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.
It was at the age of fifteen that I first became acquainted with the word ‘depression’. Living in a modest, joint family in Pakistan, the word was unfamiliar to me until then. Returning from school one day, I had discovered my aunt in a state of motionlessness that was not only frightening but deeply disturbing. My aunt had been suffering from chronic depression and had tried to commit suicide.
“Why did you start The Perspective Movement?”
This stomach-twisting question constitutes the most painful part of running this social movement. In answering it, I slip into long periods of self-reflection and mental isolation. Only one year after starting this social movement, I find that the mental picture I have formed of my future revolves around the development of my country—and thus of the movement.
Almost my entire last year and the first part of this year were a huge disappointment for me. I had never worked harder in my life and had never lost more matches in my life. As a junior player, I was used to winning almost 90 percent of the time. I rarely went a month without winning a big tournament. I never expected that to change. This constant winning required hard work, but nothing compared to the level of work I started putting in when I was trying to make the transition from the juniors to the pros.
I guess everyone has their niche in life. Mine is definitely being an artist. I usually work with watercolor, which happens to be quite a rare craft these days. I’ve heard from many people that art is hard to make, and I’ve heard from many artists that watercolor is especially difficult! The reason I use watercolor is because I can apply it in layers just like Photoshop; it allows me to build depth in color and form.
My subjects are usually my inspiration. When I travel, I bring my sketchbook with me to sit and sketch the places I see.
I am privileged enough to not only be a high school student but also a student of horsemanship. Training and riding horses requires a great deal of commitment, however, I value this commitment greatly. By practicing my passion, I have learned many things about myself that have shaped my attitude towards learning and my future.
In order to work with horses, an understanding of the link between a horse’s psychology and physiology is imperative.
I have a few questions. I witness death, disease, desensitization, destruction and an abhorrent lack of empathy among the people of this planet. 'What makes one man unavoidably the enemy of another?'
I have a few questions. I see the beauty of architecture in the mosques, synagogues, churches and temples and I smile to myself at the amalgamation of human intellect with nature.
The core of youth empowerment lies in schools. It has become a new concept that students should have a say in their learning. It is also widely accepted that there is a common problem at schools: the gap in communication between teachers and students. This has led to dilemmas - such as the lack of student connectivity in classrooms, discords between teachers and students, and the suppression of youth empowerment.
TeenzTalk's Blog is here to amplify youth stories & perspectives on topics including personal challenges, self-care practices, initiatives in their community, & more.