Freshness, vigor, energy, spirit. These are the words that spring to mind when one talks about youth, and rightly so. The boundaries of youth are very elastic, but to get an idea, from the ages of about 14 to 30, the human mind and body are capable of shaping, forming, reshaping and reforming. This vital characteristic is the reason that youth is considered to be the age where change, or revolution, takes place. The nature of that change is completely up to you but there are factors that influence that change, for example the environment that you are in.
At some point in life you must have heard your parents say things like, “oh son I can’t learn these things now, I am too old!” And at that point you probably criticized them and thought that they were too lazy. But it is a fact that once you are at the upper boundary of youth or have crossed that boundary, your mind cannot learn new things even nearly as efficiently as it once used to. It cannot reform or reshape as it did in its youth. The youth can be considered to be an age where your mind and body are like clay. You undergo many experiences, especially in your university years, and each of these experiences subconsciously contribute to the shaping of your clay. Some contribute less, some more, some even leave permanent prints, but all in all, once you are closing in to the upper boundary of youth, the clay starts to harden up. The different impressions that were left on the clay will now remain there forever.
As I said before, the nature of the changes that shape the clay are influenced by your environment that you are exposed to in your youth. This environment could be one where you are among people doing drugs, people into violence, it can be one where people are continuously studying, one where people are doing outdoor sports, people into indoor activities, or a combination of any of these. Once you have chosen your environment, it is inevitable that your experiences will shape you and they will influence you until your last breath.
Some of the categories of concern around the world among the youth are people who indulge in drugs, violence, sexual behaviors contributing to diseases and unintentional pregnancies, poor dietary behaviors, and physical inactivity. Each of these behaviors can be a complete waste of youth as they completely destroy the shape of ones clay. As you can imagine, all of these will have a massive impact on one’s life well after the youth years are over.
So in a nutshell, youth is the time for make or break. Take full advantage of the time when your clay is still soft. Indulge in healthy activities not only for the body but also for the mind so that one day when you look back to your youth years, you can be proud to say that those were the years which shaped your magnificent sculpture.