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YouthVoice Project – Drops of Wisdom with Ariel Durant

Spending an afternoon with a long time known, dear younger friend, drinking hot chocolate at one of Seattle’s best known Chocolatti’s, we got a conversation going. And this is what she had to say:

What does it feel like to be you in this world today?

I feel like now, you hafta fight for a place, especially in the university setting. Not so much in the Yukon but going somewhere else you have to make yourself individual… is what it kinda feels like to be youth. You kind of have to fight to prove yourself it feels like at this age. {Before} it felt like you had more of a guide to do that. You had steps to get to the places where you need to be and now it’s kind of an uphill battle to find out where you need to be.

What does it mean to you to be an adult?

Self sufficiency. That just comes from my, you know, being able to take care of yourself… I also have a whole need to do that. Having an idea of where you want to go, and being able to choose that. And making choices. Being able to make a choice that’s going to impact your life, without having to reply to your parents in such a way as you would have to at age 13. So self sufficiency, making choices, and having a direction you’re following.

When you will you know when you’re there?

I don’t know if I’ll ever know when I’ll get there.  Maybe when you’re married and you have a house- that goal you’ve had as a child.Like, oh that’s what being an adult is when you have a family. But I don’t know if that’s really true anymore, if that’s just that old [story.] I feel like I’m working through that right now, knowing  when I’ll become an adult, because I’m in a transitional stage, from being completely reliant on my parents. I think I’m in the middle of that. And I don’t know when I’ll get there. I’m not there yet. I think it’s little steps. Moving out. Learning to drive. Going on trips of your own. Those little steps lead you to adulthood.

What do you want or need?

I think you need somewhere to live, or at least the possibility to have a home. And I think you need to be planted in a community of some form. And I think you want other things, like a new cell phone… that kind of thing. Community, food and shelter.

How do you define wisdom? 

Accumulated knowledge that you can pass on to people. I don’t think you have to be very old to be wise. I have some friends, like Shylo, she’s a very old soul, and she’s got a lot of knowledge about Yukon environment and plants and birds. Ya, just knowledge you can give to people.

What are things you would like to see happen in your lifetime?

I’d like to see a shift towards renewable resources that’s actually not just people trying to make people feel like something’s happening, but really nothing’s happening. I’d like to see the Canadian electoral system get reformed. Because our Prime Minister promised that he would do it, and then he backed out. That’s the only reason people voted for him. He’s the best option compared to everyone else, but he backed out and now I’m pissed at him, and I don’t know that I’m going to vote for him again. I think he should’ve kept that promise. I want some follow through from my politicians.

How do you stay positive when faced with challenges?

I hang out with my friends. I find short term goals. I’m very goal oriented. I have long term goals and short term goals and I write them all down. And I have kinda like a vision board, but it’s like writing down my short term goals, then I write down my long term goals and then I write down how to get there. Even if I’m in a place that I don’t really like, I can see where that will take me to the next place I really want to be. I have a giant day planner. And I write down my goals for the next three days, and I have sticky notes that I write my daily goals on. And then I’ll stick them around the house sometimes.

What advice would you give to yourself as an adult?

Don’t stress out as much. That’s what I’m working on right now. Go out and do things that freak you out more. Make an effort in school and your own life cuz you’ll never get to do that again. Everyone is so blase, where they don’t care about school or care about life.

About the Author: Ariel Durant

Hello my name is Ariel and I grew up in northern Canada. I will be beginning my second year of University in the fall studying psychology. When I am not studying for the next final, I love to spend time outdoors either hiking or mountain biking. I also enjoy reading books and visiting with my friends.

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