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TEENS FOR KIDS

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Teens For Kids Stories
Click on the story titles below to read these teens real stories.
  Believe in Yourself - Luke
  Peer Pressure - Nicole
  Sharing Your Gifts - Dave
  Get Ready for High School - Ryan
  True Friendship - Stephanie
  Mean Girls - Becky
  Peer Pressure & Drugs - Sammy
  Time for Yourself & God - Cameron
  God in My Life - Matt
  Self Esteem & Respect - Lindsey
  The Power of Family - Kauri
  Doing Fun Things / Volunteering - Dylan
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advice@dadsforkids.org
 
"Always be a FIRST-RATE VERSION of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else!"
-Judy Garland
 
Getting Ready for High School, by Ryan
My name is Ryan and I am a Junior. I know you are gathered here tonight hoping to hear what to expect at the high school. I however, am more interested in offering you some advice for when you all make the jump from the middle school to the high school. That advice to you all would be to make sure you involve yourselves with other activities and organization besides school. For my point to come across clearly, I am going to tell you all about my high school experience so far.
I came into high school very nervous, but more excited. I knew it was going to be far different than middle school, and I was certainly ready for a change. I had my core group of friends, and an older brother in the high school, so I wasn't really worried about my security. The year started off pretty well. I was fortunate enough to be placed into classes with many of my friends and my teachers were all nice. For the first quarter of the school year, I had decided not to do any sports or clubs or anything of the sort, because I wanted to get settled and accustomed to life as a high school student. As the first few weeks of freshmen year progressed on, I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of homework I had; it was more than I had ever had in middle school. As a result I would always go home right after school, sit down and begin my homework. However, after about 20 minutes, I would look out the window and say to myself, "I can definitely find something better to do right now than this." I figured I had all night to finish my homework, why start so early? This would go on for pretty much the whole day and then into the night to the point where I would struggle to get my work done. I guess some of this delaying can be attributed to my having ADD, but I believe it was more to do with my lack of a routine and the structure of a steady schedule. For those of you who have ADD and for those of you that don't, sitting down to do homework after sitting most of the day in school I s really hard to do.
When the second quarter came around I wanted to try indoor track. I knew I could jump pretty high so I decided to train for high jump and long jump. So everyday after school I would go to track practice for about 2 hours and train. It was a wonderful experience for me, because I was actually pretty good and made varsity. After track I would take the late bus home. When I would return home I knew that I had homework that needed to be done, and I knew I didn't have all the time I did first quarter in which to do it. So as a result, I would come home sit down, and get all my work. It was evident that quality of my school work was better, and it showed because my GPA rose form a 3.6 to a 4.0.
When track ended, it was not long before freshmen baseball started. Baseball provided me with the same experience as track. It gave me something to do after, and it pretty much forced me to have a fixed routine. I would come home after baseball and get all my work done right away and when the third quarter came to an end I had achieved another 4.0 GPA.
Freshmen year ended on a high note, but sophomore was not so great. I decided not to do any sports during the fall season because I felt I needed a break. I went back into my old routine of the doing nothing after school. I started noticing the other kids who did nothing after school, were the ones were becoming more and more involved with drugs. I guess, for a lot of kids, since they had nothing else to do after school, why not go get high? I knew I had to stay away from those kids, but I realized I could potentially head down that same road. A lot of other things happened sophomore year that prevented me from wanting to do anything. My grandmother whom I was very close to passed away, my best friend went away to boarding school, my girlfriend who I had since the 8th grade and I broke up. A result of all those things, I decided I didn't really want to do anything. I decided not to do indoor track, but instead to just do nothing after school. I would come home and often times be depressed and not know what to do with myself. Spring came along and it was time to try out for baseball, which I was very excited for. However, I got cut from the team, which just added to my bad year. So one I again, I was doing nothing. My grades fell a lot that year, and I know it was because of my lack of a routine structure.
This year, I was determined not to let my self-slip into the ways of my sophomore year. So during the fall season I did crew daily in Norwalk. That was a very big commitment but it was something I w as willing to do. I would return home form crew at around 7 each night and almost immediately get started on my homework. I had a routine once again, and my grades were good. When crew ended, I knew I had to keep doing something. So, often times I would go snow boarding at my friend's house, and I began volunteering at St. Stephen's Middle School Youth Group weekly. Now I am playing volleyball everyday after school. My friends told me to try it out, and so far I love it. So far this year, my grades have been very good, and I've never been happier.
For me, having too much time on my hands is often times a bad thing, and in many cases it has worked against me. My free time does not have to be filled doing sports or clubs, but just fishing or swimming; just anything productive and fulfilling.
Hopefully my few suggestions will be helpful. In brief, high school is a far different place than middle school. A lack of something to do after school I believe is a very negative thing. I have seen many kids turn to drugs as something to do after school, simply because they have nothing else to keep them entertained or involved. Having something to do after school will give you more of a steady routine and provide structure in your life, and I know having that routine in mine has helped my grades very much. It doesn't really matter what you do, sports, clubs community services, religious programs whatever, just do something just so that you're not doing nothing. Thank you all for your time