New Youth

Art by Joel Hentges

It is certainly a truism that whenever there is mention of youth, one’s thoughts flutter to ideas of childhood and memories of their formative years. With the recent passing of this year’s spring convocation, ideas of youth, questions of maturity, and the experience of liminality are reintroduced in a purposeful manner as to embed this stage within our life course. As one stage of life ends, another begins and we are forced to consider and reconsider our choices, preparation, and become cognizant that we are now empowered with the ability and responsibility to become the determinants of our future.

It is at this stage of newfound power and duty that we once again enter a stage of youth; relative neophytes to the responsibilities of adulthood and to the monumentality of the choices that we soon will be forced to endure. It is at this stage where we, as those experiencing this movement and growth, would be wise to recollect and reflect on the conditions that made our life’s achievements possible thus far. This is of course in consideration to the parents, family, friends, and any other manner or means of support that provided the necessary conditions to navigate our lives thus far. As we begin this new stage fuelled by the pride and confidence that our achievements have afforded us, we must be wary of looking past and forgetting about the virtues that the experiences of others can offer.

Being in the midst of this change and transition into adulthood, with all the responsibilities and duties that it entails, can seem as daunting as any task one has ever experienced. As feelings of isolation and pressure begin to mount, staying confident and open is essential. While there will be situations that cause wariness and feelings of insularity to creep in, questioning both your preparation and ability to thrive into the next stage, these obstacles much like those in your more familiar youth shall also pass. The difficulties and challenges presented by today’s situation are not as dissimilar or as unfamiliar as they may superficially seem. In a thematic sense you have experienced these challenges before, and the fortitude, support and ability that guided you once will serve you again.

When in doubt, or when the difficulties begin to increase and appear to be unmanageable, I for one find my best advice and source or reassurance not from the bottle, or from any sort of self-help book but rather from my blood donor card: B Positive.

Please note that this short article was merely a vehicle to use that cheap joke, but the message is still valid and holds some valuable truth.