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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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"Always be a FIRST-RATE VERSION of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else!"
-Judy Garland
 
Peer Pressure - Drugs & Alcohol, by Sammy
So you are on your way to your first day of high school. Are you ready? Do you have your book-bag, pencils, paper, and notebook? Did you forget your lunch? Did you remember to wear your cool new sneakers? Oh, and one more thing, did you bring your common sense? High school is a very scary place for freshman. They are apprehensive, and nervous about grades, upperclassmen, and popularity. At least I know that I was.
Now let's focus on popularity. If you are in the "popular crow" in middle school, you naturally assume that things will stay that way. However, in high school, for some reason drinking and doing drugs becomes the cool thing to do, and refusing to do so makes you un-cool. Popularity is no longer based on your good qualities but instead on whether you drink or not. Most freshman and sophomore students are weak. They cannot stand not being in the cool crowd. Because of this, they give into the other students and start drinking. They sacrifice their well being for the chance to be popular for a few years of your life. Will they still be popular among their high school friends when they reach age 40? No, of course not, but they may still have a drinking problem.
One thing that you must realize is that you should be strong and say no, even if it means not being in the popular crowd. One of the greatest fallacies about drinking is that "everyone is doing it." It is true that a large amount of high-schoolers do, but not all. It is important to surround yourself with friends who don't drink. Form your own group, and forget about the popular crowd. What makes those kids popular? You may have noticed that if you are not in the popular crowd, then you envy or dislike the members of the crowd. If everyone dislikes these kids, then why are they popular? It is because they proclaim themselves as the cool ones. Getting wasted and having hang-overs is not cool. Besides, you can be well-known and well-liked without being in the popular crowd. For example, I have several good friends who do not drink or do drugs. Everyone knows who we are, and we even have some friends in the so-called "popular crowd." We do not agree with what they do, nor participate, but that doesn't matter to us because we know that we are doing the right thing.
At a football game earlier this year, some girl behind me said to her friend, "We shouldn't get drunk at the game. That's not cool. We will drink later." I turned around and said to the girl in a sarcastic tone, "Yeah, drinking is definitely a bad idea at a football game, but afterwards would be a great time to drink." She laughed and nodded her head, and totally missed the point that I was being sarcastic. I was purposely pointing out the stupidity in her comment. A freshman kid in one of my classes was commenting on how everyone has to have at least had one drink before. I looked at that kid and said, "Not me. I have never had a drop of alcohol." I had to courage to stand up to that child, and did not worry how it would affect my popularity. I know that it is more important to do what is right, then to gain a few notches in the high-school hierarchy of students.
Some of you young students may have heard that even if you decline to drinking, kids will continue to ask you to drink until you say yes. This is only true if you do not speak your mind. If someone asks you to drink, and you reply "Not now, maybe another time," in an attempt to get that person to leave you alone, they will ask again. However, if you say, "No, I don't drink," they will leave you alone. It may cost a friendship, but what is more important: losing a friend or losing your life to drugs and alcohol? Besides, if that person truly is your friend, they will respect that. As I have already mentioned, I have friends who drink. They all know that I don't, and the majority of them respect that. They don't ask me to participate, because they know how I feel about it.
Many of you kids in this room will decide that everything I am saying right now is pointless. You have heard it a thousand times, and you have lodged it in a place in the back of your minds. You may think, "I won't drink, you don't need to remind me." When you get to high school you will realize how hard it is to not become part of that crowd. Many of you will make the decision to drink, thinking that it can't harm anyone but yourselves, and you are willing to take that risk. That is the worst way to think. Drinking doesn't just affect you, but your family and friends as well. I have multiple friends who drink. When I think about them, I can't help but feel sorrowful. I see them throwing away their lives, and would like to do something to make them stop. All that I can do is talk to them, but I can't make the decision for them, just as I can't make the decision for all of you. I can present you with the facts and it is up to you to make the right decision.
Now what was that thing I mentioned at the very beginning of this talk. It was something about common sense. If you have common sense then the choice is easy. DON'T DRINK. If you think of the consequences it is the only practical choice. You can choose not to drink, have great friends, maintain good health, maintain your safety, and still have fun doing other activities. Or you could drink and do drugs, become part of a bad crowd, get in trouble with the law, get sick with alcohol poisoning, or even die in a drug/alcohol related accident. But of course you will be "cool," that is if you do not kill yourself in the process. Be smart, and don't give into the peer pressure of drugs and alcohol.