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Note: The content below is a part of a story on Huffington Post, written by a student. Please click the link to read Editor’s note and the rest of the story.
- Don’t back down. It is a cliché, but I mean it. There will be times when life may be dark, when even the sun lacks its brightness, and all will feel cruel and hopeless. I have been there, and I have done everything in my power to never return to that state of emotion. Find someone to lean on; there has to be someone out there you can find to support you and your life. If there’s no one in real life, then there are plenty of forums and websites where trustworthy people are available to talk to… you can even trust me. But please, do not give up on life. Your life is too precious to lose; if I had known life would be so good five years ago, I would have gone through high school like a champion, but life wasn’t meant to be that easy, as we must mature and learn through our own battles that we can naturally conquer. You will find your bastion of hope. This world is not that bad; I assure you that there is a place where you can celebrate and sing your identity among others who love you.
- Find your support network, and keep it. Friends will be everything to you in these hard times of bullying; friends can be anybody you can trust, such as family, teachers, and even your dentist.
- Pursue an education. Yes, some of us might not be good at math or writing, but we all have our strengths and weakness when it comes to the world of academia. Hone in on your strengths, and go to college, and work toward a career. Major in a field that you are willing to dedicate your life to (it is not easy to choose which major to study, but you will get there). Make your education and your college life fun, but do not be careless. A good education is a good life; stray away from it and you will regret it in the long run.
- Follow your passions. Aside from academics, find something you personally love to do or think you would love to do. This could be something like cooking, fashion design, painting, writing, or even running. For example, since middle school I have always wanted to dance, and in college I was given the chance to do just that. Ever since I started dancing, I have been so happy, and I long to improve and learn more. Doing what you love really keeps your mind focused on something you know will make you happy. And happiness is always welcome, right?
- Do not be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes you may think you can solve issues like bullying on your own, but it is best to seek help when you need it.
Teens and Healthy Relationships
Maybe you’re the parent of a teen, or maybe someday you will be. What sort of advice are you going to give them about their romantic entanglements? Spoiler alert: it can be complicated, but they’re going to really need you. So get ready.
Parents play a key role in helping kids define and establish healthy relationships, and can also keep an eye out for signs that their child might be in an abusive relationship. Changes in behavior and rejecting friends to spend more time with a boyfriend or girlfriend are key indicators. That’s why it’s crucial for parents to always know where their teens are and who they are with, and that they get to know their teen’s friends and boyfriend or girlfriend.
Every pro-enforced-boundaries discussion comes back to the idea that teens are not full and complete human beings capable of making their own decisions and living their own lives. They’re irresponsible, “unfinished,” untrustworthy, and otherwise faulty. I have very little patience for the condescension, rigid attempts at control, and outright disgust and mockery that teens regularly have to deal with, because ultimately, all of this is sending some very harmful messages: there’s something wrong with you. You’re not good enough. Because of your age, you don’t deserve to be treated well and fairly.
There are plenty of rationalizations made for the treatment teens receive, of course. From the scientific there’s-something-wrong-with-their-brains (instead of celebrating the difference as just another stage of life), to “they secretly like being controlled”, also known as control as a sign of love. There was recently a discussion on Facebook about teens and access to the internet, with much discussion by some parents in the thread about spying on their children (literally going into their email and Facebook accounts, and looking at their web history), and informing their children they were spying because they love them. Now, I can respect that those parents really do love their children, and that their actions are driven by fear which is driven by love, but I don’t think these parents realize just how differently their teens most likely see things. What I posted on that thread was:Snooping on a teen’s internet activities is every bit as bad as reading their diary, as far as I’m concerned. Both are WRONG and a major violation of trust. It’s horrifying for me to even think of the betrayal I would have felt had my parents hacked into any of my online accounts, checked history on my computer, or anything else. Good relationships and open communication are what’s needed to help keep teens safe, NOT creepy things like reading their email (and Facebook messages, etc.)!
The idea that control shows love makes sense if you’re used to there only being two options when it comes to parenting teens: pay lots of attention to your kids by placing lots of rules and restrictions on them, or ignore them entirely and neglect their needs. But once you realize that there are more options than that, you can see that control as love is far from the best way things can be.
This and more brilliance from Idzie, who we think is amazing, here.
It pisses me off too. The first zine I tried to make back in high school was actually about teen issues and not being taken seriously. It was called TeenScream. I’m extremely passionate about this and a lot of what I strive for is for teens to be taken more seriously and treated more like adults. They get shafted a lot in laws, by parents, and by schools. Especially any minority.
Hepatitis C Infection Increasing Among Adolescents, Young Adults
The incidence of hepatitis C infection is increasing among adolescents and young adults in Pennsylvania, just as it has in other areas in the United States, according to surveillance data for 2003 through 2010.
During that 7-year period, the number of reports of newly recognized confirmed or probable cases of hepatitis C past or present infection among those aged 15-34 years increased from 1,384 to 2,393, representing a near doubling of the rate of cases (from 43 to 72) per 100,000 population, Dr. Sameh W. Boktor reported in a poster at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The rates in other age groups, however, declined during this time period.
For example, the overall rate of newly reported cases for all age groups combined declined from 85 to 72 per 100,000 population, and the rate of cases among those aged 45-64 years declined from 185 to 142 per 100,000 population, said Dr. Boktor of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Harrisburg.
The increases in the adolescent and young adult age groups are likely caused by high-risk behaviors, such as intravenous drug use and unprotected sex between men – and, to a lesser degree – unprotected heterosexual sex.
Read the rest at Family Practice News here.