Though I currently live in the United States, in California, I am a British citizen, having lived in the UK for eleven years. I have known the feeling of moving to various places, adjusting to a new life each time. I will never forget the day when my parents informed me that there was a possibility we would be moving to the USA.
I totally understand the regretful feeling when someone in the lecture hall shouts the correct answer that has lingered in your mind since the teacher first posed the question. Oftentimes, you knew it was the right answer, and you weren’t exactly afraid of receiving negative feedback, but the spacious auditorium filled with dozens of students was simply too overwhelming. Born as an introvert, I have lived my life trying to avoid huge lecture-room classes and have learned to accept friends’ and families’ commands to, “Speak up.” “Be social.” “Talk to more people.” “Don’t be shy.”
I was lying on the floor of our living room, my body paralyzed. I had thought of the name “Dominique,” the name of a kid in my class who was failing biology. My hands were contaminated and had touched my leg because I had an itch. Damn itch. I had stayed hunched over trying not to think of “Dominique,” or “Mo,” or “Waleed.” It's hard when you’re trying not to think of something, however.
Ever since second semester of senior year started, I had been itching to leave high school. The monotonous bell schedule was beginning to bore me and only intensified my senioritis, which was already on full blast. I felt like I was only in class just so that I wouldn’t accrue too many absences.
I’ve written this piece to shine light on the joy that can stem from the little things in life. Below are 7 things that made my day today:
It’s been almost 17 years, and I’ve only recently come to realize the person who matters most in my life, is myself. From a very young age, we’ve learned to constantly try to please others, and in this effort, sometimes we’ve forgotten to love ourselves. Until recently, I would never say “no” to someone, as I’ve been known as a very kind, benevolent character. I’d especially never say “no” to my parents. Looking back, trying to please their expectations was probably the worst idea.
I think people function best when interacting with others; we are a social species after all! Like water molecules, if you isolate one, it will not show it's best properties. So, well-being for me is having friends I know I can trust. I don't always need them by my side... just the thought of them is comforting enough.
The following art portfolio portrays that when many small strokes or dots of color come together, they can create something beautiful - just like when people come together and unite, creating a beautiful community of compassion and support.
Beauty is everywhere. As a young child, I was curious about the world, but I quickly moved on from one thing to another, never taking the time to truly appreciate my surroundings.
My dad is a photographer, and as a 10 year-old, I lacked the ability to see the outstanding qualities in his photographs.
Bright, vibrant, and crisp yellow tulips appeared to me as dull. Breathtaking sunsets over the lake appeared to me as boring and uninteresting. However, today I could sit staring at his pictures for hours.
I know that it is hard for you to understand what I am going through because you have never felt this way before, but thank you for trying. I recognize that my illness is not something that you can see, but it is real and it does impair me from functioning in the same way that a physical illness can. Although this illness does not define me, it is a part of who I am so it is important that you understand. I want you to know what happens to me when I seem to disappear from myself and where it is that I go. Please be open and willing.
"Gay men are 'primed to expect rejection'. We’re constantly scanning social situations for ways we may not fit into them. We struggle to assert ourselves. We replay our social failures on a loop. The weirdest thing about these symptoms, though, is that most of us don’t see them as symptoms at all.”
Last week, I held an assembly on mental health for my school, Berkeley High. No event related to mental health awareness has ever taken place at BHS before, so I set out to organize an assembly that would provide students and teachers with information and resources.
TeenzTalk wishes you a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Listen to 15 teens from around the world share their messages, reflections, and best wishes for the upcoming year. Click Read More to watch the video.
I have been through a lot of challenges as a teenager growing up on the dusty streets of Sithobela, Swaziland. Walking 7 km to and from school every day, working long hours in the fields just to get food... However, unlike most of my peers, I have in the back of my mind a sense of true determination and perseverance, in spite of all the difficulties I am faced with daily. One question I trouble myself with is, "persevere for what exactly?".
Too much school work! I don’t feel like staying in my room any longer! What do I do? It’s very simple.
Whether utterly stressed or not at all – sad, happy, angry, or calm – nature and music have proven to complete my life. The good thing is, they are always there, easily accessible, waiting for me. And you.
In a country where governmental respect and concern are only given to the “upper class” in society, and where laws and beliefs are still established on a sexist basis, it’s hard to find happiness and mental relief. Living in a community where dreaming big falls under the wrong mindset, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay away from mental illness.
All humans have certain rights to live a sustainable life, and today we celebrate those rights on International Human Rights Day. One of the most important rights of all humans, regardless of who they are or where they come from, is their right to happiness. I know that sounds a bit generic or broad, but nowadays, living in a world full of wars, stress, and mistrust, it can be hard to live the happy life which we are entitled to.
The lack of gender equality in this world is a major concern. Every dollar that a male earns equates to 82c that a female of the same job receives. This refers to the gender pay gap. On average, women earn $283.20 less than men per week. In Australia, 1 in 5 women have endured sexual assault since the age of 15. In a study from 2007-2012, one in four women experience sexual harassment in their workplace.
This past year, being a reporter was the most dangerous profession in my country, Mexico. Reporters who spoke up about real issues and used the media to reveal the truth about politicians, leaders, and current situations were suddenly missing, and then found dead days later, with no sign of the culprit.
Since the universal declaration of human rights (UDHR) by the United Nations, the implementation of these rights around the world has been a myth, due to the fact that human rights are not universal, as geographical, economical, political, and cultural differences are evident around the world. Human rights have the potential to form an “ideal” world, yet implementing these set of rights is incredibly challenging.
Everywhere in the world, access to high quality education varies between different socio-economic groups. This variation could be considered to stem from genetic influences, but it is also the result of differences in access to resources and opportunities. Australia is no exception.
The TeenzTalk blog is here to amplify teens' stories on topics including personal challenges, wellness strategies, initiatives in their community, passionate pursuits, & more.