By Wyatt Lester & Rylee Mathis Posted April 17, 2013
Have you ever heard those stories of rebellious teens around you who break laws, neglect the rules, or do things that are dangerous to their well being and life? Well it’s becoming more common than it was many years ago. It’s as if the kids today have started a full-on rebellion and plan on setting the rules themselves. We need to communicate these actions and behaviors in order to fully understand why teens are participating in them. One of the most popular rebellions among teens is alcohol use.
A sophomore said that she drinks alcohol to feel better about herself and to relieve stress. She continued to say that the feeling of rebelliousness excites her; it makes her feel good to know that she’s doing what she wants and that it defies other people. This sophomore also smokes marijuana on a semi-regular basis. She said she smokes for the same reasons she drinks: it gives her more confidence.
A junior said that he drinks just to have a great time; he claimed a good time is better with alcohol. Although we know this isn’t always the case; we hear a lot of stories in the news about teens who went out drinking and decide to drive or set something on fire or destroy public property. There’s a reason you’re not supposed to drink alcohol until you’re 21: you’re brain isn’t fully developed until then, and drinking while you’re still an adolescent can interfere with brain development as well.
Other students said that they did certain drugs just to try it. It could have been because they wanted to look cool in front of their friends, they were feeling depressed and needed a distraction, they genuinely wanted a new experience, or they just wanted to rebel. But we may never truly know their true intentions.
Health and P.E. teacher Mrs. Heather Patterson said teens need to think beyond ‘right now’. The activity may seem fun at first but in the long run it could affect your friends, family, and your future. She continued to say that when you start doing these risky things, it becomes a snowball effect. You do one drug or drink alcohol once and it gets worse from there. It continues and has a ripple effect on your life.
Sex. One of the biggest things on a teen’s mind. Whether adults like it or not, teens are having sex. Parents are uncomfortable talking about it with their kids because they think it makes them want to do it more but it’s actually the opposite.
One student said that she does these kind of activities because boys make her feel wanted but they’re really just pretending to get what they want. Then, when she gives in, they leave her feeling used and alone. This happens a lot to boys and girls alike. They think the physical connection will bring you closer with the other person emotionally when really all the other person wanted was sex. The same girl said that the problem is that boys can’t ‘commit.’ But in reality, they shouldn’t have to. That doesn’t necessarily mean a guy should get whatever he wants from a girl without a relationship, but this is high school; boys aren’t looking for their soul mates just yet.
Another student said she’s had sex just to hold on to her boyfriend. A lot of girls think that “giving it up” to a guy will keep him around. They’re wrong. Sure he’ll be happy with you for a few more days, if that, but if he’s unhappy with the rest of the relationship, he’s still going to leave.
“We did it because it’s ‘the next step’ in a relationship,” said a Lowry Senior. He continued to say that boys don’t really have reasons for having sex, it just happens sometimes.
Some couples are having sex to “prove their love” to each other. This seems like a good reason when you have tunnel vision, but they’ve got to remember that this is just high school and that love probably won’t last forever. It’s also sad that teens think that to love someone you have to do that kind of stuff with them.
A good majority of teens are doing “it” even though they have no knowledge of the subject. That’s the definition of Risky Business. With all the diseases, emotions, and downfalls (like pregnancy) involved with sex, and considering the age of losing virginity is getting lower and lower, this generation can’t afford not to know the details of the subject.
Parents assume that their kids are getting all the information they need from the Health class they have taken or are taking, but that’s not always the case. Even though Lowry’s Health course is informational, the students aren’t always listening or they may not understand. Even if they do, they still might need someone to talk to them about the benefits of waiting to have sex or simply not doing it until marriage.
Another risky thing that teens do is texting and driving. Whether you’ve been driving for 2 months or 2 years, it’s dangerous for anyone to look away from the road and stop paying attention for even a short period of time.
To avoid this problem, some teens talk on the phone instead. This is just as bad. Talking while driving was made illegal for a reason; it takes your focus off of driving. The conversation may seem important but the lives of the people around you are more important.
Authority figures always tell teens to pull over to make a call or text. No one, let alone a teen, is going to waste their time doing that unless they truly have nowhere specific to be at the time. Bringing a passenger or passengers is another way to avoid having to use your phone while you’re on the road. While this is probably the best solution, not everyone is going to have another person who wants to go everywhere with them at all times.
A more efficient solution is using bluetooth. This is an easier way to focus on driving while you’re talking. You’re not worried about how to hold your phone and still keep a hold of the wheel or how loud your speakerphone volume might be. Bluetooth headsets range from 15 dollars and up depending on the quality, but they’re worth it; saving a life is worth it.