New Internationalist

What Choices Did You Make?

Issue 143

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What choices did you make?
Take time out from the dilemmas of today’s young and look back at some of the choices
you took. Surveys of the New Internationalist show that over 90 per cent of readers
are older than 25. These questions are for you and the teenager you once were.

Simply click the box next to ONE of the answers that most closely fits you and then your score will be automatically added up for you at the end of the questionnaire.

Questionnaire devised by Dexter Tiranti, who scored 29.
Webmonkey scored 61!

IDEALISM

1 Did you believe in true love, happiness and honesty?

A All the time
B To a degree
C I knew better

2 How idealistic were you about the chances of changing the world?

A Utterly uptopian
B Only at the midnight coffee sessions
C I always went to bed early

3 Have your ideals stayed the same?

A I’ve grown out of them
B I still give the odd fiver to OXFAM
C I’ve grown more idealistic

4 Looking back on such idealism as you had, how do you react?

A With embarrassment
B With indifference
C With pride


'The best substitute for
experience is being sixteen'

Raymond Duncan


RISKTAKING

5 Did you ever do anything illegal?

A I’ve always kept to the straight and narrow
B Only when there was a good chance of getting away with it
C Quite regularly
D As provocatively as possible

6 Did you ever risk death or injury to yourself or others?

A I’d never have been so stupid
B Only when I was high of half-cut
C Sometimes, for a dare
D Regularly

7 How aware were you of those decisions you were taking which subsequently affected your whole life?

A Fully conscious
B Had a shrewd suspicion most of the time
C Blissfully ignorant

8 List the following in order of priority from the person you respect most to the person you respect least: A rockstar / mentor / sexual partner / politician / parents / God. Now create a seperate list for the order that you would have placed them in your youth.

A The list is the same now as it was then
B The list has moved only slightly
C The list has completely changed

9 How important was money to you as a teenager, and what does it mean to you now?

A When I was young, I couldn’t care less. But now, what with the overdraft, it’s a priority
B It used to be very important to me, today I don’t worry
C Money is essential to me, always has been, always will be
D I’ve never been able to work up any enthusiasm for it


'You grow up the day you have the
first real laugh - at yourself'

George Santayana


INDEPENDENCE
Devastating honesty is particularly required
in this section, so steel yourself.

10 What effect did your family background and income have on your education and formal academic qualifications?

A Without my parents money I would have failed everything
B My background gave me a headstart, but let’s spare the false modesty, l was intelligent and worked hard
C Despite my background, my schooling was a disaster
D Because of my background, my schooling was a disaster
E I am from humble circumstances but still did well

11 Did your family background help with your subsequent employment?

A Their string-pulling was essential to get me where I am
B It gave me a good start, but since then it’s been all my own effort
C It was an obstacle I had to overcome to get where I am
D What employment?

12 Did your family background affect your subsequent lovelife?

A Yes, I’ve tended to go for sexual partners who had parents and a background rather like my own
B My lovers’ social background had nothing to do with my decisions
C I’ve chosen people very different from myself and my parents


'Middle age is when you are sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn't for you'

Ogden Nash


CONFLICT

13 Did you use to have fights?

A Regularly, and violently
B Only when I lost mytemper or thought I could win
C I was too even tempered and / or a coward

14 Did you quarrel much with

A Your parents or relatives: Yes / No
B Friends: Yes / No
C Officialdom - police, employers, bureaucrats: Yes / No

15 For those conficts you did have, what were the usual results?

A won
B Honours were divided
C Disastrous

16 What effects did these battles have on your subsequent life?

A Many of them changed my attitudes
B Negative effects, I’ve been scarred permanently
C None


'The closest you can get to your youth is to start repeating your follies'

Andy Capp (Reg Smythe)

Your New Internationalist Rating
The most important part of the exercise has now been done - prompting you to think back arid identify with some of the issues that are now facing Andy and Eva, Alonso and Edna on other pages of this issue. However if you insist on the New Internationalists totally arbitrary judgements on your mis-spent youth, here goes.

FINAL SCORE =

Over 56
You are a great indavidualist, the only predictable thing about your behaviour is that you are likely to be going in the opposite direction to everyone else. Obviously there is a big streak of cussedness in your nature.

40 - 55
Hmmm, you are a bit of an oddball, the type perhaps who is more idealistic now than in your youth. It's unlikely that your views will be shared by your neighbours or many of your work colleagues. Your predicament is whether to come clean, speak tip and sour the atmosphere or keep your head down for the sake of a quiet life.

25 - 39
‘If you are not a radical when you’re twenty you've no heart, if you are not a conservative when you’re forty you’ve no brains.’ Winston Churchill was thinking of you when he said this. It is a common pattern for sensitive people coming to terms with their mortgage, the bank manager and the accepted wisdom of the establishment.

Under 25
No arguments ever? Done nothing illegal? Always went to bed early? You are just the person they need to work in the biological germ warfare research units. In fact doing this questionnaire is probably the most subversive thing you've ever tackled.


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