Sunday, July 22, 2012
This is another post about Kurt*. If you read my previous post about Kurt then you know he was my boyfriend before he was put on probation for doing drugs. Before that though, he partied hard. He drank a lot and often.
One night, Kurt drank way too much. He didn't pass out for a long time but he couldn't remember anything the next day but doing shots. His so called friends gave him a recount the next day which he then told me. Turns out Kurt had stumbled to another party at a different house where he was hitting on a lot of girls. One of the girls was pretty drunk as well and they ended up going somewhere together. His friends lost him for a while after that. By the time they found him, he had lost one of his shoes and was passed out. They're pretty sure he slept with that girl, who was and still is a total stranger. Kurt said he wouldn't even know her if he saw her again because he was so drunk.
As his girlfriend at the time, I got to hear about all of this the next day. Kurt is very intelligent and I didn't think his drinking was a problem. This night showed me that it was a lot worse than I thought it was. For all we know, Kurt could have had a kid. Just because someone tells you they don't have a problem, does not make it a fact. If you accompany your friend to a party, make sure one of you stays sober even if you're walking home. One person should be the voice of reason.
*Names have been changed at the request of those involved
Category: Underage Drinking
Tan skin is in! The hottest color of the year! The browner, the better!
Recently it seems that tanned skin is everywhere in magazines and commercials and other public media. It is a trend that is taking over with surprising speed. Back in the day, pale skin was a sign of wealth because it meant you weren't in the sun working. Now a days it seems that tan skin is a sign of beauty. Whether from the sun or a tanning bed, it's all the rage.
I am a very pale girl. Sometimes my parents and I joke that I'm actually slightly transparent I'm so white. I've never had a problem with my skin tone but the influx of emphasis on bronzed beauties had made me take a second look. Still, I don't fall for the media. Any change in skin tone is bad for you, ask any doctor. In my mind, tanning will become the new smoking; a deadly trend of a generation past. So even though I'm whiter than paper, I still slop on sunscreen every time I go out. I might not be on trend now, but I'll be alive later.
What do you guys think about the trend? Are you willing to risk your health for beauty?
Category: Body Image
I have never done drugs. Although offered, I have never smoked weed or chewed tobacco or anything else. That's why this post is not about me but about someone I loved.
I was in class when I got the call. The person on my caller ID was the best friend of my boyfriend, Kurt*. He never calls me so I wondered what the occasion was. I answered the phone cheerfully only to be greeted by a long pause. Then came the words that eventually ruined my relationship and my trust in Kurt.
Kurt was in jail.
There is nothing worse than being on the receiving end of this call. You see it all the time in movies, the one-phone-call-allowed-dial-your-parents bit but you don't know the impact it has until you are standing there with the phone pressed to your ear asking... "why? Why did he do it? What drove him to reach that point?" So many questions and even more emotions ran through my head. I broke down crying and began kicking cars in the schools parking lot.
I made sure he was okay. His friend assured me that they were bailing him out as soon as possible but it might be a day or so because he wasn't coherent yet. They said they would take care of it all and that I shouldn't worry. Ha.
Over the next few days, I got the whole story. Kurt had been hanging one with one of his friends, Mike*, and they decided to drop some acid. This wasn't the first time Kurt had done acid and I didn't approve so he had promised not to do it again. While they were tripping, they joined some friends who were smoking a bong. The started passing the bong around and Kurt and Mike took a few hits. He had no idea what was in the bong but the acid prevented him from thinking through the situation. The bong did not just contain weed but also coke and molly, another name for ecstasy. The combination of drugs in his system essentially made him go crazy. He ran out into the street, yelling things people couldn't understand, saying his name over and over until eventually someone called the cops. It took three guys to eventually tackle him to the ground, handcuff him, and take him to the hospital and eventually jail. It took him three days in a jail cell to become normal enough to form a sentence.
He was given a year on probation with community service. He is forbidden from ever living in the dorms at his college again. Mike had to leave the college altogether. Not only was Kurt charged with possession and use of drugs, resisting arrest and a battery of other crimes, he broke the trust of his friends and his girlfriend. He had told us he had stopped, that he wasn't going to do more drugs. He lied. Our relationship crumbled afterwards. I couldn't trust what he said when we were together and didn't believe him when he said he wasn't doing anything when we were apart. Bad decisions and one phone call changed the course of our relationship forever.
My friends in class that day saw the effects of being on the other end of the line. Don't put someone in that position. Don't do drugs, don't go to jail and don't hurt the people who love you. It's not worth the high.
Category: Substance Abuse
Saturday, June 16, 2012
What does confidence mean to you? To me, it means standing up on stage and delivering a speech or playing a character without feeling sick to my stomach. I was so shy and nervous when it came to performing that I would shut myself off from anything on a stage. I liked the idea of acting, I liked the idea of confidence but I never had it. Sure I could dance on stage, that wasn’t an issue. The real issue came when I had to speak or sing. I always felt like steps were so much easier to deliver than lines and no one could really notice you if you danced. They weren’t looking at you so much as the dance itself. But when you speak, it’s you alone on that stage and I thought if you mess up, that’s it.
But one day I decided I wanted to push myself by joining a theater camp for a week. This camp was not typical, though, it was based on physical theater. A lot of it was about moving your body, expressing yourself through your body. It used a different outlet to tell a story versus using a script and words. This was probably the best introduction to theater and the best way for me to gain confidence on stage. The reason being it allowed me to be on stage but really focus on telling the story with my body rather than with what I said. It helped me see that everything is important, not just what you say. So I started to think, if I was fine with dancing on stage and using my body to express myself then it should be the same for when I speak. Gradually I started to gain more and more confidence when performing. Now I can deliver speeches, play characters, even sing on stage without ever shutting down. That has been the biggest accomplishment of my life and I can’t tell you how it has improved my attitude and personality.
I got my confidence from theater and I think a lot of teens have too. It’s one of the best ways of truly feeling confident in yourself. It’s been a real outlet for teens to express themselves and to find security in a world where they might not usually have one. If you’ve felt like you haven’t been able to really express yourself or that you don’t have as much confidence as you would like, you should definitely give theater a try. It worked out so well for me and it can definitely do the same for you!
Category: Self Esteem
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
"Opponents of lowering the MLDA [Minimum Legal Drinking Age] argue that teens have not yet reached an age where they can handle alcohol responsibly, and thus are more likely to harm or even kill themselves and others by drinking prior to 21" (cited on http://drinkingage.procon.org/).
At 18, I can vote, I can drive, I can hunt, I can even go to war for my country but I can't sit down and enjoy a glass beer or wine with my family. Aren't we classified as adults when we reach 18? We're certainly given the responsibilities of such by being sent to college or the army. And yet the government still doesn't see us as ‘mature’ enough. Alcohol is a danger to anyone who drinks more then they can handle, not just teens. If we’re classified as adults by the age 18, we should be able to make our own choices, including whether or not we drink alcohol.
What I find to be so backward though is the fact that we can drive when we are 16. In the quote above, it states that we can't 'handle alcohol responsibly' at 18 but they think we can handle driving responsibly at 16? It states that when we consume alcohol, we pose a threat to ourselves and to others. What the government fails to address is that they have led to a dramatic increase in teen car accidents by simply establishing a low driving age. They fail to recognize how much more of a threat we are to everyone when we are put on the road at such a young age versus when we drink. “Risk is the highest at age 16, when the fatal crash rate is 40 percent higher than for 18 year-olds and 30 percent higher than for 19-year-olds” (cited from http://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/safe-driving-resources.aspx).
I’ve always thought that the drinking age should be lower to 18 and the driving age be raised to 18. Because the drinking age is so high and the driving age is so low, it’s led to a huge increase in teen drunk driving. "Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and one out of three of those is alcohol related (cited on http://www.madd.org/statistics/). Decreasing the drinking age won’t prevent teen drinking but increasing the driving age will improve drunk driving incidents. It gives teens a couple years to experiment however they want to without running the risk of getting into car accidents.
I know this has been a big debate for many years so what do you guys think about it? I know my view is just one of many and I’d love to hear yours!
Monday, May 21, 2012
Like every teenage girl, I look in the mirror.. a lot. But not because I like what I see. I'll just stand there and point out every one of my flaws, whether it's my skin or my weight. I just can't seem to see myself in any sort of positive light. I can't even accept compliments, I get embarrassed because I feel like people feel obliged to compliment me but they don't really mean it. No matter what anyone says the thought runs through my mind every time. Even this last year, it was my first year at college and I gained a lot more weight than intended. After that, my mentality completely plummeted.
I try and fix my flaws like exercising to lose a few pounds but every time I feel good about that, I find a new flaw to pick at. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to walk around and feel completely and ordinarily flawed while tv ads and magazine ads all flaunt these drop dead gorgeous women. They push it in your face like 'you have to be this way if you want to look good.' All of the diet plans, all of make up ads promote the sense that natural, flawed beauty isn't good enough. I know I compare myself to others, it's not something I can help so I really don't appreciate that media highlights these models that don't reflect day-to-day women. The very concept that an ad wants to draw you in, make you want to look like the model, leads to all kinds of body image distortions. Sure they may be advertising a particular eye make-up but what we really look at is the whole model. Her shape, her height, her clothes, her face; we don't just look at the eye make-up and say 'oh I want my eyes to look like hers.' No we say 'I want to look like her' and that's where the real issues begin. Most models don't even look all that great without the editing and make-up so why should we aspire to look these models when they don't even look like that themselves?
So what do you see when you look in the mirror?
Monday, May 14, 2012
So I didn't realize that this month, particularly May 17th, is all about Cyber Awareness, whether it's cyberbullying or sexting and I've come to understand that this is something new to our generation. My parents, my grandparents, my teachers never had social media to connect with friends and instantly chat with them. Bullying back then was all done by old fashioned face-to-face comments. Now that we have social media sites like Facebook or Twitter and can instantly chat or text, send pictures, comment on posts, we've become a lot more connected then ever before but also a lot more aggressive.
If you think about it, how easy is it to post a comment on Facebook without properly thinking it through? I do it all the time, it's second nature. You see a photo, you like it and you comment. But some people find it second nature to be cruel. They post comments that demoralize individuals and they find power in it. It is so easy to say something mean to someone through a text or through comments versus saying it to their face. They can't see the victim's reaction so they think it's funny and harmless but really it does a lot more damage then they intended. Comments don't stay within a person's profile either, they go viral and the affect of just one negative comment could lead to thousands. I've seen it myself and it gets ugly. I can't even imagine how it must feel to be personally attacked like that by so many people, can you?
Once it's on the website, you can't take it back no matter how hard you try. Did you know that Facebook actually owns the rights to all of the pictures you post on your profile? No matter how hard you try to delete them, they will stay on there. I've had a few photos myself that I've wanted to delete from my profile because I thought of them as embarrassing but all I could do was untag myself. I couldn't get rid of them officially since someone else posted them on their profile. I do wish though that they hadn't been posted in the first place.
Since this is something new to our generation, the best people to reach out to are your friends. They know more than anyone what it's like to be apart of social medias and maybe even being attacked themselves. Don't let it be something you deal with on your own. Just getting the word out there that you are in some way affected by it means you're doing something to stop it.
How many of you have been affected by cyberbullying or sexting? How many of you know a friend who has been affected? What are your thoughts?
Friday, April 08, 2011
We all believe that facebook is the safest social network out there, right? I mean everyone is able pick their friends knowing that strangers can’t see your profile and we trust that all our friends will respect our own profile.
What we don’t realize is that it’s the central harbor for bullies. Bullies feed off of fear and low self-esteem, especially when they’re insecure themselves. In the past, bullies would harass a person to their face, make comments, push them around. But with those kinds of comments and abuse, it could always be amended; it didn’t have to be permanent.
Today if you were to post a comment on facebook that you think is an innocent joke, it could cause a frenzy of comments. What you throw out there initially may start as something simple and innocent enough but others can always add to it with more abusive, spiteful posts. This builds until you have hundreds of kids ganging up on just one. If you ever wanted to take it back, you couldn’t.
What you post on the internet stays on the internet. Just deleting a comment doesn’t mean that it is completely gone. It leaves a mark. Abusive comments spread like a disease on facebook and even if your innocent contribution is gone, someone else is already replacing it with something much more hateful.
Is it right to turn a whole group of people against one? No. Is it right to think that you can get away with it, that it’s not as serious since it wasn’t said to their face? No.
Cyber bullying has been a huge issue since the introduction of facebook, msn or any other site. What’s worse is that some of us turn into bullies without even knowing it, just for kicks. And once we start, we can’t go back. What you type about someone is just as bad as what you say to them. But this time everyone can see your comments and read them and make comments of their own.
Think before you type.
Sunday, April 03, 2011
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me." Have you ever heard this quote? In my thirteen years I have been around I have never heard a quote so incorrect as this one! When people go through life they are always going to receive an immature and rude comment from someone. I can almost assure you that those comments will stick with you forever. Whenever you're down, those comments like, "Oh your so ugly" or "You're so fat" will pop into your head.
Just recently a certain type of bullying has increased in the U.S. This type of bulling is cyberbullying; that is when someone is insulting you or threatening you through the technology we have today. For example through phones, facebook, twitter, aim, etc.! Cyberbullying is so dangerous that it can cause people to go into depression or even worse -- want to die!
My point is watch what you say to someone because they will always have to live through whatever mean thing was said.
To close this all up: Sticks and stones can hurt my bones but words can really hurt ME!
Friday, March 25, 2011
Some of us are innocent. Some of us are witnesses. Others of us are guilty.
Whether we like it or not, bullying has been a universal issue. Whether we know it or not, each one of us has had a personal experience with bullying.
When I was around eight years old, my family moved to Switzerland and I went to a local French school. I had no idea how to speak French so, as you can imagine, it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. After a few weeks of getting to know my class, trying to communicate with them on some level, I started to feel a little more confident and comfortable with my new surroundings.
I don’t know how or when it started but I suddenly felt a lot of aggression and anger from two, older boys. It started off with just looks and snide comments that I didn’t really understand. But then it got worse. Eventually it got to a point where everywhere I turned, they were there pushing me to the floor, yelling at me to go home, go back to where I belong. It hurt a lot more psychologically then it did physically. Eventually I started to believe what they were saying. I started to feel like I was an outcast, that I didn’t belong there.
I finally had the courage to tell my mom everything. My mom dealt with it just like any parent would, she told my teacher. Now my teacher had the most unorthodox way of working out a solution. She sat my entire class down and simply told them what happened to me. She didn’t expect anything from them, just made them aware.
Then the most memorable thing happened. When we were released for recess and the boys started to harass me, my entire class stood in front of me and forced them to back off. They stood up against them, yelling at them to leave me alone and they did! After that they never ever looked at me again.
I was a victim. I didn’t understand what I did to deserve it and still cant to this day. But no matter what, it’s important to speak up and speak out. Bullying will continue to exist if people don’t do anything about it. It helped me and it can definitely help you. Whether you are a victim or a witness, the best thing is to make others aware because they will give you the best kind of support.
In Search of Me Cafe
Hey, I’m Adam
Visit us on Facebook! or email me
“We’ve created a place on the internet for you to ask the questions
you’ve always wanted to ask. So take a look around, then let us know
what you think about it. You might make a really good point about
something, then see what others think about it as well. It’s getting
involved, and sharing ideas about all kinds of subjects.”
I'm Adam. I joined this web site because I really appreciate what In
Search of Me Cafe is trying to do. When I was faced with tough choices
I never really had a lot of people to talk to. Often I was embarrassed
asking for advice on awkward stuff from my friends and family. I think
if there had been an In Search of Me Cafe when I was making tough
decisions it would have really helped me.
enough about why I like this site so much. I have always liked to party
and I love chillin’ with my friends. Obviously partying can lead to
some tough life choices; I had my first alcoholic drink when I was 13.
That may seem pretty young but I grew up in Europe where the legal age
was 16. Yes I know... that’s still underage.
I was underage. It’s easy to drink when your friends drink. Needless to
say, from the first drink till now, I have experienced a lot. Partying
was probably the best tool in learning about me which may seem strange
but I really learned a lot about how I treat my friends and
relationships, how I trust …you name it. Good times and bad I have
gained valuable life lessons. If you ever need to talk about stuff or
you have a question you’re burning to ask or if you just wanna share
stories. Go ahead and holler. I won’t judge and it’s pretty hard to
faze me. I’ll give you my honest opinion and you never know, you may
have an experience that’ll teach me some things too.
Hey, I’m Taran
Visit us on Facebook! or email me
“Every teen has to face the same type of problems and try to figure out who they are. This is a place where you can do that.”
Hey, I’m Maddie
Visit us on Facebook! or email me
“Up until this year I was picked on a lot and it really brings down
your self esteem. Kids don't think about how they're really affecting
other people with their words and eventually the other kids' self
esteem goes down and down and they start to believe what the bullies
are saying. After a while you just start to give up and think, ‘Oh,
what's the point. I suck anyway’ and your grades and everything else
Hey, I’m Chelsi.
Visit me us Facebook! or email me
Each morning I see in my mind what I’m working hard to obtain. I
know I can achieve anything I set my mind on by putting in the time
& effort needed. I believe one can learn from every experience. I
like to ‘take the best and leave the rest’!“
a rule I don’t like talking about myself. However, I want you to know
a little about me, the “teen” likely not much different than you and
thinking a lot of the same things and having similar questions etc.
I try to treat everyone with respect and kindness, just as I would
hope to be treated! Hopefully I can help answer questions you may have
or concerns you don’t want to discuss with an adult… you know
Here’s a bit of what I like to do…. I love
hanging with my friends at the movies or the mall, and staying in with
my family. I love music, sometimes when I’m upset or “heartbroken” I go
in my room and just listen to music. It just lets me cool off and just
not have to think.
Although I’m only 13 on paper, I’m
told I’m much wiser than my years. If there is a problem, I am the
first person anyone calls. I may be nice but, if someone hurts anyone I
know (whether I like ya or not) they are in trouble… haha. They call me
“the haha queen” because I can make any situation funny.
hope after hearing this little bit “about me” you want to ask me your
questions, and if you just want to chat, I’d love to. I like meeting
“And it's now, now or never when we're chasing our dreams.” -Mercy Mercedes
“I'd like to make myself believe that planet Earth turns slowly.” -Owl City
“Do you know what's worth fighting for? When it's not worth dying for?” –Green Day
What my friends have to say About me - Chelsi♥ ……
like talking to you because you can always make me feel good about
myself and make me happy no matter what. I like you as a person because
you really are a great friend and I thank you for being there for me,
and you’re just fun to be with.” -Jessie
hard.. To put into words.. The uncanny ability you have to put a smile
on my face and that’s just online, from reading the nearly poetic
replies. Where as over the phones it’s near impossible to explain the
warmth that washes over me when I hear your voice. For some reason when
I heard you for the first time. Chelsi you inspired my first poem I wrote … -Sean
Hey, I’m Brittany
Visit us on Facebook! or email me
“When people go to parties just to hang out, other people come and
bring drinks or cigarettes, and try to get you to do it. They keep
trying and trying to get you to drink or smoke, and you might be
tempted do it because you want to be known as a cool person.”
Hey, I’m Trent
“I have cousins my same age and younger who are Haitian and Filipino,
which allows me to connect with other cultures. Even with different
styles and different issues, these other teenagers still have some of
the same dramas we have here in America, such as peer pressure.” Hey, I’m Trent
Hey, I’m Forrest
“You can post video blogs on this site -- voice your opinions about
topics here as well as responses to what others are saying in their
blogs. So it kinda builds upon itself.”
Hey, I’m Connor
Hi, I’m Connor Cottle. I’m 17 and a junior at Fernandina Beach
High School in northeast Florida. As an only child, my friends are
really important to me, so I’m either hanging out with them or texting
them when we’re apart.
I spend my free time on the tennis court, the golf course, and at the beach. I volunteer
frequently around my community and enjoy every minute of it.
am also the Lead Youth Advisor of the In Search of Me Café program and
I’m involved because I like how connecting teens all over the world can
help them help themselves.
I’m always around if you need any advice or if you just want to hang out.
Let us know what you think – with Facebook, post a comment on the blog, or get in touch with one of the friends. Contact Us | About Us | Site Map Copyright ©2013 All Rights Reserved • In Search Of Me Cafe is managed and operated by In Search of Me Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation • Disclaimer