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From one teen to another: be responsible

June 20, 2012
The time for the days to be hot and the sky to be bright has reached us. Summer is just around the corner, which means schools have let out, graduating seniors and freeing underclassmen from their studies, at least temporarily.

For me, summer is always a blast. Hanging out with friends, going places and finding ways to cool off. I'm looking forward to great times. However, this time of year also means more dangers.

I'm talking about the partying and, most likely, drinking and other bad behavior many participate in during the summer.

When school is out, we're likely to encounter more drivers, many whom are inexperienced behind the wheel, on the roadways during the daytime, as well as nighttime, hours. Students with cars are out cruising around in their nice rides through town, hanging with their friends, going places.

But with summer here, this also means that all those younger children who haven't quite made it to intermediate school yet will be out frolicking around just as much as the high school kids. They are playing on the sidewalks, in their yards and some are even out on their own walking around. So, drivers, beware!

Recently, I witnessed a child down the road from me almost get hit by a vehicle that was speeding down an alley. I'm pretty sure I speak for many people when I say we don't need little kids — or people of any age — being killed in our community because someone was not paying attention to what they were doing or so they could burn some rubber and speed through the neighborhood.

Also, besides paying attention, drivers, as well as their passengers, need to be sure to wear their seat belts. Seat belts have been known to save lives. And please do not drive if you're intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Do not put people's lives in danger just because you want to have fun.

Remember, texting behind the wheel is a no-no, no matter how good of a driver you think you are.

Use common sense when trying to stay cool this summer, too. Swimming pools where there's a lifeguard on duty is the safest way to have fun in the water, but I know not everyone can go to the pool. Avoid swimming near dams, and use the buddy system if there's no lifeguard.

Granted, there will be good and bad things happen this summer. It's rare to find complete angels, but make good decisions. Beware of the risks you're taking or the activities you're going to participate in. Ask yourself if it's worth the hassle of the consequences.

So, enjoy your summer. Hit up the local pools and water parks (I hear Holiday World & Splashin' Safari has a new ride), enjoy the bright and hot days outside, or work and make some money at your summer job. Summer can be a fun couple of months away from school if you avoid making bad decisions that could get you into trouble.

But, above all, please, be responsible.

Everett Wilfong graduated June 3 from Corydon Central High School.

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