Saturday, February 6, 2016

YAB students are talking about a lot of teen issues; staying motivated at the mid-way point, what stresses them out, what they need for support, why teens experiment and use drugs and alcohol, and what can be done to prevent it.

This will give you an opportunity to check out just some the ongoing dialogue going on at the YAB table.

It’s mid-year/term for many students.  How do you think teens can remain or gain motivation?
  • I think studying for a short period of time and taking short breaks in between.  It also helps to set yourself a schedule throughout the day on what you will do.  It’s really important NOT to wait until the last minute and then overload yourself.  Just take things one at a time.
  • I set small short term goals that I can try and then accomplish.  It really helps me to stay motivated.
  • Think ahead to how mid-terms will be over in a few weeks.  Then think a head to your future J  There is so much to look forward to and that always helps with motivation.  For myself, I try to remember that the stress that comes with school will soon be relieved by long weekends, breaks, late starts, etc.… I also try to keep in mind my goals and what I need to do to accomplish them.
How can schools and parents support teens with the added stress and anxiety they have?
  • Provide more activities that students can do/get involved with to blow off some of the stress from school.  Or, simply just make them laugh.
  • They can support us by just being aware…. and acknowledge what we are going through.  Being someone we can talk to when we need it.
  • I think schools need to take into account the amount of all that is asked of their students… and consider amending some of their policie;, allow for more modifications and extensions.
  • Offer support groups for teens dealing with stress, anxiety or other issues.
  • Schools and parents can support teens dealing with stress by offering extra help.  Empathizing with them would REALLY help.  If teachers see a student is struggling they should try to help them, talk to them and find out more…. instead of dismissing them as lazy or incapable.
  • By teaching in a way that the grade you get on a test is not what defines you.  We are more than a grade, GPA or letter on a piece of paper.
What do you think is the biggest issue teens are dealing with right now?
  • School.  There is so much school related pressure and it can be a lot to deal with.
  • College; their future; the pressure they feel to succeed.
  • Stress, stress, stress.  College is super stressful and there is just a lot going on.
  • I think it’s really hard for teens to deal with “the bigger and better” mentality that schools perpetuate.
  • Going from high school to college; stress, grades, ACT, etc.… The thought of having to be “perfect” really stresses us out.
  • I think the biggest issue for teens is anxiety.  Between trying to maintain a high GPA, a social life and other activities, teens can become stressed and certain aspects of their life will begin to suffer.
Why do you thin teens experiment or begin to use alcohol or drugs?
  • To avoid the stress of what they are dealing with every day.
  • I think some people use it to cope with the things that they are dealing with and some people are influenced by others to start experimenting.
  • Since I was in the 5th grade I was told substance abuse and teens experimenting begin with peer pressure.  But now I realize that many teens experiment and use because of mental health issues that they are not being helped with.
  • I think they might feel overwhelmed by stress or anxiety and don’t really know what else to turn to or how to deal with it effectively and safely.
  • They try it because they see other people doing it…. the “cool” kids and they want to be like them or fit in better.
  • They are just stressed out and learn to develop substance use as an outlet.
  • Boredom or pressure by their friends.
  • It’s the same psychology we have as child when your Mom tells you not to do something; you want to and will find a way to do it anyway.
  • Pressure; peer and self-pressure.  We see others doing it and we want to do the same.  They think that if their peers don’t show consequences, they won’t either.
What do you think needs to be done to prevent teen substance use/abuse?
  • I think much more awareness should be spread on the damage drugs and alcohol puts on teens and the effect on others around them.
  • Change the way we educate and make teens aware of drinking and drug use.  Teens need to see it in a more serious consequential way. Not just with facts and stats, but teens need to hear from real people and their real-life consequences and issues that have happened.
  • Alternative ways of having fun are available… kids just need to know or be reminded.  Other ways to cope relax and de-stress also need to be made available.
  • More fun alternatives and education about substance abuse would help prevent kids from turning to drugs and alcohol.