Teens on middle age

September 11, 2000

Teens on middle age

The U.S. Census defines middle age as being between 45 and 64.

How do you define it?

"Over the hill?" Old? Can you imagine being middle-aged? Is there anything good about it?

We asked several teens at Antietam Recreation in Hagerstown about their perceptions of middle age. Here's what they had to say:

- Kate Coleman, Staff Writer

How do you define middle age?

"It's pretty much a time when it shows how well you took care of yourself as a younger person." James was talking about skin cancer and if a person stayed active.

- James Whitt, 13, eighth-grader, Smithsburg Middle School

James didn't want to be photographed.

"It seems like you have a lot more wisdom because you've experienced a lot of things." Middle-aged people know what it is to go through a hard time. They can relate and encourage younger people.


- Jessica Rotz, 19, secretary at Antietam Recreation

You are middle-aged when you are in your 30s and 40s, "officially old when you turn 50." In middle age, you're not as young or as in good shape as when you were younger.

- Mike Zaleski, 17, freshman at Hagerstown Community College

"I think that they have a lot of wisdom. They have been on this earth a lot longer than we have, and they know a lot more."

- Clayton Stoner, 13, eighth-grader, Ebenezer Christian School, Hagerstown

"I wish I could stay 18 forever." People in their 40s and 50s get tired more quickly.

- Matt Grubbs, 19, Waynesboro, Pa., 2000 home-school graduate

Douglas Cheung considers ages 30 to 50 to be middle-aged. This is the age when people are "high money makers." He expects to have a "pretty much normal and steady life by then."

- Douglas Cheung, 15, sophomore, Smithsburg High

"I think if you could sit down for a couple of hours and listen to a middle-aged person, you'd learn a lot." People in middle age have had more life lessons.

- Daniel Foltz, 13, eighth-grader, Tri-State Christian Academy, Boonsboro

Middle-aged parents tend to "slack off," be less demanding of younger children in the family.

- James Harp, 19, Greencastle, Pa., 2000 home-school graduate

"I think when people get to middle age, they stop worrying about what other people think, and they show their true selves."

- Jessica Benedict, 12, eighth-grader, Western Heights Middle School

Middle-aged people have a lot of wisdom. "I think they are concerned about their children's future."

- Juliette Allen, 19, Hagerstown, 2000 home-school graduate

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