17 years old : the in-between age. Not yet an adult, but not really a child. Thus is the curse of the seventeen year old. It's a strange age: on one hand you still rely on your parents, still need permission and approval before doing anything, yet on the other hand, it's the time when you must make some truly important life decisions. Are you going to college? What do you want to do for the rest of your life? What are your plans? Only a handful of the questions thrown in the direction of 17 year old's everywhere. Apparently school days are the best of your life, but this is not the case for the average 17 year old. With the pressure of exams, the expectations of family, teachers and other peers, the need for family time, the requirement that is socializing, it's a wonder that these teenagers even manage to get up in the mornings. In addition, at such a time in your life when your hormones are raging, there's the added stress of friendship and relationship drama. I don't presume to speak for 17 year old's around the world, but personally I find that existential crisis is a permanent feature in my life? What's the point in doing homework or study? Am I wasting this fleeting existence of mine? Although such questions are daunting, this sense of awakening is actually one of the positive aspects of being 17. It is around this age that you start to really think about life's big questions. Things become less black and white, the world becomes more shrouded, yet thought seems more clear. You have now reached an age where you have learned enough, have experienced enough to form real opinions about the world, and all it's more complex topics. Sometimes it is this fresh view of the world that is most needed, something I feel more people should to recognize. 17 year old's have real valid opinions, some often more insightful that those twice or three times their age. Of course, contemplating the burdens and hardships of the world can be a lot to take in, but to be able to form truly valid opinions is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. The passion and enthusiasm that 17 year old's bring to the table cannot be overlooked. The in-between age it may be; but this does not diminish the importance of the 17 year old.