Through Ups & Downs

Life is made of good times and bad times. Our teen volunteers share what they have learned to help you deal with all the ups and the downs of life.

Language Barrier Frustrations by Johnny Silvercloud

The one who doesn’t belong

  I can’t help but feel like an alien in an environment where everyone else seems to be so similar. Throughout my life, I can recall events when I’ve felt so alone that I was sure I was detached from the rest of the world. Here’s my story: When I entered kindergarten, I didn’t know […]

the drawing project - to part ways - 마법사

Misplaced Power

  Friendship is a very valued relationship in my life. For most of my life, my friendships have created happiness for me. They have guided me through easy and not so easy days. They have felt solid, as if my friends and I were opposite sides of the same rubber band; we can stretch but […]

Take this poison from inside of me. by daniellehelm

Fighting an Eating Disorder

  For me, it began when I started high school. I was stressed, yes. But did I have any idea I had an eating disorder? The answer is no. Day after day, I would feel accomplished if I went a certain number of hours without food. I would take a walk every day after school, […]

Friendship by Rainier Martin Ampongan

The Importance of Friendship

  Being a teen is hard- you’re just starting to figure yourself out, gain independence, and are learning how to balance all of your responsibilities. Through these years, it is so important to have a strong support system. A support system is a group of people, or even one person, who are there for you […]

Insomnia - by Roberta

Sleep – Easier done than said

  “Get more sleep!” That is definitely easier said than done. As teenagers, we have to hurdle over literal piles of books and paper for school, relationship problems with family and friends, and spontaneous emotional breakdowns. We’re running a marathon that never seems to end. So, how are we expected to sleep through all of […]

You - by Max Barners

How to Be the Real You

  Until recently, I didn’t really feel like I was truly myself 100 percent of the time. At school, I felt like I was trying to fit into some kind of mold or stereotype that most of my friends, or people who I thought were my friends, fit into. I was so fixated on being […]

Reach Out {Explored} by Susana Fernandez

How to Reach Out to a Friend That You’re Worried About

  Teen-to-teen interactions are already awkward enough without the added stress of mental health concerns. I mean, how difficult is it just to make the small decision to sit at a different table during lunch? When you’re worried about someone, there’s always this uncomfortable idea percolating in your head: should I say something, should I […]

I Am Beautiful - by Bunches and Bits (Karina)

Maintaining a Positive Body Image

  I believe that in our society, it is becoming more and more challenging to appreciate and love your body. We see these unrealistic advertisements and magazine covers of these often photoshopped men and women and expect our own bodies to be able to look this way. By setting these impossible standards, our media is […]

Failure is Cool by Nicolas Nova

Overcoming the Fear of Failure

  Failure can be terrifying. Whether it be with friends, at school, in sports, etc. Failure can often stop us from doing what we love. But, we need to be strong and not let failure over power us. We need to remember: every time we fail, we are one failure closer to success. Often times, […]

Exam by Xavi

How to deal with stress around exam time

  Homework, projects, tests, after school sports, and extra curricular activities are all expectations that we as students are expected to do. Not only do we have the pressure of our teachers, but additionally the pressure of our parents to do well in school and succeed. When we have all of these commitments, and often […]

Losing a Friend

  Our story isn’t like many others. We both didn’t meet in first grade. We didn’t graduate middle school together or obsess over our first crushes. My best friend and I were two 14 year-olds who just happened to sit across each other on the school bus on the first day of 9th grade. Our […]

Deaf by Cintia Paz

My Most Difficult Life Challenge Gave Me Strength and Wisdom

  Some things develop over time— hurricanes, puberty, and siblings getting along. Sometimes in an instant— like heart attacks, earthquakes, and the moment I went deaf. I was sitting in my fifth grade classroom, and there was no rustling of papers, no voices, and no hum of the air conditioning. It was as if someone […]

That Awkward Moment When... - by Elizabeth Ashley Jerman

Romance or Wreckage?

  As teens in the 21st century, we all see it. “Prefect” couple photos on Instagram with captions of the next milestone they’ve passed. “Happy” teens who hold hands in the hallways and kiss between passing periods. Many teens desire this and many teens achieve it. As our generation has seemingly driven us to believe, […]

Flirting is not consent - by Wolfram Burner

Sexual Assault in women – It’s NEVER your fault

  According to the New York Times, nearly one in five women surveyed said they had been raped or had experienced an attempted rape at some point. On top of that, one in four reported that they had been beaten by a loved one or intimate partner, and one in six reported that they had […]

Exam Stress/English Project

How I Managed My Academic Stress

  It’s a really overwhelming feeling; when you’re awake at 2 AM in the morning studying for three huge exams you have the next day, or when you are two days away from that SAT you want to score well on, but know that you have neither the motivation nor extra time to study. Academic […]

Nick gets his window seat - by Q Family

Misconceptions from Quick Judgment

  Misconceptions from Quick Judgment (Being quick to judge another person when you don’t really know them) We’ve all been there. Meeting the new friend of a friend and instantly judging them at first glance, whether we mean to or not. Fitting them into their esteemed box, labeling them a stereotype, or even assuming that […]

Stress - by Firesam!

Stress Management: Striving for Success and Independence

  Becoming an adult is a constant balancing act, often as a teenager this pressure causes unnecessary stress. Between school, family, extra-curricular activities and friends, staying organized and on top of things can become a daunting challenge. Becoming stressed and not knowing what to do is a very normal reaction, just take a step back […]

MFer Photography - seniors!

12th Grade Angst

  12th Grade Angst Throughout my life there has always been a clear vision of what I will do. A plan that consisted of 5 simple steps: I will graduate High School I will graduate from College Then I will get my masters and or doctorate I will have a successful career I will marry, […]