People just don’t understand …

People don’t realize just how many of us teens don’t want to do drugs and party.  Sometimes when I talk to people they think I don’t care about global issues or that I don’t think about the world around me or my privilege.  I think about these things extensively, but I don’t feel I am given even a chance to express this or that I can change anything in the world.

Teens, you have options and opportunity and things are never set in stone.  Friends don’t necessarily stay the same, and family doesn’t stay the same…. You just must learn to adapt.

The level of pressure that teens today are under.  Whether it’s parents, friends, teachers or coaches, many people in our lives expect a lot from us.  I think they tend to forget that we have other responsibilities and that we are still learning how to handle it all.

How hard it is to remain sober in this type of society – with the pressures we face.  Social media dictates our everyday actions and moral values.  It takes work to be who you are or who you want to be.

High school is very hard when you are juggling school work, sports, extracurriculars and friends.  I think the key is to find the time for yourself to relax and take a break from the madness of school.

That paths change and that there are alternative paths to being successful and achieving your goals.  There is so much more time left and you don’t always need to rush things.

There is a lot of pressure on us to succeed and to do well at everything; grades, college… it is just a lot to handle.

What do you want to share about your teen experience?

I want to share that I don’t understand the motivation to party and don’t find it fun or see the point.  I’ve seen a lot of negative outcomes from drinking and doing drugs and I have a passion for making a positive difference.

What do people think or judge about teens that just isn’t true?

That smart people don’t want to have fun… or fun people aren’t smart.  We need to stop putting people in boxes.  Let them all be who they are.

People seem to think that we teens aren’t aware enough to participate in “grown-up” conversations.  What I think the case is, is that we can offer a new perspective.

They think we’re stubborn and don’t want to learn things from other people.

That not everyone drinks or parties as a teenager.  It’s okay to do your own thing. 

What are you looking forward to over the Holidays?

I’m looking forward to just being free of assignments and to just experience things and be present without the added stress of school.

I can’t wait to spend time with my family and friends!  I am traveling overseas with my school.  I love the human warmth and joy everywhere I go this time of year J

Spending time with my crazy, loud family J  and seeing my friends from my hometown.

I am looking forward to the break from school, work and stress.  And, being with family and friends J

I’m looking forward to spending time with my family and eating some good comfort food from the south J

What are your New Year resolutions?

To be okay with myself and improve my lifestyle for my own well-being.

To jump back into my healthy routine, strengthen relationships, and  to mediate and attend church more.

To stay focused and to manage my time well.

To try to be better to myself and those around me by being more positive and capable of letting go of the past.

To be happy, healthy and less stressed J