To answer this question, we must examine the words in this statement. `Young
people', as I understand, would those in their teens and early twenties refer
to. The challenges in life would be what life throws up for the growing young
person, be it physical, moral, mental or emotional. The point is that he has to
put in a struggle to meet with a challenge when it presents itself. Except for a
few who cannot cope mentally and emotionally, and who
buckle under the strain, challenges will bring out admirable
qualities in people, the young included.
An example would be the first day in
school. A young child would have to learn to be brave, independent, adaptable
and resilient when he enters the brave, new world of primary schooling.
Similarly, a young person who enters high school or university and especially
those who study overseas, would have to marshal all the resilient qualities in
himself to be able to cope on his own. While overseas, he has to cope with
loneliness. All these demands should hone desirable qualities in him.
The local press sometimes brings up cases of children who have lost their
parents. The elder children would have to take care of their younger siblings.
The role of a guardian is suddenly thrust on their young shoulders, making them
mature beyond their years. They have to learn to do housework and provide
emotional support for their young siblings.
A competitive education system places great strains on students. Demands are
made on them to cope with a that competes in tests and assessments and performs
in co-curricular activities so as to be assessed accordingly. Sometimes, the
weak students cannot cope and end up as physical or mental
wrecks in the rat race. However, the vast majority learn to cope
with the system and adjust to it.
Students will learn that discipline, hard work and a willingness to forgo
present pleasures for future gains are needed in studies. In competing in games
or sports, perseverance, determination and moral courage would come into play.
An example would be in running a long distance race. Also, students who embark
on canoeing or mountaineering expeditions would learn to be brave and to cope
with pain and suffering.
When students become workers, the qualities which they have cultivated to
meet the demands of their educational system will be needed to cope with the
rigors of working life. Students-turned-workers will be challenged to cultivate
qualities like honesty, efficiency and learning on the job. Life will
throw up challenges for young people, but it will bring up the best
in them too.