't say that she probably was thinking: A gorgeous boy falling for me and a really great first ever kiss. (I'm just guessing but I know her pretty well. Grandma was here so she probably felt a bit inhibited in her answering. However, Grandma has raised a couple girls of her own...)

acg 10 years, 7 months ago

RI, I was sooo not thinking about sex when I was 13. I had just learned how to kiss with my mouth open, and that was still a bit awkward and bumbly. I was a very innocent gal until I moved to KS. All of the bored farm kids that had invented ways to entertain themselves ruined me. They taught me all sorts of bad stuff and I liked every bit of it. :)

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