Teen Voices: Help Build a Kinder World, One Person at a Time

by Hannah Adamson

Uplifting humanity can start with lifting up just one person. Recently it seems that negativity has been inundating the news through violence, hate and tragedy. While we may not be able to immediately correct these major issues, as individuals we do have the power to spread positivity to those we meet. Simple acts of kindness contribute to the ripple effect that builds a better world. Here are some quick and easy ideas of how to spread positivity:  Continue reading

Teen Voices: Be Heard. Make a Difference.

As young adults and teens, we need to start taking action on issues where we want to see something changed. We can’t just look at these issues and say someone else will do it. We were given a voice so now as teens need to use it, especially on issues that affect us more than they affect adults such as school shootings. We have to stop school shootings nationwide because we are the ones sitting in the classrooms not knowing if we are safe. We are the ones that go to school every day to get a good education. We don’t go to school to worry about whether or not we will come home that day or see our parents again. We are the ones in the classrooms, so we need to be the ones to make the change.  Continue reading

TeenVoices: Back to School: What Teens Want Their Parents to Know

  • That alarm going off in the morning isn’t easy to hear. Not only do we want another five minutes… we need it. It can be difficult to transition from the “sleep-ins” of the summer to the early rises for school.
  • First day appearances are important to us. We want to make sure we show our best selves on the first day which can be hard when complicated by teen struggles like acne, bad hair days and a lack of self-confidence.
  • Cafeteria politics. With new class schedules, it’s not a guarantee that all our friends have the same lunch time, and there is somewhat of an unspoken rule that where you sit on the first day determines the rest of the year. It can be difficult to choose where to sit and find new friends within the first few minutes of lunch. 
  • Going back to the structured routine of school after the freedom of the summer can be tricky. It’s strange to go from free-flowing summer days to having lunch at a certain time and even having to ask to go to the bathroom.
  • Homework! I could go on about this one for a while. It is hard when teachers assign lots of homework, especially when we have multiple classes to worry about and extracurricular obligations.
  • Time management is a learned skill. It may take us a while to find our groove when it comes to balancing schoolwork, sports/activities and free time.
  • Tests, tests, and oh, did I mention tests? Tests are frequent and can be quite stressful, especially when there are many tests all within the same week. While we know that parents may not like the grade we get on an exam, we want you to know that the material is challenging, and we do our best.
  • Social aspects. School is so much more than just academics. It’s a mixture of trying to find the right friend group and feeling comfortable with who you are. It’s not an easy process and there is no formula to get the “right” answer. We are still discovering ourselves.
  • We will make mistakes and might not live up to perceived expectations. We need your support and understanding during these times. A discussion and collaborative approach on how to improve things is better than feeling failure and disappointment.

Really the list could go on and it varies from person to person. Just know that high-school really is hard in all its different aspects. Support and patience is valued as we go through all these back-to-school challenges.

Hannah Adamson is a senior in high school. She practices meditation and takes ThetaHealing courses with Reshma Shah in Westfield, New Jersey. September 2018

Teen Voices: The Family Connection

by Hannah Adamson

Sitting in the kitchen with my 92-year-old grandfather, listening to stories about driving tractors, plucking strawberries and carrying water from the well, I am reminded of the challenges and lessons embedded in my family’s past. While Grandad may not understand iPhones or the internet, he knows more about life than I possibly could at 17. With this in mind, I feel it is invaluable for teens like myself to take time to listen to our own histories and spend time with family.  Continue reading

Teen Voices: The Benefits of Technology in Moderation

by Hannah Adamson

Teens are often criticized for being addicted to technology and disconnected from real life. While it is true that many teens spend a lot of time using smartphones and surfing the internet, it’s important to note some of the positive effects of using such technology.  Continue reading

Teen Voices: Stress-Relieving Strategies for Teens

Last month, I talked about the stress that is placed on teens that are striving for academic achievement while simultaneously excelling in extracurricular activities. They want to get into a good college, follow their dreams, build a future and ultimately become “successful” adults. While these things may be important, growing up is not all about getting somewhere or becoming someone. We need to take time to find joy in the present moment, otherwise the journey to adulthood becomes overwhelming and loses its purpose.

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Teen Voices: The Stress is Real

by Hannah Adamson

One of the common phrases I hear at school is, “Ugh, I’m so stressed out,” so I took a closer look as to why. High school is a difficult bridge between childhood and adulthood, with teen stress stemming from many factors, most notably academic and social concerns.

Academics are rigorous, with challenging curriculums, large amounts of homework and standardized tests. Working to succeed becomes especially difficult when mixed with a multitude of extracurricular commitments, such as clubs, sports, performance groups, jobs and more. It is not uncommon for teens to arrive home at six or seven o’clock and still have two or three hours of homework to complete for the next day. On top of this daily time crunch, many teens are also concerned about the future—whether intended or not, teens feel the pressure to know what career path and/or college they should choose.

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Why Meditate?

by Hannah Adamson

High school is exciting, but it can be overwhelming. With an increased workload, challenging academics and an abundance of extracurricular activities, it’s easy to become stressed and caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all. While it may be difficult to find a few hours to relax, it’s easy to take a few minutes to re-align yourself through simple meditations. Deep breathing, visualization, mantras and other techniques offer opportunities to focus inward and disconnect from all our present worries and obligations.

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