“Youth, large, lusty, loving--youth full of grace, force, fascination

“Do you know that Old Age may come after you with equal grace, force, fascination?”

--Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Old age is relative and often just a matter of the mind. But Hot Topics wonders: “At what age do you consider someone old and why?”


“At 60, because that’s when they start to fall apart.”

Meredeth Culp, 17,

senior, Cypress

“At 52, because that’s when you have to start dying your hair.”


Clementine Latimer, 16, sophomore, Cypress

“My great-grandma used to always tell me that no one’s old unless they think they are.”

Stephanie Mitchell, 17, senior, Cypress

“At 22, because as soon as you’re 21, you can do anything you want, so you have no fun breaking rules.”

Marie Nelson, 17, junior, Cypress

“There isn’t really a particular age when someone becomes old or mature. We all grow up once we stop worrying about our own concerns and take a good look at the problems in the world today.”

Kristen Larson, 17, senior, Esperanza

“No specific age--people are mainly as old as they feel. If someone at 35 feels old, it shows, and I consider them old, but if someone at 50 feels not so old, I wouldn’t consider them that old.”


Alexandra Krischker, 16, junior, Esperanza

“I consider 60 old. All the people I know under 60 are still strong and full of life. They still act young.”

Michelle Adams, 18, senior, Esperanza

“I consider someone to be old when their skin begins to wrinkle, their hair begins to whiten and their mind begins to go.”

Jeremy Wolling, 16, junior, Esperanza

“What I consider old is age 36, because it is so far away and many things can happen in 18 years.”

Lisa Virdak, 18, senior, Esperanza

“At 18, because that’s when you are old enough to get drafted for the Army and are responsible if you go to jail.”


Hung Nguyen, 16, junior, Estancia

“At 35, because that’s when someone can become President.”

Tom Sampson, 18, senior, Estancia

“At 18, because that’s when you get personal freedom from parents, and parents no longer have as much control.”

Brian Milby, 16, junior, Estancia

“I consider somebody old not by age, but by actions. To be old is to be respected, and you respect people because of their actions. So, you can’t use an exact age as criteria. Being old is only a state of maturity.”

Mirva Vaig, 16, senior, Laguna Hills

“A person is only old as he or she thinks he is.”

Howard Song, 18, senior, Laguna Hills

“A person is only old if they creak when they get out of bed.”

Mike Craska, 18, senior, Laguna Hills

“A person is old when they think they are not young and useful. Their actions show their age.”

Venessa Magill, 17, senior, Laguna Hills

“Someone is old when they act old.”

Adi-Kent Delfin, 16, junior, Laguna Hills

“At 65, because it seems that they have a harder time staying healthy and keeping fit.”

Crystal Lauthrup, 18, senior, Tustin

“At 75, because they seem to get run down.”

Jeannine Edwards, 17, senior, Tustin

“At 65, because their life style moves on to bigger and better things besides working and earning money.”

Kevin Juroski, 18, senior, Tustin

“At 34, because that’s when the generation gap starts and they don’t understand the younger generation.”

Siobhan Pantoll, 17, senior, Villa Park

“In their 60s, when they’re retired and they are too old to work. They want to relax for the rest of their lives.”

Stephanie Alber, 17, senior, Villa Park

“At 80, because they’ve lived most of their life.”

Caprice Power, 15, sophomore, Villa Park

“You are only as old as you think you are. But when you have to sip your soup through a straw. . . . “

Erin O’Donnell, 17, senior, Villa Park

Next Week’s Hot Topic:

How would you go about solving the problem of so many homeless people in the United States?

Hot Topic responses gathered by Angela Conner, Lynda Kim, Kyra Kirkwood, Stephan Lee, Hai Pham and Ed White.DR, GABRIEL SALDIVAR