Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry and Happy Holidays!  Here's what some of our YAB students are up to this Holiday Season.....

What are your favorite ways to celebrate the Holidays and how do you keep it fun and substance-free?

My favorite way to celebrate the Holidays is by spending time with my favorite people doing things we enjoy;  watching movies, eating really good food, and playing guitar.  Teens can have fun and be substance-free by making plans in advance to make sure it stays that way.
I like to bake Holiday cookies and go bowling on New Years Eve!

My favorite thing to do during the holidays is spend time with my family. There are tons of things for teens to do to and stay out of trouble.   Like having a New Year's Eve party with a theme.   Wii games and food and a tv to watch the ball drop.
Remember what you stand for.  It is the end of the year..... don't remember it as a mistake, focus on your family, your values and your friends.

Spending time with my family and friends.... it's great to take some time out of our busy lives and appreciate what we have.

From the Youth Action Board to you, we wish you a very Happy Holiday and all the best for a safe and Happy New Year! 


Sunday, June 24, 2012

High School Students answer some more tough questions about the transition to high school

How do you balance everything in high school?

Breath….. The main trick to balancing everything with life is to stay calm.   The same thing goes if you're in a crisis.   If you panic, your body goes into fight or flight mode sending extra adrenaline into your blood system.  This may send a rush of endorphins and adrenaline at first, but if you are under this constant stress it can cause many short term and long term effects to your body.  Similar to if you choose to do drugs or alcohol.   If you stay calm and tell yourself you can do it ... then you can and you will.   But you also have to remember it is okay to say “No”…  if someone asks you to do something and you are booked.

Homework and grades should always come first.  If you're struggling in school you should focus on that.  Exercise is a very important thing.  It’s a great stress reliever and sends good endorphins and adrenaline through your body to help pump fresh blood into your brain and to give you a new look on a sticky situation.  If you're stuck or struggling with homework, take a break and go on a little run or walk.  

As far as family is concerned, you may feel that your parents are "babying" you, but they do know what is best for you and want to keep you safe.  Same as any other animal in the animal kingdom J. Communication and honesty is the key to any relationship.   And trust me, parents will take better if you communicate with them maturely, as opposed to rebelling, yelling, and losing your control.

What really happens at summer parties?

You will probably hear a lot of people refer to going to summer parties, pool/beach parties, and graduation parties Many think that they all include drinking and hundreds of people, but that is not the case at all.   Most of these parties are only about 5-15 people sitting around hanging out as friends, enjoying the beautiful weather drinking lemonade.  No alcohol what-so-ever.  However, there are the select few who do decide to partake in the stereotypical “partying” activities…. and these are the people who are talked about the most because they are somehow exciting to the rest of the world.  All in all MOST do not drink, and if people are drinking, know that you DO NOT have to.  I would recommend leaving to avoid pressures, but if you feel that that may insult your friends then politely say no. If they are true friends, they will respect your decision to #livedrugfree. Ultimately, you are the makers of your choices and no one can tell you what to do or how to live.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

An 8th grade student heading to high school wants to know.... 

Have you ever felt pressured to drink or use drugs?  What did you do if someone offered you something?

I have felt pressured to use drugs or alcohol, There were times such as dances, or other get togethers where people were drinking and I was one of the lone wolves, but I took a step back and really examined the whole situation. I asked myself "What are these kids actually getting from drinking? Answer, a hang over and looking stupid!"  Then I asked,  "What could happen if I started to partake in these activities?  Answer:  major trouble with my parents, the law, and colleges!"

It's so important to take a step back and really examine a situation before you dive head first into the deep end, and make an impulsive decision.  The negative consequences most definitely always outweigh the good when it comes to the consumption of alcohol while you are underage.

If you are ever offered something an don't want it, or feel that there is a high amount of pressure you can do three things:
  1. Say "No."   Most people will leave you alone after you say no once. 
  2. Leave the situation.  If you feel uncomfortable this is the best option.   
  3. And.....  look within yourself and decide who you really are..... and who you want to be.          It helps to stand strong because as the saying goes:  "Good timber does not grow with ease.  The stronger the winds, the stronger the trees."

Another great question about the high school transition...

Do you have the same friends in high school that you do in middle school?  And, is it difficult to make new friends in high school?

The transition of friends in high school can go a few ways.  I have some of the same friends I did in middle school but I've also made some great new friends.   It's not difficult to make new friends because you will meet a ton of people that will be more than happy to welcome you.... because you have the same interests as they do, like, if you're in the same club they offer, a class together, or the same sport that you are in.  I'm sure you'll have great new friendships if you look for opportunities and get involved!

What 8th graders really want to know about high school....

Here are the answers to those questions directly from high school students, who are the REAL experts on making this important transition.

How important is the freshman GPA?

In high school, your GPA is very important because it will be a reported to colleges on your transcript reflecting your academic performance.  Your GPA is a way that colleges can track the progression of your academics through out all four year of high school.  As a freshman, you want to work towards getting the highest GPA you can achieve.   Colleges understand that freshman year is a big and sometimes difficult transition, but they will still be counting that score.  They like to see a gradual increase year-to-year to show that as a student you are working hard, and take school seriously.   Large increases in any one's GPA is hard to pull off and straining on the student.   A good freshman year GPA sets a strong foundation for what the coming years will look like academically.   It is also useful to see for yourself how you achieved the GPA you did.   Good GPA's take hard work and time.   Keeping up or creating good studying habits and a balanced schedule is a good start to getting there.   Starting high school can be difficult, but just remember to work hard and do your best! Good luck!