The Mall: A True Home For Teens

I.J. Samson Junior High
St. John's, Newfoundland

By Ashley S. (Grade 9)

When adults hear the word "teenagers" and "hangouts" the first thing that probably pops into their mind is trouble.

So why is "hanging out" such a popular thing to do when all that seems to come with it is criticism and disapproval? The answer is what many teens complain about. There is just simply nothing else better to do.

Sure, there are a lot of hot attractions in this historic city of St. John's. But how can our youth enjoy them when we are kicked out? I myself have experienced it. Many times I have been asked to leave restaurants before I was finished my meal. It wouldn't bother me if the adults were asked to go as soon as the last crumb was in their mouths. When you are in a store you may also be followed, watched, or just simply felt so scruitinzed you decide to leave. You may not always be verbally reprimanded, but actions often speak louder than words.

Claire is a mall veteran who has earned all her badges when it comes to hanging out and shopping. She says that "the mall acts as a refuge for teens who have nowhere else to go, or for those who just want to hang out and have fun." Claire finds that she does go to the mall with shopping as her motive most of the time. But she usually goes as an excuse to hang with friends.

Claire thinks that young people are often portrayed as delinquents in shopping centers, but really, most of them are out to do no harm.

Heather is a member of the mall rat pack. She says that she takes her weekly trip to her home away from home to escape the pressures of the real world.

Personally, our adventure would not be possible without our chauffeurs. So if you want to find your teen quickly, I suggest scoping out the local shopping center.

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