STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

In the News: No Air to Go

Joined: 2/8/2013
Posts: 4
As my younger brother and I bike through our suburban neighborhood an enormous truck chugs by, leaving in its wake the foul odor of smog and potent gasoline. We’re submerged in the stench for a moment before my brother comments quietly, “This reminds me of Taiwan.” His words strike a chord in me, because subconsciously I had thought the exact same thing.

My family has only been to Taipei, a bustling inner city on the island of Taiwan, which we frequent once ever other year or so. Taipei itself is thoroughly permeated by a thick layer of smog caused by the dense population and the burning of fossil fuels. Coming from a history of asthma, I’d stare at the pedestrians with their face masks and wonder what it’d be like to have to endure these conditions day in and day out.

The situation intensified hundredfold is the current pollution crisis in Beijing, China. Cynically labeled the “airpocalypse,” is characterized by the immense amount of lung-penetrating particles that linger in the Beijing air and far surpass the amount deemed acceptable by the World Health Organization. The Chinese government has already begun to take action, including shutting down hazardous factories and disposing of idle cars, yet the grayed atmosphere refuses to be dispersed. Campaigns for awareness are circulating heatedly, yet ultimately the problem only proceeds to worsen.

Already school recesses are being discarded in fear of dangerous smog harming the young children, but even that is not enough. Thousands of patients are being admitted into the Beijing Children’s Hospital daily with symptoms caused by the pollution and even newborns are developing respiratory diseases. A prediction has been made that in the near future the Beijing population is expected to be speckled in possession of gas masks and oxygen tanks as common accessories.

This issue does more than just inconvenience and pollute – it represses and harms. It is not a mere thing that can be dissipated in time to come; it is indelible and irrevocable, a scar and stain that, if allowed to expand, can turn the city of Beijing into an uninhabitable wasteland and can choke neighboring nations with its deathly tendrils. The way it’s advancing now, unhindered and unstopped, can only point towards a remorseful outcome.

As the situation begins to come to light, however, young people around the world have three things they are capable of rising. We can raise awareness and ignite a knowledge that alerts the entire world to this problem. We can raise funds to support reforms and projects intended to clear the air of Beijing. And most importantly, we can raise morale and push forward, knowing that together we can tackle and overcome this manmade disaster.

My brother and I, we’re blessed enough to be able to bike mask-free in the crisp air. The truck smog passes and we proceed. As my brother chatters on, I can only hope that one day the children of Beijing will once more be able to see the sun.
Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us: is a free blogging and writing community for high school students that allows teens the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Check out our national Teen Trend Reports, and make sure to explore the writing contests for high school students, inspirational videos for teens, statistics about students, quotes about high school, and other resources about High School here on  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Language Arts Teaching Resources.

Writing Contest Archive - Students

Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month. is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2016 Writing Contests

Writing Contest for High School Students

2015 Writing Contests

2014 Writing Contests

 2013 Writing Contests

2012 Writing Contests

2011 Writing Contests

 2010 Writing Contests

Stage of Life Mission Statement

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy