Q. What are the trends in teen partying? Are teens partying more or less in the summer? During the school year? On weekends? During the week? At school related events?
- I think partying has become popular year round. A lot of partying stems off of school events like dances and sports events. More people attend those events and are looking for something fun and daring to do after.
- People at my school party a lot more during the summer – at concerts and music festivals. On weekends is when people typically party during the school year.
- Teens party a lot more during the summer – sometimes almost every day of the week. During the school year, people party on the weekends, and at school events – especially Friday night football games. Teens are partying before the game, are “lit” at the game, and then it continues at the after parties.
Q. Where do teens typically party?
- I see people smoking weed in cars or out in the woods – although that’s just small numbers of people. I also think that kids sometimes party at school or just before games/dances. Other than that, people and parents do host parties at their houses.
- A lot of kids put alcohol in their cars for “pre-partying”. There are a lot of home parties where the parents are fully aware of what’s happening but would rather have all the drinking contained.
- Teens mostly party at homes and most parents are aware and allow the drinking to happen in their house.
- I am aware of lots of kids smoking weed in cars.
Q. Why do you think teens are choosing to party – since they probably know it’s wrong and illegal? Do you think they think of their goals? Values?
- I know kids who choose to party because of the pressure of school — they want to just have some “fun” once a week. Some have goals, but I don’t think that affects if someone drinks or not.
- I think it’s all about social status. The higher up the ladder you are the more you feel you have to act a certain way – party and drink.
- I think teens feel that drinking is the only way to have fun. They also want to fit-in with what everyone else is doing.
- Some teens do it for popularity, some do it because of peer pressure. They all have goals and values except they think doing these things isn’t a big deal or they don’t think it will affect them.
- I think a lot of teens choose to party because they are bored and looking for fulfillment.
Q. What do you think drives teens to drink and drug more often – to the point of a problem?
- I think drinking and drug use becomes a problem when it stops being just a social thing and they start drinking or using drugs by themselves out of necessity…. to escape the pressure.
- Peer pressure. People say it’s not real, but it is. People don’t want to be left out or looked at differently by their friends.
- Addiction — they like how it feels and feel like they need to. And peer pressure – they feel like it will bring t them closer to their friends.
Q. How do you handle peer pressure if you’re at a party or in a situation where there is partying going on?
· I think teens should be able to just say “No” Or use athletics, grades or other things important to you as an excuse.
· I just say “No thanks.” But honestly from what I see, most of the time people end up succumbing to the pressure.
· I know I don’t want to drink – I don’t see the point or fun in doing it. If other people around me want to drink I won’t judge them, but I never let it affect me or pressure me.
· In my opinion, peer pressure is an internal force instead of something forced upon students. It is easy for me to turn down offers because I know no one cares if I don’t.
Q. We are hearing just how much stress and pressure teens are feeling. Like they are so overwhelmed and think they cannot make a mistake. So then, how do you handle the stress, pressure and your anxiety? Do you feel you have resources and/or support or someone to go to? If not, what else can be done to better support you?
· When I’m stressed, I sit down and do something I love – like my art.
· If I am stressed I try working it out with exercise – that helps and it is good for you. Also, taking time away from school and homework to hang out with my friends helps me.
· I feel like things are becoming so competitive and this just stresses us out. But I do feel we have support – through our friends, adults and counselors.
· I try to take some time for myself and I find or designate time to relax. I also talk to my friends who can relate to my situation.
· I feel like I can talk to my parents about any problems I’m having. I think more teens could open to their parents, counselors or adults, but they don’t think they can.
· If I’m feeling stressed about school I try to remind myself that it’s not as big of a deal as it seems and there’s always an alternative. It’s important for teens to know that they are not alone in your stress, pressures and problems.