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Teens talk about 2007

January 02, 2007|by CHRIS COPLEY, DAVID PITT and FEDORA COPLEY

The beginning of 2007 will be a time to reflect on the last year, make goals for the upcoming year and maybe even resolve to change your life a little.

Or just joke with friends.

A group of teen reporters spoke with shoppers at Valley Mall in Hagerstown last week about their goals for 2007.

"It's a whole new year," said Vincent "Tater Salad" Russell, 18, of Williamsport. For him, the new year is a way to make a difference. Russell said he would like to set a better example for his sister.

A friend, Stephen Pepeliaski, 20, who said he was from Clear Spring, wants to improve his skateboarding in the upcoming year.

Three college students sat together in the mall food court. Matt Stowell, 20, was home on break from classes at James Madison University. He said he didn't have any resolutions, but did say he wanted to exercise more.

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Brandon Bell, also 20, attends Gettysburg College. He said he wanted to better in his academic studies. He also wanted to "leave Hagerstown."

His friend, James Idol, reiterated a popular resolution. "Spend less; save more," said Idol, 19, who attends the University of Maryland, College Park. Then he mentioned that although his college is in the suburbs of the nation's capital, he hasn't spent much time taking advantage of that.

"I want to spend more time off-campus," he said. "And find out what I want to do (career-wise)."

Kurt and Matt Keilholtz ate a meal with their parents in the food court. Kurt, 13, is a seventh-grader at Northern Middle School. But already he's thinking long term.

"I want to get into college," he said.

Matt Keilholtz, 19, attends Hagerstown Community College, where he wants to do well in 2007.

"I want to stay in college, (and) keep my grades up," he said. "I want to work less and focus more on school."

Two girls from South Hagerstown High School walking by the food court talked about their goals for 2007.

Anntana Brown, 15, is a sophomore. Alissa Rickard, 14, is a freshman. Anntana said she just wanted to have a good time with friends. Alissa, who sprinkled one-liners in her conversation, got serious for a moment.

"I want to pass all my classes," she said, "and not give myself to other people and get (hurt). I'm too trusting, but, sometimes, I'm not trusting enough. I want to find a happy medium."

In another part of the mall, Vanessa Sikora, 19, who goes to Penn State Mont Alto, said she would like to do better in school.

With her was Brittany Baker, who is 17 and goes to Waynesboro (Pa.) Area Senior High School. Brittany said her goal for the year is to keep going to school.

Sikora added jokingly, "And not to get so much attention."

Schyler Feiser, a 15-year-old from Funkstown who attends South Hagerstown High School, said he doesn't really think about future goals.

"I live my life as it comes," he said. "I don't really plan my life like other people."

Schyler's friend, David Fraley, however, resolved to "get better grades" in 2007. A 13-year-old seventh-grader attending E. Russel Hicks Middle School in Hagerstown, David's resolution is essentially no different than last year's. He said he still has no definitive plan to achieve his resolution, but he likes the concept of having the opportunity to start fresh every January.

Contributing to this story were Sean Clark and Christine Brugh.

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