First time Scottish voters on their hopes for 2014

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Five members of the BBC's Generation 2014 panel of first time voters have been writing about their plans for the next 12 months.

One is looking forward to burning his maths jotter at the end of the academic year and another is looking forward to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

They all appreciate the role they will play as voters in the Scottish independence referendum, taking place in September.

Fifty young people who will be eligible to take part in the poll have signed up to the BBC project.

Over the coming months, the 16 and 17-year-olds are going to offer their opinions on TV, radio, and online.

Amy-Jo Randalls

Image caption Amy-Jo Randalls is from Angus

"Early in December I flew solo for the first time in a glider. It was the most thrilling experience of my life and has completely assured me of where I'm going and what I want - to live in the sky as much as I can.

"Every so often I grin a little to myself just because of the sheer ridiculousness of it all.

"I now feel a part of an exclusive club; membership of which demands a certain passion for aviation.

"But now is when the real fun begins. 2014 is when I will be working towards my bronze certificate and then on to my cross-country endorsement. Going solo has given me a huge confidence boost that I hope will carry me through my prelims, exams and the general stress that school gives me.

"Flying requires dedication but I can't imagine doing anything more amazing with my time."

Gregor Ironside

Image caption Gregor Ironside is from Aberdeenshire

"My name is Gregor Ironside, I'm a 16-year-old, studying for my Highers at Mackie Academy. When the referendum bell tolls, I will be 17.

"I feel exceedingly fortunate that I will be allowed to vote. The next year will undisputedly shape Scotland for years to come. How fantastic will it be to contribute to a process that will impact millions of people? The decision that we make will affect real people, real lives.

"I see that as the imperative reason we don't get that decision wrong.

"Voting should be the conclusion to an extensive analysis of the facts. An open mind, to me, is the most important decision making tool.

"2014 means change, regardless of independence, Scottish politics will change. I am proud to be part of that change."

Nathan Epomolu

Image caption Nathan Epomolu is from Hamilton

"I'm really looking forward to 2014, it'll be a massive year for Scotland, especially with the Commonwealth Games arriving in summer.

"I'm really nervous about the prelims and final exams.

"I hope the Homecoming in 2014 will put Scotland on the world's map ahead of the referendum in September, and I will be following Andy Murray's progress; especially at Wimbledon.

"It looks like Britain's in for a heck of a year."

Nicole Fraser

Image caption Nicole Fraser is from Aberdeen

"Many things lie ahead for me in 2014; a much happier, more confident me.

"I want to be able to spend less time in my own bubble and try new things that I wouldn't this year. I also want to somehow make a difference to people, to attempt to change the minds of teens about topics such as: body image, relationships, bullying and similar topics.

"In 2014 I don't have many goals. Just to make people happier and to give them advice on things they are struggling with. However, I am concerned - like many of my age - about the future; college, exams and jobs are a big thing.

"I am still yet to decide if I'm going to go to college or not and, if I do, it may be to study social sciences.

"In the future I wish to be more confident and help people out a lot more than I do now."

Scott Faulds

Image caption Scott Faulds is from Ayrshire

"2014 is shaping up to be a big year politically for Scotland and personally for myself.

"As Scottish people we have a massive decision to make on the future of our country. The referendum has the potential to change the very structure of our country for better or for worse.

"Personally, in 2014 I have the challenge of five higher exams which are proving more stressful and difficult than I first imagined. Like the referendum these exams shall shape the future of my life, which means I'm going to have to sacrifice the first part of 2014 to revising.

"Hopefully the revision shall pay off and I'll be able to enjoy my final year in school and if all goes well I'll never have to look at maths again.

"That's the thing I'm most looking forward to in 2014, burning my maths jotters with all friends. Got to enjoy the little things."

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