Friday, January 23, 2015

YAB teens are talking about the issues they face, how they would change things, do they think they are heard, and give you a positive outlook on the rest of the year ahead….

What do you see are the main issues that you and other teens are dealing with today. 

Teens Answer:

  • I think the main issue right now is dealing with peer pressure on whether or not to drink or not…. and, how much to drink in an environment where kids think everyone is doing it.
  • I think the main issue that teens are dealing with today is stress.  We have so much on our plates and there are so much expected of us.  It is hard to handle sometimes, and there is a lot of pressure.
  • Teens definitely deal with a lot of stress, from both their school and family.
  • I think the main issue teen’s deal with today is unrealistic expectations and contradicting pressures coming from society (friends, family, schools, etc…)
  • The main issue teens are dealing with today is their workload.  So many teens don’t know how to deal with school, and that can cause a lot of stress.
  • I think teenagers today judge each other too much.  They need to accept everyone for who they are.
  • Pressure.  Pressure to fit in which leads to peer pressure with dealing with drinking and drug use.  A lot of celebrities post on social media glamorizing smoking or a certain body type;  stick thin, blonde, beautiful…. this leaves us all fighting for perfection.
  • The main issue teens are dealing with today is finding a college and a job.  So many kids have trouble deciding what they want to do in the future because so much is dependent on the things we are doing right now – in high school.  Because of this stress teens might turn to drugs or alcohol.  And if children are not born into a good environment, the might not think they can get into college, find a job, and end making poor decisions with devastating outcomes.
  • Stress, both with school and family.  I feel like friends and relationships should help with stress, but actually I think at times they add to the stress.
What do you think could be done about it?  What would you do to change it if you could?

Teens Answer:
  • I would try to alert teens that drinking is really not that “cool” and that everyone is NOT doing it.
  • I think it is good to talk about it when you’re feeling overwhelmed.  I would like to see more people at school available to talk to or teach us how to deal with stress that would be good.
  • I would like to see less pressure on teens to be “perfect”.  Don’t tell them “To get into to a good school you must take three AP classes.”  I would also like to see more assemblies on Teen Mental Health.  This could really help parents and teachers and give them some idea of what to look for and what to do for teens.
  • I would educate teens as best as possible and let them make decisions based on truthful information.  Especially when drugs, alcohol, sex, cheating, bullying, etc… all of teen issues we face are involved.
  • I would like everyone to understand that Teens need to handle only what they know they can handle.  More guidance can be shown/given to teens that need it, to better handle their issues.
  • I think it would be great if speakers came to schools to tell kids NOT to judge others and do exercises to help us learn more about each other.
  • I think it would make an impression on teens if the people with the most power or impact in the world made wiser decisions.  If I could change it, I would have it be where everyone is their own definition of perfection, and are okay just being themselves.
  • If I could do something I would make the college application process less competitive and stressful for students.
  • Mostly I just listen to music, talk to my friends, and watch Netflix.  When I’m really stressed, a long day with Netflix is a way to escape everything else.  Sometimes I start at 9:00 AM and finish in the afternoon.
  • If I could change anything it would be the level of stress.  I try to do this by just being positive.  When I’m not, I get more stressed and worried.  We just have to try to make the best of what we have.
Do you think teens are really heard on important issues by adults; your parents, schools, the community?  Who do you think acts upon your thoughts and ideas?  Who does not?  How does that make you feel?

Teens Answer:

  • I feel like teens are sometimes heard but the problems that they are bringing up are not addressed.  They are more or less downplayed by parents.  I think the Counselors do a better job of listening.
  • Some teens are heard by their parents, but I don’t necessarily think that teens are heard by the school or the community.  Personally my parents listen and act upon my thoughts and ideas.  They are great!  They help me when I’m stressed.  I don’t always think the schools act upon it.
  • I don’t think teens are listened to at all.  Personally, I want to talk about important issues with my family and it takes a lot for them the take me seriously.  I feel like I’m pushed to the side because I am younger.
  • I personally don’t feel like teens opinions are heard.  Adults in positions of authority write-off our opinions usually because we’re young… so what do we know?  Some organizations that are teen based and acknowledge our opinions and views make it possible for us to be heard and act upon what we think.
  • I believe teens are heard to an extent.  Parents will listen to their kids, if they think they’re trustable.  Teachers will listen to kids if they are serious.   The community will listen, if kids make an effort to be heard and share their thoughts.
  • I do think they are heard.  But, one issue I have is then what do adults do with the information?  I don’t think they actually take action and try to resolve the problems.
  • I so think teens are heard but only a handful.  I don’t think everyone will listen to us simple because of our age.  To some adults, we know nothing and should not have a say.
  • I don’t think that adults really listen to teens because they think we are too young and inexperienced to have good ideas or real thoughts.  This is frustrating because if adults think we have enough responsibility to decide on things like college, future, career paths, they should also be listening to our thoughts and ideas on life.
  • I think adults only hear what they want to hear.  There are very few people who I actually trust and tell my problems to.  Honestly, I’m afraid of disappointing my parents…. and it makes me sad not to be able to talk to and trust those who are there the most in my life.
Looking to the rest of the year ahead, what are you MOST looking forward to and what are your resolutions?

Teens Answer:

  • I am really looking forward to narrowing where I want to go to college and where I play tennis at.  I am also looking forward to more events with the YAB!
  • I am looking forward to exploring colleges and my future!  My resolution is to drink more water J
  • I want to increase mine and other teen’s self-love.
  • Some of my resolutions for this year:  Call my sister in college, once a week.  Read two books a month.  Take more pictures.  Exercise every day.
  • I am looking forward to a positive, more enjoyable year!  One resolution for me is to not let stress get in my way!
  • I look forward to learning new things and gaining a new perspective of the world around me.
  • I am looking forward to new beginnings along with meeting new people.  My resolution is to stay happy with how I am J
  • My resolution is to be healthy both physically and mentally.
  • My resolution is to stay positive and open-minded.  I will try some new things and look at situations for the positives I can see.


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