High Life / A WEEKLY FORUM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS : If There Is a Golden Age, Just When Do You Hit It?

Responses gathered by Jessica Hulsey (Cypress), Kristie Payne (Loara), Tram Nguyen (Orange) and Claudine Ko (University).

Forever young?

Many adults wish they could turn around the aging process. Moms and dads will dress in the latest fashions, listen to Top 40 music, and talk their teen-agers' talk. Eventually, down the road, they may even get face lifts.

On the other hand, many teen-agers can't wait to grow up. Peter Pan? Forget him; the last thing most want to do is remain a child forever.

Hot Topics asks, "What is the perfect age?"

"I suppose when you're a baby, because that's when you're the most happy and non-corrupted." Poema Smith, 16, junior, Loara

"Eleven, because you're on top of the world. You control the school." Saeed Ahmed, 17, senior, University

"Any teen-age year, because you still know everything." David Friedman, 16, senior, University

"Sixteen. First of all, I haven't experienced any other age, but this is the best because I have my (driver) license, I have a job and I'm finally becoming independent." Fabi Feri, 16, junior, Cypress

"Sixteen, because you can legally drive." Lalo Rodriguez, 14, freshman, Orange "Seventeen, because living in the present is better than living in the past or future." Larry Rubin, 17, senior, Cypress

"Eighteen, because you have the rights and privileges of an adult, and yet you are still a teen-ager and can still have fun and act a little immature when the time is right. Eighteen is the recognized barrier between adulthood and childhood, and one cannot be recognized as a mature and responsible person until you cross that border. No matter how mature you have acted in the past. That is why I believe that the age 18 is the perfect age." Stacey Schubert, 17, senior, Loara

"Twenty-one, because you're officially an adult and no more laws can restrict you." Daniel Chammas, 17, senior, University

"Twenty-one. You get all the respect of an adult while remaining young. Not to mention all the things you can do legally." Mirian Lipner, 15, sophomore, Loara

"Twenty-one. Self-explanatory." Lyndsay Cavender, 16, junior, Cypress

"Twenty-one, because you're an adult, free to do whatever you want, but you're still young at the same time." Resa Henry, 17, senior, Loara

"Twenty-two, because you're old enough to get married, but too young to have children." Becky Welty, 17, senior, Orange

"Twenty-four, because you're free to do as you please, and you're still young enough to understand teen-agers." Jim Perez, 18, senior, Orange

"Around 25, because you really can do whatever you want without being bound by physical limitations or responsibility." Whitney Clayton, 17, senior, University

"Twenty-five, because you're old enough to do adult things, and you're not too old to do kid things." Jen Scheer, 16, junior, Orange

"Twenty-seven, because by the time I'm 27 I expect to be established financially and married." Alex Uhm, 18, senior, University

"I think 28, because you're out of college, your career is set, you have a family, and you're at your peak for running." Cris Shaw, 16, junior, Cypress

"Thirty-two, because by then you have a stable job, are settled down, and you're not old or young; you're middle-aged." Marcelo Sandoval, 17, junior, Orange

"Any age that you're an adult, because no restrictions from parents." Philip Tesoro, 15, sophomore, Cypress

"I don't think there's such a thing as a perfect age. There is a down side, like you're either too young or too old." Gustavo Perez, 16, junior, Loara

Next Week's Hot Topic: What can people learn about you by looking at your friends?

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