How is the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost important for teens today?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost is a poem about making choices. Teens today are confronted with many different choices, some about ethics and some about lifestyle. One point the poem makes is that even though your choices now may appear unlimited, they have what business people call an "opportunity cost". If you take one choice, that means not taking another, as Frost points out when he says:

Oh, I marked the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way

I doubted if I should ever come back.

If you make a choice, for example, of having a child while you are still in high school or university, you may never finish your degree. If you have an opportunity to work and study abroad and turn it down, you may not get another similar opportunity.

Another thing Frost makes you consider is that peer pressure and the media often lead teens to take the most obvious paths in life, perhaps towards traditional careers or lifestyle choices, but the less travelled path -- such as pursuing a dream of a creative life or entrepreneurship rather than a corporate job -- may be ultimately more satisfying, as Frost suggests at the end of the poem:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

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