Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Teensaspire to Be Better in New Year; New Year's Resolutions Aren't Just an Adult Tradition, Although Some of the Goals Are Different

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Teensaspire to Be Better in New Year; New Year's Resolutions Aren't Just an Adult Tradition, Although Some of the Goals Are Different

Article excerpt

Byline: NIN-HAI TSENG, The Times-Union

When the clock struck 12, millions across the country conjured up (sigh . . .) the dreaded New Year's resolution.

Most everyone has heard them before: Lose weight, quit smoking, drink less, don't drink at all. But the tradition of setting goals -- as well as breaking them -- isn't just an adult thing.

Teens have their own plans, wrapped with the same high hopes as the ambitions of adults.

They made promises of picking on little sis's less, treating Mom and Dad with more respect and quitting the naughty habit of sneaking out overnight -- a few answers The Times-Union gathered from a visit to Orange Park and Regency Square malls during winter break.

"I'm a strong Christian now but I want to be stronger," said Adrian Young, 16. The First Coast High School student said he reads from the Bible once a week, usually when he goes to church. But lately he has grown interested in being a model for youths and has set a goal to read the holy book once a day, at least.

"To spread the word, you have to understand it," Young said.

In matters of safety, 17-year-old Kristen Cadenhead of Jacksonville vowed to be a better driver.

The Douglas Anderson School of the Arts senior said she ran a red light recently while driving her grandfather to physical therapy. She was fined $115.

"I just cried and cried," Cadenhead recalled telling her mom about the citation. "She said I had to ride the bus the rest of the school year."

While some were concerned about their license to drive, others were concerned about employment.

Donald Baker, a 14-year-old from Jacksonville, promised to help his parents pay household bills.

"I'm going to get a job at Winn-Dixie and work my way up, hopefully," said Baker, who was in line to play Dance Dance Revolution at Orange Park Mall's arcade.

Although his mother works two jobs and his dad just found one as a mechanic, Baker said the family still scrimps by. The holiday season was particularly difficult for him and his siblings as friends told them about the new gadgets and toys they received, Baker said. …

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