November 28, 2022


Should Teens Get paid Less?

In the article “Is It Fair To Pay Teens Less Than Adults?'(upfront, Keating,2022) It discusses two point of views. One side talks about how a lot of teens struggle with finding jobs due to a lack of experience but to have the experience they need to have a first-time job. It also mentions about if teens and adults would get paid the same amount it would be more convenient to hire an adult rather than a teen because they want someone with more experience.

The other side talks about how teens should get paid the same amount of money as an adult because they are still doing the same thing. It also states it would be very beneficial for teens to work at such a young age to save up for their financial needs in the future. Teens also have responsibilities they can help with at home.

My personal opinion on this is that teens should get paid the same amount as adults. Workers should get paid based on their work ethic. As a teen, I think I would feel a lot less than an Adult, and that isn’t what I should feel. I should go to work and put in hard work to earn my money. For example, in some cases, adults are standing around mandating while they put the teens to work and this is unfair treatment because the teens are the ones putting in the work and they are doing this for much lower pay. This would also benefit the economy because more citizens are working which brings more income. This is also a higher chance of success because teens will want to push for a better higher job.

What do you think teens should get paid?

Kids Are Growing Up Wired — and That’s Changing Their Brains

Screens have not only had a big impact on our young children today but have taken a toll on our teenagers as well. Screens have a video deficit which means that children learn better from real human interactions than they could ever learn or try and comprehend from a screen. Scientists have noted that screens can be beneficial only when the parents are reinforcing the information presented with them and at their side, otherwise the information presented does not retain and is not able to understand within the time frame. For children, less than 2 screens provide them with no information because their brains are still learning and vulnerable they can’t comprehend the information and can only learn through human connections and interactions. In a study where they did different types of screen interactions to try and get the 23-32 month-year-olds to learn a new word, they found that none of the interactions through the screens stuck with the children and were not found to be beneficial. Although scientists recently found that live and real interactions like skype or zoom call on screens have improved helping the connections for the young children.
Recently, scientists have found that the actual structure of the brain itself has changed with increased amounts of screentime. They have found an increase in the amount of white matter inside the brain, the white matter is the fibrosis tissue that connects different parts of the brain. These connections of the brain are found to support the development of emerging abilities such as literacy and language skills. In new findings, scientists have also made a genetic component linked to screens where parents who are glued to their screens are providing screens to their children with high amounts of time to make more time for them to use screens. So these children are being predisposed to have a connection to screens and glued to their screens at an early age.
Despite the negative reputation of screens with children, scientists have found that action video games might offer a variety of benefits for learning like depth perception, visual memory, spatial awareness, and time management between tasks. Because of the hand-eye coordination and fast reflexes that video games require it helps aid the cognitive development in children. Despite the bad reputation that video games are said to have linked to an increase in violence, scientists have disproved this theory.
In addition to the negative toll that screens have on young children’s development, they have also found a big correlation between teenagers and the stress linked to their phones. More than half of teens suffer from withdrawal from their phones and have increased feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and being upset when their phones are not in their pockets and physically touching them. In addition to teens’ need to have a phone 24/7 scientists have found a correlation between screens and behavioral disorders such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, and other learning disabilities in people under the age of 18 with nearly a 10 percent increase than found prior. According to the researchers, the more teenagers used digital devices and checked social media, the more likely they were to show ADHD symptoms, including inattention, hyperactivity, and restlessness, Discovery Magazine 2022. Although with the recent development of technology and social media there isn’t enough data to support these claims due to the new era of technology. Along with this scientists also find teens suffer from delayed gratification because they struggle with attention problems and immediate gratification from social media likes and comments. New data is being found each day in studies discovering the impact that screens are having on our future generations, but because this is all so new scientists are unaware of the long-lasting effects that these will have on the next generation.

No Summer Break?

In the article, Is Year-Round School a Good Idea? (Upfront), I learned that there has been some controversy about having either traditional schools than the year-round calendar. Many believe that it would bring a better understanding of the subjects and there would be no necessity to waste time reaching material after a long break. By distributing that long break throughout the year rather than having it piled out at the end of one summer, many will be able to one, gain a better understanding of the concept, and do better in school. Those who believe otherwise use research where it was shown that even after having year-round calendars, many students do not have better scores. Also, they talk about how it could potentially lead to all adults stressing: Teachers by having their kids in traditional calendars and having to find a child care system for their own children in those moments that there are differences and for the parents, not being able to work during the summer (as well as teenagers) and having the same issue of having some children in traditional schools and others in year-round.

I think that it would be better in a way to have a year-round school calendar because that way, instead of having students waiting for a long break at the end and just wanting to get the work done with, they have many small breaks throughout. It would also be good for their mental health since this way, they would be given consistent time to have a break from school. Although it would be an issue with having some in traditional calendars and others in year-round schools, it would be better if areas focused on getting the full area to either be all traditional calendars or all-year-round schools.

Would you prefer year-round school calendars rather than our traditional way?

A Review of The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver is by Lois Lowry, an American author who has written many books for children and young adults. She has written dystopias and other involuted themes that make you think about what could be. Lois Lowry has won many awards like the John Newbery Medal twice in 1990 and 1994. The Giver was written in 1993 and was inspired by Lois Lowry’s father. Her father’s memory loss is what made her think of a book about eliminating painful memories as he was forgetting his past. “And so I began to think about writing a book about people who had found a way to manipulate human memory, so they wouldn’t have to remember anything bad,” she explains.

The way it implements the subject of memories and choice is very interesting in this book and what makes it stand out. This book is very good at making the reader attentive and wanting to learn more about the dystopian world. It made me think about what could happen in our world or possibly the future. This book is a good read for teenagers because it’s in the view of a person who is realizing what the world really is and how it really works. As children, we have an innocent outlook on society but as time goes on we see the true nature of society and our system. We can relate to the book in how our morals are being grounded and we go through changes that create memories. 

The Giver is about a young boy named Jonas who lives in a dystopian society where everything is the same and equal for everyone. Every person gets a job at the same age and there is a whole ceremony dedicated to it. This place gets rid of anything that would make people different. No color, animals, and everyone is treated the same. No differences mean no diversity or no celebration of our differences. They believe differences are what create war and problems. Losing their freedom is a price they have to pay to live in a safe world with no conflict. There are very few people in this place that know the truth of how they live. The Giver is one of them and has the ability to pass down memories to the next Giver which is Jonas. This is where Jonas became aware of the true nature of his society and it changes him. It makes you feel not have any clue of what could happen next or how it could happen in real life. It brings questions out of you that you maybe have never thought about.

The “perfect” world of The Giver has emotional suppression, no choice and, predetermined choices that make the reader think about how much freedom and choice we have in our society. The detail into how the system works and how it works for everyone is was makes the world feel real. When the lore of the book is in-depth, it creates arising questions about the world and its lore. The book talks about important subjects like memories and choice which are important in making it a coming of age book. Memories and choices are big aspects of our life that affect how we change and where we go. I feel as if I am with Jonas choosing and determining what is right and wrong. “The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.” (Page 133) This quote gives an important lesson about memories and how our own memories can hurt us but the pain of it is only worse when you are experienced it alone. We feel more supported when people know our experiences and what we go through so they can respond to us and provide comfort. Having others that share your memory or experience makes you feel together not alone with the issue. These are the types of things that make this book so compelling and good for young adults. It gives you a chance to think more about how you’re gonna grow and choose while you are going through that reality and fast changes constantly being thrown at you. The book opens your eyes to the important aspects of life that we should cherish and try to grow in. The book is easy to relate to and allows you to explore areas of growth that give you a chance to excel in discussion and moral issues. 

In conclusion, this book is a very good read for teenagers or young adults who go through similar changes and feelings as Jonas. This book will make you explore what you value and what is really perfect. It is a thought-provoking experience that makes you think about our freedoms, feelings, and what is right and wrong. After situations and the book ends, you still think about the character or what just happened. We have so much potential we could reach using our freedom and our diverse society is what makes us so special. You truly see a world without choice and difference and how dreadful things would be for everyone. This book is what initiated my interest in dystopia and society. I will always think about what is and isn’t possible because of this book. 

What Kind Of Freedom Should A Teen Have?

I believe that there is a limit to freedom and how parents decide to use it on their kids. Having kids do whatever they want all the time is not healthy for them or for their parents. Kids also need the decline in the way they act and the way they go out and do stuff. I agree that it is good to have kids start learning new things at a young age and experimenting with life and the outside world. Now there should always be a limt to how much kids spend outside their house because it may cause them to take advantage and to not obey later in the future.

I am normally patient with most stuff, if it’s something I’m going to enjoy or for a good thing I would not mind it at all. But when it comes to something I hate or I’m just not a fan of, I will lose it. My parents are parents who let me go out and enjoy life, they do have a limit on how much I can go out for the day. I don’t complain about my curfew when I go out which is 11 because I know someone my age should not be going out too late. I am pretty indepnt when it comes to most things.

Most of the time my parents are at work so I cook for myself some days or go run my arens with my friends. I enjoy the freedom I get because my parents with who and where I got out with. I am very surprised with my dad because I have never thought that he would have let me go out with my guy friends and he does. I appreciate him having trust in me and in what I do.

I am the only the only child which makes things a lot more interesting about how my friends and cousins where raised and how I was raised. At the end of the day my parents raised me right and showed me my values in life. knowing that I grew up with freedom and the trust of my parents really does make me happy because I are that trust with them.

Social Media

 According to a study by the mayo clinic, “13- to 17-year-olds found that 45% are online almost constantly and 97% use a social media platform, such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.” (Teens and social media use: Whats the impact?) All of this time online is not always great for teens. It can cause a lot of mental and body positivity, but it is not all bad. It also connects and brings the relationships between people closer. Companies also influence this, with them targeting ads and other algorithms.

Studies and experts have shown that most teens spend around 3 hours a day on social media. Spending this much time on social media is not healthy. Research has found that teens have depression and anxiety more than ever. “A 2016 study of more than 450 teens found that greater social media use, nighttime social media use, and emotional investment in social media — such as feeling upset when prevented from logging on — were each linked with worse sleep quality and higher levels of anxiety and depression.” (Teens and social media use: What’s the impact?). They also found that female teens especially go through this with a rise in this group checking into mental facilities for body positivity issues and suicide. “A Study found that older adolescents who used social media passively, such as by just viewing others’ photos, reported declines in life satisfaction.” (Teens and social media use: What’s the impact?)

Social media can also be positive, and it helps connect people and connect with their friends. According to the mayo clinic, “Teens also use social media for entertainment and self-

expression.”. I know that during covid, I spent much time on Snapchat and discord. I do not know that people also use social media as a news source because they can see all of the sides right in front of them in one place at one time. According to this article by “Common Sense Media” “More than half of teens (54%) get news at least a few times a week from social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and 50% get news from YouTube.”

Cell Phone Horns

In the document “Cell Phone Horns” i learned that Last month, a story hit the news that scared a lot of people. It described a certain deformity that can occur in young peoples’ skulls when they spend too much time looking down at their cell phones.

Specifically, an Australian study claimed that teens and young adults who often have their heads bent over their phones develop bone spurs at the back of their skull, just above the neck, that resemble horns, due to the weight of their heads being thrust unnaturally forward.

Other scientists are quick to point out that just because a researcher could benefit financially from his or her findings doesn’t mean that the research itself doesn’t have merit. In fact, the overuse of modern technology, especially cell phones, has led to all kinds of physiological changes in our body, from posture problems to attention disorders to “texting thumb.”

What Do You Think? Based on what you’ve read in this article and heard on the news, are you concerned about the physical effects that excessive cell phone usage could have on your health?

The Widespread Problem among teens today: How the Pandemic has increased social media usage

As a follow-up article in response to my last article in which I reflected on the widespread problem of anxiety and depression among teens, I realized there was much more that needed to be said. Indeed, it is not a secret that the global COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the mental health of everyone, but I believe teens have been one of the hardest hit. As a teenager myself, I have had to manage an enormous amount of new emotions and had to figure out how to handle it over the past 10 months. Not only were many sports events, dances, and other gatherings canceled, teens have had to learn to cope with another factor that I can confidently say I myself was not ready for: isolation. 

At the start of the pandemic, it seemed that having no school for two weeks was going to be no more than just that; a two week break from the stresses of school and everything it encompasses. However, as time went on, the slow realization that life was not going to go back to normal anytime soon set in, and I discovered that my life was going to completely change. For teens and high school students everywhere, it was disappointment after disappointment, and it seemed as though the cycle was never going to end. In addition to these cancellations, the factor of isolation contributed to the intensity of these changes. According to the article “How social Isolation Affects the Brain” by Catherine Offord, the “absence of human contact is associated with declines in cognitive function.” For teens especially, whose lives revolve around friends, teachers, sports, and extracurricular activities, the transition to isolation did not come easy at all. The article included a quote by Stephanie Cacioppo, a professor at the University of Chicago, which states “We’re a social species. We really need others to survive.” So what was the response of many teens that were forced to isolate themselves from the rest of the world? How did they cope with the gravity of the circumstances around them?

Perhaps this is not the case for all teens, but it is arguable that a large percentage of young people turned to social media in response to these setbacks. Social media, for many, myself included, can help one to escape reality; it offers one the ability to hide from his or her problems. In short, it potentially becomes addictive, as our brains receive “a rush of dopamine and sends it along reward pathways,” allowing us to “feel pleasure” (Offord). For a young person that is forced to handle the devastating effects  of COVID-19, along with the many additional lifestyle changes that came with this virus, it is only natural that he or she would turn to social media. It is not only highly accessible, but constantly relevant in the lives of all teens. Its relevance contributes to its popularity; teens want to be included in the loop and stay updated on the lives of other people, because it offers escape. Ultimately, social media has proved to become a source of addiction to many teens who find themselves struggling to manage their emotions and problems in their lives. 

So what can we do? My last article explored the different ways in which one can restrict their social media usage. But why? Personally, I realized that the damage of social media is much greater than solely brain damage and addiction. Quite simply, I do not want to miss out on my life. I do not want to miss spending time with my family while I still can, because as we all know, life is short. Why spend your life hovering over a screen obsessing over someone else’s life when you could obsess over your own, wonderful life? This realization was what I truly needed to put my phone down, and I hope perhaps more teens will come to realize that there is so much more to life than an Instagram post, a celebrity birthday, or a Snapchat story. We must begin to live our lives for what is truly real, not for what is hidden behind a screen, which, very likely, is photoshopped.

Offord, Catherine. “How Social Isolation Affects the Brain.” The Scientist Magazine®,

“Social Media Addiction.” Addiction Center, 20 Nov. 2020,

Teen Vaping?

There is a growing number of people suffering from lung problems, most of which can be answered to the global problem of vaping. Vaping is most common in teenagers and young adults. To some, it is seen as cool, a trend, or safer, but that’s not necessarily the case. Vaping contains a harmful product that is both addictive and toxic. “Nicotine is the primary substance in both traditional and electronic cigarettes, and it has been shown to increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.” 

Many teens see vaping as a safer way of smoking. They believe that it’s not as harmful and won’t have the same outcome. But vaping could potentially lead to smoking or usage of even more dangerous drugs. “Data suggests that vaping, even if nicotine or illicit drugs are not present in the vapor, predisposes teenagers to future addictive behaviors.” Not only that, but they could also cause mental health problems and addiction. 

Now there are many ways in which we could stop and help teens who suffer from an addiction to vaping. Some would include informing and educating the substance user. Inform teens through social media or the most used forms of media. Let them know the dangers and potential issues it could cause. Another would include informing parents. Have them become aware of changes in mood and the different types of vapes teens get a hold of.  

Teen Vaping

It’s no secret that the use of nicotine products has skyrocketed among teens in the past ten years. Although vaping is considered a “healthier alternative” to smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, what are the negative effects of using these products at such a young age, is there a solution, and what are the potential outcomes.

The popular e-cigarette company known as Juul claims on their website that they, “envision a world where fewer adults use cigarettes.” The company has recently come under fire for its considerable popularity amongst people from the age of 13-21. Because of this, the age to buy tobacco products nationally rose from 18 to 21. Along with this, the FDA banned the company from selling flavors of pods that are “targeted” towards teens like mango, mint, and fruit medley. However, this didn’t stop other companies from hopping on the bandwagon.

Recently countless new companies have arisen that sell disposable, e-cigarettes that have a significantly larger variety of fruity flavors, and although they are more difficult to acquire with the age restrictions, kids can still get their hands on them.

Healthline says that vaping can be harmful to your body in multiple ways. The liquid used in e-cigarettes can release tiny aerosols into your heart and lungs that can clog important arteries, veins, etc. It can also damage the teeth, gums, and cause cancer. Although many of the harmful chemicals that are in cigarettes are not in vapes, there are many other dangerous chemicals in the new products.

Although the government has made changes that have helped reduce teen nicotine use, they are still far from solving the problem.

Image Credit:
Credit Name: Urine Drug Test

Dear People Who Are Against Gun Violence

To teens, adults, parents, teachers, high school students, and etc. Something needs to be done and it needs to be done before the next generation goes through the same thing our generation is going through. To the people who have seen someone they love get killed right in front of them due to gun violence can eagerly relate to this and even to the ones who did not experience this. Just imagine one bullet leaving you damaged for life. It sucks going to school not feeling safe. This needs to change. We need to be able to go to school feeling safe and getting an education without having to feel frightened. My purpose in writing this is for a change to be made before this gets out of control.

I have read this amazing book called, “Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds. This book made me really look into the serious side of gun violence. In this book, he talks about losing his brother to gun violence. A 15-year-old kid is willing to pick up a gun to get revenge for his brother. This is harming the youths’ knowledge about the consequences that come with picking up a gun. When you read this book it emotionally makes you feel what he felt when he lost his brother. There was a part when he says, “Gunshots make everybody deaf and blind especially when they make someone dead”. When you read that line what does it make you feel? Have that thought for a second.

I got the chance to watch the video, “Teens On Guns in America” by NPR.  This video encouraged me to write this open letter. The video got me angry, not just angry but eager to make a change even if this doesn’t reach many people at least people will see this. This started after the shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Fl. You can hear the hurt of these teens all over the world after the incident. 15 teenagers talked about something that happened in their life in relation to a gun. Some talked about the family members they lost and honestly it was heartbreaking. Even more heartbreaking that these students were in a situation that almost risked their lives and killed their classmates. Sadly this is what this world has come down to.

I read an article called, “Parkland Shooting: Where Gun Control and School Safety Stand Today. Something that stood out to me is when one of the students that survived the attack said this,“In the course of the next year, students would change the way the nation handles mass shootings, spurring new gun legislation and school safety measures, and holding to account the adults they felt had failed them”. This stood out to me because this is from a school shooting survivor. He felt this way and he spoke up about it bravely, hoping for people to understand him. He talks about students making a change for the nation about the gun rules.

Overall these are some of the articles, books, and videos that touched me. In my own perspective, I  don’t think I would be able to move on with my life after someone got killed in front of me. These kids are strong and deserve much credit for what they are doing for the world that many adults are not. I hope this open letter gets people to really realize what these kids are doing for the world and elevate them. If a difference would have been made many lives would be saved and the next generation will grow up not feeling the way I feel.

It’s Bed Time!

Students struggle getting enough sleep because their lives are so busy. It is hard to manage time in young adults. Sleep is necessary. In order to get more sleep, young adults need to realize that it is a necessity to be the best versions of ourselves. “There is data that sleep loss leads to learning and memory impairment, as well as decreased attention and vigilance.” This is not safe, especially for young adults. We need to take the proper steps, in order to get better and more sleep. 

Sleep is essential for a teenager. Steps that can help a student get more sleep include studying in a place where you are not in your bed, remove distractions while trying to sleep, limit naps, include exercise in daily routines, and take time to wind down before bed time. This will help the student fall asleep when it is time for bed. Doing these steps is hard to do when you are super busy trying to get everything done that students need to get done. Managing time is essential to get enough sleep while you are a student. 

There are many benefits when a teen gets a proper night’s sleep. These include better grades, memory, and improved mood overall. When a student stays up to do homework all night, it will actually cause the students grade to lower because it is harder to concentrate. Getting enough sleep is a necessity to good health and happiness. “Insufficient sleep can make some students feel hopeless and even suicidal.” Getting sleep can help with these negative thoughts and increase the overall mood of a person. 

The Corruption; Juuls

Juuling is an epidemic that has taken over NYC, effecting our teenagers like a tsunami. The presentation below presents the dangers of juuling and how it effects teenagers at specific ages. This video alerts our community on the destruction juuls can cause to one’s physical and mental health.

Many may not be aware of the destruction that these tiny e-cigs carry. Many may not be aware of this information, but one juul contains the same amount of nicotine as 1-2 packs of cigarettes. These juuls contain toxins ranging from random chunks of lead to nicotine. Juuls are like magnets, attracting unaware teenagers to the idea of releasing pain or even being cool. I chose to advocate for the prevention of e-cigs because adolescents are blinded to the harm juuls are loaded with. These juuls can spiral one into a dysfunctional life style and harm people other than themselves. Not only do these juuls harm one’s physicality, it deteriorates one’s mentality. So allowing myself to be a bystander of the death of several young teens who are unaware of the consequences of their actions thwarts the movement to change our community. Juuls corrupt our teens, it is our job to alert those who are uneducated. We can simply change our community with communication and education. So watch my presentation and follow our blog to join our movement to expand this movement!

Legal Frameworks

The cause of this presentation and this blog in general is to reduce the accessibility of juuls. This presentation introduces the different laws about juuls and many drugs in general. My group is doing presentations on juuls but different aspects. One of my group member is doing their presentation on the dangers of juuling and its effects on teenagers specifically. Another one is doing their presentation on the prevention of juuling. Lastly, another member of our group is doing juul marketing. If you want more information on their aspects and presentations read our blog posts.

The main target of juul marketing are teenagers because they are easy to lure and captivate. Once they start juuling, it’s even difficult for them to quit. It’s very clear from this presentation that there aren’t enough laws enforced about juuling and drugs in general. The laws that are enforced on juuls aren’t as strong or persuasive enough for people to stop juuling because juuls could be found at any convenience store.

E-cigarettes contains nicotine which releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, causing long-lasting chemical changes in the body. Effects include light -headedness, dizziness, or tremors. Your heart rate and blood pressure go up, making your harder to get blood and oxygen to cells. This can lead to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Juuling can also suppress hundreds of immune genes, weakening the immune system even more than smoking.

The Risk we Run with Uneducated Teenagers

All throughout the United States, the legal age to drink alcohol is 21 years old. But it wasn’t always like that. Up until 1984, the drinking age was 18 years old. Many people today debate about whether or not increasing the age was the right idea. There are those who think that if the legal age to be able to go to war is 18 then you should also be able to have a beer. Yet there are also those who believe that the brain not being developed enough is too problematic for alcohol. The reasoning behind the age restriction being raised was to try and decrease the number of deaths by drunk driving. The worry was especially for teenage drivers. While the number of deaths did decrease, it wasn’t solely because of the drinking age, it was a combination of seatbelt laws and tougher approaches to DUI’s. Teenage drinking has always been a concern because the brain is still developing. Yet the drinking age being out of reach for teenagers hasn’t stopped them.   An article that I recently read on this topic was by Michael Winerip for The New York Times. The article is a quick anecdote of the life of his kids and how being a parent affected his outlook on the minimum drinking age. He talks about how his teens are starting to drink occasionally, and as a parent do you let that happen? He sees the high school situation of drinking to be inevitable but still wants them to be in an environment that is a model for them. He finds teenage teen drinking to be in no way related to the drinking age. Because he states that when he was in high school and the legal drinking age was 18, kids were still doing it. It is more of parents take on teenage drinking and the Nationwide drinking age. Another article that helped me to understand this debate was won by Gabriella Glaser titled Return the Drinking Age to 18 and Enforce It. The article was a look at how the culture of teenage drinking is causing such a big problem for the generation of the future. Binge drinking has become a popular style of consumption for teenagers, and it is believed to be the by-product of the government driving alcohol into the underground teen scene. The reason teens get drunk is that from the beginning of time we have told them no and not to do it. The article asks the question of would this culture decrease if we “took the fun out” of drinking by lowering the age to 18? It also strongly advocates for teaching teenagers about alcohol and having them be educated. It makes a comparison of becoming 21 and being able to drink to turning 16 and being able to drive. You don’t let a teenager get behind the wheel without learning, so we shouldn’t let kids start drinking without learning. Here are my annotated articles on this topic:       Photo by      

Lowering the Drinking Age

According to Gabrielle Glaser’s article, she thinks the drinking age should be lowered for a few reasons. One of her arguments presented is a more common one, being that she brings up the points of how 18 year olds are treated as adults in basically all other regards. Another point she raises is that we could lower the drinking age and take it as an opportunity to teach kids how to drink responsibly, just like how we teach them to drive a car.

To look at an opposing view Buddy T’s article highlights the idea how lowering the drinking age is not in the best interest of the public’s safety. A supporting point that he uses for this is the fact that the U.S. has tried to lower the drinking age before in the times of Vietnam War era and that this had a negative impact on highways. Because of this, his overall point is that keeping the legal drinking age up is keeping people safe and therefore should not be changed.

While I can see the points that Buddy T is making, I’m still in accordance that the drinking age should be lowered. This is because I agree with Glaser in that we could use this as an opportunity to prevent the abuse of alcohol. Lowering the drinking age could have a positive benefit of creating a safe environment where kids can learn how to responsibly consume alcohol as they transition into adults.


Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered in the US?

According to Professor Engs’ article Why the Drinking Age Should Be Lowered: An Opinion Based upon Research, the drinking age should be lowered to 18 or 19, and allow young adults to “drink in controlled environments such as restaurants, taverns, pubs, and official school and university functions.” Essentially, his reasoning is that our current system is not working, so a new approach is necessary. The approach that he discusses involves looking back in time when these problems weren’t prevalent and seeing if the rules of that time applied today will help the issues we are facing.

Though he also agrees that the drinking age should be lowered, Brandon Griggs’ article Should the U.S. Lower its Drinking Age?, takes the approach that the drinking age should be lowered because placing such novelty on alcohol without teaching kids their boundaries only results in trouble. This leads to kids abusing the use of alcohol once they finally reach the age limit. Griggs also notes that the person who is starting the movement of trying to get the drinking age lowered is a college professor who states that it would actually be better to have kids under supervision so that they can learn their limits with alcohol in a safe environment.

Before researching the topic, I already had the sentiments that the drinking age should be lowered. Similar to Griggs, I also thought that presenting alcohol as an elusive, unobtainable substance only leads to the misuse of alcohol later on in their lives when it is available to them. I hadn’t however took on Engs’ mentality in thinking of lowering the drinking age as an opportunity to teach kids their limits with alcohol while being in controlled environments. Ultimately I think that lowering the drinking age would primarily serve to benefit kids and society as a whole.


How to raise kids into healthy young adults?

There isn’t any magic formula to parenting. There are countless factors going into raising a kid with innumerable decisions that have to be made in trying to decide how to handle your children. One parenting style that I see more and more of in the modern age is the coddling “helicopter parent”. While the helicopter parent strategy seems fine on paper it can do a lot more harm to kids than what good it does, most kids with some degree of helicopter parents will likely have some disdain for their parents’ invading behaviors. Young people in these situations often have little to no privacy, they have no freedom to do things on their own, and their parents are constantly breathing down their necks through monitoring their location, their texts, and their activities. This overbearing style of parenting produces young adults with many issues in taking on independence and looking out for themselves overall, so how should parents be acting alternatively?


A article puts it quite well in saying, “In order for teens to grow up, they need to have the opportunity to experience the freedom of making their own decisions (age appropriate) and the opportunity to learn from mistakes. When parents place a certain level of trust in their teen, the teen will be more likely to respect the parents as well as their rules.”  Parents should be overseeing their children, but as they move into becoming teenagers and becoming adults they need to have experiences that let them learn real lessons for themselves. They have to be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. They have to get stung to learn how to avoid painful or stressful situations. The skills and knowledge that young people acquire during this time in their lives are lessons that they can use for their entire lives, and will come real handy during their transitions into adulthood. In order for young people to slowly become adults they have to at some point begin to be treated like one, if they are denied any real responsibility throughout their youth they will be dependent and frankly unable to care for themselves properly when the time comes.


A 2017 Business Insider article outlined some of the traits that the parents of successful kids have in common. The list includes things like giving your kids chores, teaching them social skills, setting high expectations, teaching grit, etc. It also includes things like higher socioeconomic statuses and attaining higher education levels, things that aren’t available to all parents, but the other items on the list are things that really do check out for having positive effects on children. There is no recipe for producing well mannered and confident kids, but there are definitely actions that can lead children in the right direction, and parents should be taking advantage of every such opportunity.  The fate of the next generation is greatly effected by the actions of the parents, and the world isn’t getting any friendlier, so parents really have to be on the top of their game. 

Mental Health Stigma

Health and well being are a big part of everyday life, and mental health is no exception. Mental health has many different meaning to different people. Just like physical health, mental health issues can arise. A mental health issue is a disorder which habitually affects a person’s mood, thinking, and/or behavior and interferes with two or more domains. These issues can come from genetics and environment. For teens, the stress of school work on top of social life can lead to struggles every day in our community. Many teens experience some sort of mental health issue. Anxiety, stress, depression are just a few.

Changing seasons has a strong effect on mental health. SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, touches many people in the fall and winter months. There are many factors that come into play which cause mental health disorders here in Utah. Our annual inversion is a major contributor to these issues.The lack of sunlight and vitamin D can lead to SAD. Serotonin is a brain chemical which affects mood and behavior. When Serotonin levels decrease, changes in appetite and sleeping occur; this drop can also trigger depression. One effective way to cope with SAD is phototherapy, or light therapy. “Happy lights” mimic natural light for thirty minutes a day, and emit the sun that is missing in the darker months.

People living in Utah are at an especially high risk of developing mental health disorders.  Utah is ranked 5th highest nationally in teen suicides. Last year 44 teens between the ages of 10-to-17 took their own lives, a 33% increase from 2016. On January 17th, Utah’s Governor addressed this horrifying statistic and pledged to assemble a task force to “help develop priorities, then report on effective programs, tools and methods in youth suicide prevention in Utah.” The team was given four weeks to come up with solutions in order to present ideas to lawmakers before the General Session ends for 2018.

So how do we, as teens, address this problem? I believe it begins with being open and talking about mental health. It shouldn’t be taboo or embarrassing. We have to abolish the stigma associated with mental health issues. Pretending like they don’t exist doesn’t stop their effects. We are the generation that can do this because we are so affected by it. Mental health issues can be treated, but only if we are willing to admit they exist.

Are today’s teens more promiscuous than earlier generations?

Millennials are known for creating “friends with benefits” and because of this many would assume that they are more promiscuous then previous generations. Shockingly the General Social Survey, a project based at the University of Chicago, discovered that these young adults are less promiscuous than their parents. They studied three generations Baby Boomers (1946 – 1960), Generation X (1961-1981), and Millennials (1982-1995/1997). Surprisingly, these social scientists discovered that the average number of sexual partners for a baby boomer born in the 1950s was 11.68, while for millennials it was only 8.26.

While the amount of sexual partners someone has have decreased, the acceptance of “promiscuous” sexual behavior since the 1970s has continued to incline. In the 1970s only 29% of Americans believed that having a sexual relationship with someone before marriage was “not wrong at all.” This number has almost doubled, reaching 55% for the current decade. Researchers also believe that the acceptance of premarital sex rose as people waited longer to get married.

Regarding today’s teens, little research has been done comparing their sexual relationships to that of previous generations. However, through the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey, teenagers are interviewed and surveyed by the federal government every other year. This survey gathers data regarding different activities that would be considered “bad” such as drug use. A majority of the survey questions show that today’s teenagers smoke less, drink less, and have sex less than previous generations. These statistics may come as a shock to many, considering most people assume teens and millennials are more rebellious and promiscuous than any other generation.

In conclusion, younger generations are less likely to have multiple sexual relationships, but are more likely to get married later in life and tend to be more open to relationships before marriage.

Photo by

What effects do hypebeasts have on streetwear culture?

In a time of quickly evolving street fashion, new styles and brands emerge everyday, and the individual stylistic possibilities are more expansive than ever before thanks to the modern era’s distribution of information and media, individual senses of style have started to greatly  mesh together globally into more generally accepted looks through people following certain brands and being reluctant to step outside of generally accepted and praised outfit structures. This method of thinking has unfortunately resulted in a relatively new breed of style represented by a group of people commonly called “hypebeasts”.

Hypebeasts are individuals who make their stylistic choices with the sole intention of impressing others through their clothes and belongings. They follow the most popular brands, celebrities, and social media icons in an effort try to replicate that in their own clothing and image. Another major trait of a hypebeast is how much value they put on their own social media popularity, leading into a cyclic issue surrounding dressing for peer acceptance and safety based on what is popular instead of developing an individual sense of style and wearing what you think looks good. Another issue is the excessive prices of certain popular brands and the lengths that people will go to to acquire certain pieces, making streetwear less about actual clothing and more about the money that you put towards your wardrobe.

As a term originally coming from sneakerhead culture, the phrase over time has evolved to encompass a larger population of people than ever before. So the question is how is this trend affecting streetwear now and down the line? What will become of individuality in street fashion as more and more people move towards an urban uniform? A short documentary on the influences at play in many young people trying to stay involved in the streetwear scene from a website called the Sole Supplier provides more information on the topic.

Kemonjie Smith

One big thing that I see in the world and I feel is a big problem and should be getting address more is “kids who getting trialed as adults and getting put in adult prison under the age of 18”.I believe that kids under the age of 18 should not be put in adult prison no matter what they did and what they were committed for.The things that are important to me based around this topic is the kid’s safety and life. Kids who go to adult prison is getting put in harm. There are a lot of cons and pros some of the pros of children getting tried as adults.If they are convicted as juveniles, they would gain freedom from the system at age 25.If the girls are tried in an adult court and found guilty, they could be in prison for the next 65 years. They would first serve their prison term in a juvenile facility and then transferred to an adult prison at the age of 18, which leaves plenty of room for the girls to become targets of abuse. Some of the cons Minors will be put at risk Give the impression of lost hope Some opponents argue that not all young offenders end up as full-fledged criminals. So throwing them in jail with adult offenders would take away any hope of rehabilitation. There is even a high probability that they would come out of prison a hardened criminal.Another reason that juveniles should be given a leeway is that they don’t always make responsible decisions. According to Laurence Steinberg, a psychology professor at Temple University, “Adolescent decision making is characterized by emotional and cognitive immaturity, intense peer pressure and heightened attitude toward risk. Their inability to consistently make responsible decisions makes them less blameworthy than adults.” Fewer varieties of punishment In an adult court, criminals can only end up in prison, and even risk being given the death penalty. This gives minor offenders very little option when serving the terms of their sentence. Whereas in a juvenile court, offenders are given curfews, put under house arrest or sent to counseling. The problem with these punishments, however, is that they effectively take away a valuable lesson that a juvenile is supposed to learn while serving the terms of his sentence. Now, if he was in jail, he is likely to regret the choices he made.

Youth Photography in NYC

In New York City, teenagers and new adults, as young as 12, and as old as 25, roam the streets and alleyways of this vast city looking for a new spot. A new spot to take pictures, or as some call “flicks”. Photography in this city is a rite of passage. Taking pictures, capturing moments, with high-tech cameras is nothing new. Kids trespass into abandoned railroads in Queens, go to Photoville in Brooklyn, head to SoHo or the rooftops of skyscrapers in Manhattan, and explore the suburbs in Staten Island. Exploration. It is all about exploration, and then capturing your findings, a piece of evidence that you have been somewhere.

“Lets go to the abandoned railroad on Metro,” my friend would tell me. He would need something “cool” to post on Instagram. Searching up NYC on instagram will find you a ton of City Kids and outrageous pictures on their accounts. A familiar friend stands on the roof of a skyscraper, literally on the edge. The blur in the background of the city lights and the darkness, you can only get these kinds of pictures in Manhattan. Going to Forest Hills, out in Queens, people trespass onto abandoned railroads in search for a good picture, making them seem adventurous, but risking getting arrested.

Living in such a big city gives ids many opportunities starting at a young age. Roaming NYC is a great experience to do on your own routes, because finding hidden streets and places is the key to making this your city. What better way to prove it yours, make this your city, and share it with the world, than to take a picture of it. Friends take pictures of each other, as well as strangers do for others, as NYC photography is a small community in a colossal city.

Drugs In The Community!

Every day there are many children/teens that are in between the ages of 11 and 17 years olds. They use drugs for their first time in their life at very young age. Lots of teens/children are on the streets selling drugs or in their schools selling drugs because they may think it is the most easiest way for them to get/make money. They may think it is the fastest way to hustle and make money at a young age.They can get addicted to drugs or might get caught selling drugs. Therefore, drugs are an issue in Oakland because people use because they think it is the fastest way to earn money and they start using to get over problems and peer pressure, so it is important we focus on this issue to stop drug use.


Teens mainly are selling drugs because they do think it is one of the easiest ways of getting money. In the article “The high schooler who allegedly ran a $3 million drug ring” by CNN a 17 year old student in Ohio was in a Marijuana drug ring that made $20,000 minimum per Month. The 17 year old student was arrested in Mason High School with also seven adults between ages 20 and 58. Police and investigators authorities seized more than 600 high-grade marijuana plants from multiple hydroponic grow houses in the cities of Blue Ash, Norwood and Hamilton. Investigators approximated that all plants together were worth a street value of $3 million all together. This is showing that they’re getting a lot of money at a young age. Other teens may want to also do the same thing and get money at a young age, but they are not aware of the consequences.

In Oakland, one of the most common situations in the community is the massive influence that drugs have on the city, and drugs are addictive to have in a city or even in a small community. The people who use the drugs are most likely using the drugs because they have problems themselves or within their close family or friends.

Peer Pressure is one of the reasons that drugs have such a substantial amount of influence in the communities of Oakland and living or growing up with drugs around your environment is not uncommon. Most teens/children are curious and early exposure to drugs increases the chances of them wanting to use drugs in the future.

I got some information that was given to me from Hector Hernandez, student of Life Academy age 15. When Hector from Life Academy was asked about what he thought about drugs, the question was “Do you think selling drugs in school or outside school is easy?” His response was “Yes I think selling drugs inside school could be easy because no one well notice or know about the actions and I wouldn’t get caught because I seem innocent.” This was really deep because young students at young age think it’s easy to sell drugs. I also asked another question asking about “Do you think selling drugs is the easiest thing to do to make money?”His response was “Not really but I think it’ll be easy to sell drugs in Oakland since many teens sell and YEA I think it’s the fastest way to make money because its just passing something for exchange of money. Quick money fast money.”

This is showing how there is a big amount of  young people selling drugs. The amount of them selling them is also very high. That should be stopped because some of them aren’t even teens and they  are already making bad decisions. In conclusion, when they are really young, they are making bad decisions and that is one day going to affect their future. They should  be stopped  now before they get older and something worse happens like them going to jail. They are still teens and they may not realize the consequences right now but when they get older they’re going to realize what they will go through.

Teens Dating Violence

“Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States are a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner- a figure that mirrors victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth” (Future without Violence). Even though domestic violence can happen mostly to mothers or female adults, it can happen to adolescents too. Adults should help adolescent because adolescent are almost becoming adult and if they continue going through this since they’re adolescent then they won’t never feel safe and will leave them with a trauma of events in their lives.  This could also affect adolescent’s education in school or families. A website called “Future without Violence” mention what age does teens can go through domestic violence, they mention, “Women age 16 to 24 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault, and people age 18 and 19 experience the highest rates of stalking” (Future without Violence). This shows how many people of that same age group has been through domestic violence. Domestic violence could happen to anyone at any age. We need to help adolescent who are going through domestic violence so they can’t go through pain in their lives or have a trauma event.
One question that I mention in my interviews was “What do you think should be done about domestic violence in Oakland?” I interviewed a resource teacher named Isabella Pelayo, and I told her the question and her response was, “Teenagers should be educated in what are healthy relationship and what is domestic violence” (Pelayo). What Pelayo has mentioned in the interview was important because adolescents so be educated on what is domestic violence ahead of time because they could know if their relationship is in a domestic violence state or not. We should make an organization for adolescents to learn more about domestic violence. By helping young adolescents on knowing what is domestic violence is important because there are many types of domestic violence from physical and emotional by knowing this, they’ll have a better knowing on what is domestic violence. Also for this organization, this should help adolescent who went through domestic violence and give them the chance to fight back and to let them stand up.

Photo by Johnny Silvercloud

Drug vs Teens

Is it true that drugs can influence teens to take, use, or sell drugs? These statistics show that marijuana usage is rampant, “81% of 12th graders say it would be easy to get marijuana.” These statistics are alarming because it shows a lot of teens using drugs, also more than a 3rd of 12 graders said marijuana is easy to get. “Only 32% of 12th graders feel that regular marijuana use is harmful” ( 30% of 12 graders said marijuana is harmful because they had a negative effect using the drug. Therefore, drugs affect society and impacts youth with their education and their household because an abundant amount of drugs used is harmful.

Firstly, teens that do drugs in school don’t focus in class and are more interested in their next substance use. This illustrates a sign of an early addiction. Teens may get easily distracted because they are only thinking about drugs. This matters because they are probably failing every class and are choosing to go home early or skipping school to buy or sell drugs. An interview with an Oakland resident, Diana Espinoza said, “When you are a teenager drugs can drive you crazy in school” (Espinoza). This matters because teens that do drugs are going to get infuriated in school because they can’t get any drugs or use it in school therefore, they are most likely to skip school so they can go get or do drugs to feel satisfied. With the same interviewee, she stated, “Drugs can affect you and your brain” (Diana Espinoza). This matters because the brain doesn’t fully develop until one is 25 and mostly all the kids that are doing drugs are under the age 20. They are hurting their brains which can affect their grades in school and their social ability to interact with other students and teachers. Thus making it harder for the student to pay attention and communicate.

Furthermore, teens who do drugs can negatively affects  their households. This matters  because teens may start lying to their parents, start stealing money for drugs, become antisocial and not oblige to parent communication. An oakland resident that was Interviewed, asked to remain anonymous and explained “ Teens that do drugs can have violent activities against their family” (anonymous). This matters because if a parent told his/her child to go take out the trash, they may respond with atone of attitude. In another interview that chose to be anonymous the person clarified that “Drugs can make the user fight with their own family”(anonymous). This matters because they may start disobeying their family and would feel determined to win every fight. A situation that may accelerate further issues, is the use of borrowing money for drugs, if the parent says no they may get furious and start over reacting upon the situation. This is intriguing  because a lot of teens are  choosing to have a negative energy inside their household and could cause their parents to go insane and could start thinking what has happened to their child.

Others may argue that drugs do not affect teens learning capability at school and can have a positive effect. This matters because teens that are doing drugs, can have a positive influence thus allowing them to have good grades and honest communication with school staff and classmates. MTV an interview with  “Seth Rogen testified that marijuana does, in fact, make him buckle down and get right to work. The work he does? He writes scripts, acts and participates in other aspects of filmmaking—all creative tasks”.This matters because a successful actor(Seth Rogen) said, that marijuana really helps him to sit down and read his script. So he can go ahead and another funny film  for are viewing.  Although Seth Rogen says it helps him but he doesn’t necessarily say the negative effects on marijuana. He is an adult and all the kids that are consuming the drugs are under the age of 20 and Seth Rogen is 34 years old.

In conclusion, Therefore, drugs affect society and impacts youth with their education and their household because an abundant amount of drugs used is harmful. What do you think? Do drugs affect society?


Photo by ©Moon Photography by Mel

Can illegal drugs be Beneficial or harmful for adolescents???????????


Can illegal drug  Beneficial or harmful for adolescents.

“Everyday 4,000 12-17 year olds use drugs for the first time”(Drug-Free Communities). Is this Beneficial or harmful? This means that teens are willing to try drugs. Some say that it’s bad because teens could go from a small drug like weed to a harder drug like heroin. Some people say drugs are good because it helps them. But, when can when can we know they are using them as a “medicinal drug” or when they are just abusing them for the feeling.


Why are drugs Good/Helpful for teens.

Let’s start with the most used drug used by teens which is marijuana/weed/cannabis. This drug is legal, but in most states it’s only legal to obtain at the age of 21. Even though that’s the law, weed is very accessible through street dealers because of how easy it is to grow. Reading from multiple sources all you really need is one room that can contain at least five large pots for the seeds and have space for full spectrum LEDs and some hydroponic nutrients to keep the plant at neutral(ph)  That being said, teens usually are peer pressured to smoke weed and if they like the feeling they usually keep trying until they realise that this drug keeps them calm so therefore they keep going.A piece of evidence that I have to support this comes from a interview I did with my neighbor and they said “I was peer pressured by some friend to smoke weed one day after school and haven’t stopped since”. Some teens do research on the drug and usually they find that weed can be used as a stress reliever so they end trying it and a lot of times it works. A piece of evidence that proves this claim comes from another interview I did with my neighbor and his name is Tyler Clarck and he said, “I smoked weed because of school and because of my parents. I was just so stressed and then I decided to try weed and it made me feel problem free”.  Moreover this technically is the medicinal purpose for weed because weed is used as a stress reliever, anxiety relief, and pain relief. This is the start for most teens it’s a useful drug but when does become bad for a teen.


Why are these drugs bad for teens.

With the introduction to drugs a lot of older teens start getting bored and somehow there hands and harder drugs like cocaine,heroin,and meth.Mario who I interviewed said “I was bored with weed I needed something new” When that happens that’s the point of no return for a lot of people as they start get addicted. Additionally, these harder drugs really almost don’t really have a medical purpose so these addictions are just for the feeling they get once these drugs are in the system. But once this happens these teens start spending probably about 1000-2000 dollars on drugs I got this from Mario,Tyler, and C.R when I asked them how much they would spend on drugs each month and averaged it. Eventually they are going have to be living on their on and with this addiction they will spend more money on drugs then buying things to help them live on there own. And eventually they go broke and homeless and have nothing but themselves. According HUD’s 2014 Point-in-Time Report, About 80% of homeless youth (aged 12-21) use drugs or alcohol as a means to self-medicate to deal with the traumatic experiences and abuse they face.Then they go through withdraw which could potentially kill them. Also is they get caught with drugs as teens they go to juvenile hall and they miss out on their education. If they get to the point where they are using these hard drugs and they get caught they go to prison and then they’re really in a hole.


Can we prevent teens from using drugs?

My answer would be no, but we can decrease the number of teens using them  because teens will always somehow get in contact with drugs. A solution that could be used to decrease the number of teens using drugs would be that they should have some 3 week program that is about drugs. Have people who have faced the battle with drugs come in and talk about it and show them what they can do to a person. This just one option that could help teens stop or prevent them from using drugs. I got this idea from a program I attend at my my school called Teens on Target they taught me this option.



Tyler Clarck

Mario E


Teens on target program

Is Attentiveness Worth the Risk?

When I first started looking for a topic to research, I had a hard time finding an issue that I did not already have a strong feeling about and would allow me to be objective when researching sources. Instead of looking for topics that I was unfamiliar with, and therefore would have no bias towards, I chose to research the whether the effects of  the medications used to treat adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder were helpful or harmful. I chose to research this question because I have struggled with ADHD my whole life and have been prescribed a multitude of different medications to attempt to treat it. Each of these drugs affected me in different ways, both positive and negative, so I have mixed feelings about their use.

While gathering articles for my research, my focus was to find sources that discussed diverse points of view, as well as multiple arguments for both sides of the issue. I found an array of articles and studies, some of which introduced effects and benefits of these drugs which I had never previously considered or been aware of.

Because I personally feel that Adderall, the medication that I take for my ADHD, manages my symptoms quite well, which is also shown by participants in numerous studies that I read towards the beginning of my research, I was starting to lean towards the side that favored prescribing these drugs. One very recent article that I found on , however, caused me to rethink the long-term side effects of these drugs when I read that one of these stimulants, Ritalin, “has the potential for causing long-lasting changes in brain cell structure and function.” This startled me, as I had never considered the negative effects that these medications could have on the physical brains of adolescents. This article also discussed the short-term side effects that come with taking many of these medications such as weight loss, irritability, shaking, and heart palpitations, all of which I have personally experienced while taking one of these stimulants. This made me weigh the benefits and consequences of these drugs more closely than I have before, ultimately leading to a change in my stance on this argument. I am now arguing that the harmful effects of ADHD and ADD medications outweigh the positive ones.

Another article that I found thought provoking and logically sound was one that discussed a much less costly option to manage ADHD and ADD symptoms than medication: Behavior therapy. This article from made me aware of the financial and medical benefits of behavior therapy for adolescents, which is something that is unfortunately not widely available due to so many children being prescribed drugs as a first resort. When I first began researching arguments for this topic, the financial aspect associated with these medications somehow did not occur to me. I now believe that it is in the best interest of both adolescents and their families to at least attempt to incorporate behavioral therapy into the child’s routine from both a financial and physical position.

Works Cited

Lavitt, J. (2014, April 14). Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Recovery News | Resources – The Fix. Research Shows Ritalin Causes Long-Term Brain Injury | The Fix. Retrieved December 1, 2016, from

Reynolds, C. (2016, 05/06). Study finds overmedication for kids with ADHD. Toronto Star Retrieved from

Child Development Within Broken Homes

     I’m going to be researching how a broken home affects child development. I decided to research this because my parents are divorced and I’m interested in child development. I’m wondering if all broken homes act the same, or if there is a better time for the parents to divorce more than others. There might be other questions that might pop on later on, but right now I’m researching the basics.

In this article, there are different stand points of how divorce might affect a child, ranging from preschool to adolescence. On the emotional side, it says older kids will be less affected than the younger ones. But when it comes to the social standpoint, teenagers are more likely to act cynical towards people they talk to, and may even start to show bullying behavior. My parents lived with each other after they got divorced because they didn’t want to split the household up. It may be because of this I never developed bullying behavior.

The end of this article explains that divorce “changes not only the structure of the family but also its dynamics” (Green). Older kids may start to act more like a parent to their younger siblings and take on more roles around the household, such as more chores. I know that this fact is true with my family situation, even though I don’t have younger siblings. Every night I cook dinner and take care of the house because my dad is at work.

Are there exceptions to these theories?

Do parents even matter when it comes to their child’s emotions/education/social life?

Does a child’s emotions/education/social life depend on the time their parents get divorced?

Work Cited

Green, Anna. “The Effect of a Broken Family on Development.” Our Everyday Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.


Helpful or Harmful?

I have chosen to focus my research on whether or not the drugs given to children and adolescents with ADHD and ADD are ultimately helpful or harmful. At this point in my research, I have yet to take a firm position on this topic. Because I have ADHD and have had experience with several of theses medications, I have formed my own opinion on this issue and can see both positive and negative effects of it. One article that I came across described the pros and cons of both methylphenidates such as Ritalin, and amphetamines such as Adderall, and after reading this article I am starting to lean slightly to the side of these drugs having overall harmful effects that outweigh the positive ones. In particular, I feel that the severe heart problems that have been linked to the use of these medications are not worth improved attention and behavior. Just taking these medications for a few years can permanently damage the bodies of the individuals taking them. I would still like to talk to others that take some of these drugs and get their opinions on them because I feel that the people actually experiencing the effects are a more valuable source than research by those with no personal connection.  

Lowering The Voting Age

      Many teenagers are passionate about political issues today, however they are going to have to wait until they reach the age of eighteen. Since teenagers are readying themselves to become part of the adult world, they should have a say in what their adult world is going to look like. Therefore, the voting age should be lowered to sixteen.

     The voting age was lowered in the 1970’s because men were being drafted at the age of eighteen. Being directly impacted by the government, men thought they should at least be able to pick who sends them overseas. Today, teens younger than eighteen are being directly impacted by the government, but with taxes. Teens pay “an estimated $9.7 billion dollars in sales taxes alone”, so teenagers should have a say in who collects their taxes (“Top Ten Reasons to Lower the Voting Age”).

     Some would say that teenagers are incapable of making big decisions. This is correct, for the frontal lobe of the brain — the part that controls decision making — is not fully formed yet. In fact, the frontal lobe is not fully formed in both men and women until the age of twenty-five. With the argument of someone should be able to vote when they are capable to make rational decisions, the voting age should be twenty-five. But because of the twenty-sixth amendment, the voting age cannot be greater than eighteen. If the voting age was changed to sixteen, it doesn’t necessarily mean the worst candidate will be picked. Lowering the voting age will increase the chance of having a politician the country/state will actually want: it would be the true majority vote. In the end, people that are being directly influenced by the government should be able to choose their government.

Works Cited

“Top Ten Reasons to Lower the Voting Age.” National Youth Rights Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2016.



We now live in an America where the vast majority of people have cell phones; a fact that many individuals have different opinions about. Some argue that cellphones distance people from face-to-face interaction and want to discourage the routine of frequent cell phone use. Whether this argument is valid or not should be based on the ability of the cell phone to enhance safety and foster communication between users. Cell phones do not limit the amount of interaction between individuals, but rather allow them to connect over long distances and communicate any needs that they may have instantly.

Without cell phones, an incredible number of people would be unable to keep in touch with their friends and family who are living a significant distance away. Instead of limiting communication, the wide availability of cell phones and cell service is keeping loved ones connected despite physical obstacles; something that would not be possible without them. How would you feel if you were unable to talk to your loved ones in other states or countries for an extended period of time?

The argument often made by the older American generations is that young people have become so absorbed in their cell phones that they are becoming isolated and detached, and, to some extent, they are correct. Face-to-face interaction is limited by the “average 6-plus hours a day” that young Americans spend on their cell phones. However, while these teenagers and adolescents are using their cell phones, they are still “hyperconnected.”  Today’s teens are more aware of national and global issues and events than any previous generation because they have constant access to social media and the internet via their cell phones.

Cell phones also make it possible for family members to contact one another in the event of an emergency. Whether it be that a person has been separated from a group, injured, stranded or simply confused, having a cell phone can instantly connect them to someone who can help solve their problem. Having a cell phone can, and has saved countless lives in emergency situations. In fact, according to a recent publication in the Journal of Emergency Medicine has found that “Patients are more likely to survive when emergency services are called from a mobile phone rather than a landline.”

Once people stop focusing on the negative aspects of such widespread cell phone use and take the time to recognize the numerous positive effects, then our nation can begin to embrace the evolution of technology and all of the benefits that it can bring.

Works Cited

Couperthwaite, Michelle J. “Technology Affecting Social Skills.”, LinkedIn        Corporation, 5 Dec. 2012, Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.

“Mobile Phones Proven To Save Lives in Emergencies.”, AMTA, Nov. 2016, Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.

Calvin College openURL resolver“The Hyperconnected Lifestyle: Teens and Technology.”, DrivingSales News, 23 May 2013, Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.
Calvin College openURL resolver