TEEN VOICES: With Uncertainty Comes Opportunities

by Hannah Adamson

The teenage years seem to be a loosely defined bridge between childhood and adulthood. It is a time when adolescents start to gain new independence and responsibilities. That said, it can be overwhelming to grow into these new roles and prepare for the future.

While it may not be intentional, I feel that society places pressure on teens to know what they want to do with their lives and have a plan on how to accomplish it. High schools’ focus on the future—rigorous academic schedules, career aptitude tests, standardized tests—is intended to help teens pursue their goals. As a young teen, however, I found it overwhelming to think about what I wanted to do with my life. It was exciting in all its possibility, but also intimidating to think I had to have it all figured out. Continue reading

Teen Voices: Building a Bridge to Middle School Confidence

by Hannah Adamson

Moving to middle school was quite a change—a bigger school, new classmates, more freedom. It was exciting, but also overwhelming. At elementary school I had found my groove; I had found a great group of friends and participated in many group activities. Sixth grade began and none of my close friends were in my classes. Everything, and everyone, was new. I did become friends with people I met and joined new school activities, but something just wasn’t right. I started to worry more about my appearance, who the “cool kids” were, why the crowded cafeteria felt lonely and if the girls laughing behind me were laughing at me or at something completely unrelated. I began to question if people really liked me, if I was accepted, if I was happy. I had all of these worries in my head, but, for the most part, always had a smile on my face. I did not want anyone to know that I was lonely and insecure; everyone else seemed to be doing just fine.  Continue reading