Finding Pleasure and Joy as a 21st-Century Teen during a Pandemic

T.J. Lanks Shares his Top Ten List

Growing up in the 21st Century is a drastically different experience than the upbringing of past generations. Childhood allows for many pleasures and privileges that must be taken advantage of to bring joy to the children of the world. In this modern era, it has been shown that children hold likings for new ideas and eccentricity. 

In this article, I will describe 10 things that bring me pleasure and joy. While some things may seem eccentric to certain people, I believe they encompass the many joys of growing up in this modern era.

1. Reading

Reading literature has always brought me joy and continues to do so on a daily basis.  Not only am I ravenous for knowledge and growth in my vocabulary, but I also rely on reading for entertainment. Reading books allows me to look at the world from different perspectives. It allows me to imagine what it would be like to live in a different time period, in a different place, or in some fantastical universe. I enjoy admiring the phenomenal stories and diction of books like The Hobbit, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jurassic Park, and many others.

2. Family

Family, as well as friends, are always there to support me and care for me. From road trips to holiday gatherings, my family always makes sure everyone is happy and having fun. Everybody in my family is always there for each other and we all make sure to let that be known amongst ourselves.

3. The Saxophone

The smooth and beautiful sound of the saxophone is ear-candy to me. Playing the saxophone never fails to bring me joy. The incredible versatility of the instrument allows me to express myself through music, as well as play many different types of music to entertain myself and others.

4. The Beatles

Arguably the best band of all time, The Beatles constantly leave me awestruck by their powerfully influential and extremely catchy songs. Despite the old age of Beatles music, I still enjoy listening to it. I find that songs written by The Beatles have a deep meaning of happiness, lightheartedness, and togetherness. It fascinates me how songs like “Let It Be,” “Here Comes The Sun” and “Hey Jude” maintain a decent influence on society, even after over 50 years have passed since they were written.

5. Minecraft

Minecraft is a video game that not only persistently entertains me, but also brings me nostalgia each time I play.  For nearly a decade, I have played Minecraft with my friends, and each time I play, the game always offers an extremely fun experience. From building massive structures, to trying to survive with friends, to combatting other players, Minecraft allows me to connect with other people and pass time in a fun way.

6. Astronomy

The night sky holds a hidden gallery of incredibly beautiful heavenly bodies. I particularly enjoy identifying, viewing, and even photographing stars and planets through my telescope. I have quite an old and inexpensive telescope, although it still allows me to effectively view certain bodies. It amazes me how light from stars across (and even beyond) our galaxy travels for years to be absorbed by lenses and mirrors in my telescope and is magnified for me to look at. Despite my inability to view nearby objects in great detail, I still enjoy locating, identifying, and attempting to view various bodies in the night sky. 

7. My phone

This is most likely on every student’s list because of the prominence of and broad reliance on cell phones in the 21st Century, but my phone truly is one of my favorite things. While I don’t rely on my phone nearly as much as other people my age, I am still very grateful for it and think it is very useful. Whether I am using my phone to listen to music, to watch videos or T.V. shows, or to call my friends/family, I always rely on it to satiate my desires. My phone is probably the most useful thing I own and never fails to entertain me or help me communicate with others.

8. Discord

Discord is not a very well known software, especially among adults. In layman’s terms, Discord is an application (for a computer or mobile device) that can be used to connect with friends through text, audio, and video chat through the use of organized groups called servers. It is very user-friendly and allows me to connect with my friends easily. I use Discord almost daily to communicate with friends for various purposes. For example, I use Discord to chat with friends while I play video games, but I can also use it to simply ask for help with homework.

9. Netflix

Once again, I am almost certain I am not alone in putting this on my list. Netflix is perhaps my primary source of entertainment. I enjoy watching movies or T.V. shows with my family/friends, or by myself. Some of my favorite things to watch on Netflix are The Office, Breaking Bad, Attack on Titan, and One Piece.

10. Winter

Oftentimes I feel that I am alone in preferring winter over the other three seasons. Most people enjoy summer more than all other seasons because of the warm weather and long break from school; however, I prefer winter over all of the other seasons. I particularly enjoy the cold weather and holidays of winter. Even though cold weather often brings snow and other inconveniences, I would much rather be outside in the cold than in the brutal heat of a summer’s day. Also, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays because of the amount of time I can spend with my family and the general sense of joy and togetherness that fills the air during Advent.