One of the main themes of Barack Obama's presidential campaign was hope. Hope means different things to different people — including young people. And hope can be both a positive and a negative force in their lives.
Young people are often promised hope the most. But when they don't see results, or any sign of progress, life's possibilities can seem like they're becoming narrower, not opening up.
"If hope gets too far off the mark, then it becomes fantasy," said Dr. David Spiegel, a Stanford psychiatrist, "and it's more likely to hurt you than help you."
"I think what makes hope work is when it's realistic," Spiegel said. "Or when the person who's promising you something is genuine about trying to deliver it."
And now that President-elect Obama is preparing to take over the government, his promise sits like a weight on his shoulders. But the most challenging thing for all voters and young people like me to remember is that it sits just as heavy on our own.
Orlando Campbell reports for Youth Radio.