‘When I was your age’ gets old, fast

I would like to open this column by analyzing the words of my ancestors: “When I was your age.” When I was young(er) I would get that a lot from my cousins and uncles. They were mostly just saying it to be funny, but they were serious on that odd occasion.

The jokes included, “When I was your age, I had to walk 10 miles to get to school, uphill both ways, or something about not having cars, which I read up on they did have cars in the ’70s.

The odd thing that I’m noticing is that I’m beginning to say that. I’m 15. I shouldn’t be able to say “When I was your age,” should I?

For example, I can talk about life before iPads, or when the power would go out, I would be happy. I could play outside (except when the reason for the outage was lightning strikes or blizzard-like conditions), I would play with my friends, or hang out with my very best friend (my dog, Coco).

Just to make this go by quicker, I’ll list some of the real things that I’ve said to people or things I assume I’ll be saying as time goes on.

  • When I was your age (assuming your age is 13 and under.)
  • In fourth grade, in order to be popular, all you needed was the 100 pack of Crayola Crayons. What they didn’t tell you was that once you had them, the popularity only lasted for a day or two, but for that time, I was the happiest nine year old you would’ve ever seen. Now that popularity is reserved for those kids with iPads and smartphones (although, I think the length of popularity remains the same.)
  • How did I get friends? I walked up to them and said “Hi.” I couldn’t text and yet, somehow, my 7-year-old cousin knows how to message me on Facebook.

(To use for future generations)

  • Gas only cost $3.50 per gallon. And yes, we put gas in our cars! I figure that eventually someone will be able to make an affordable alternate powered/fueled car or a hovercraft, which would be equally as cool.
  • For my 13th birthday, my parents couldn’t get any candles, so I took the one candle I could find, lit it and blew it out 13 times (true story)!
  • Lastly, when I was 7, do you want to know what I did for my summer vacation? I went to a farm and pulled weeds. No joke! And after two weeks of work I made twenty-five dollars.

Obviously, times have changed for all of us, but I still worry a bit about where we’re headed as society. We’re capable of doing so much and yet we sit behind our computers and phones all day. I feel we don’t pay attention to what’s really going on around us. My parents and my parent’s parents didn’t have half of the distractions we have now. They didn’t have half the excuses either. I think all of us (myself included) should maybe take a step toward something else, something better. I’m just not totally sure what that is yet.

Editor’s note: Theresa Hermann, 15, is a sophomore at Marquette Senior High School. She is a member of the 8-18 Media Senior Team and she plays trumpet in the high school band. In her spare time she likes to write and make movies. She is a daughter of James and Gail Hermann. 8-18 Media is a youth journalism program of the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum. Through the program, teams of kids write news stories and commentaries on issues important to youth and about any good, or bad, things youth are up to. For more information call 906-226-7874, or email at 818mediaupcm@gmail.com