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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
May 1

Follow us on Twitter!

Posted By iamincontrol | May 1, 2014

Want to find out when IAMincontrol has a new post?  Follow us on Twitter @IAMincontrolIA for tweets about our posts and events for teens.  Retweet to share your favorite posts with your friends!
Apr 28

Balancing School with Sports

Posted By iamincontrol | April 28, 2016

Trying to keep your grades up while playing a sport can be a challenge. In high school, I played basketball, softball, and was on student council. I really enjoyed doing all of these activities but I often found myself spending more time focusing on sports and school activities than actually studying. I often found myself waking up early to do my homework on the day it was due. Cramming in school work became super overwhelming for me.  I had to do something so I went and talked to my basketball coach about how I could

manage my time better. We came up with 5 ways to manage my time better. Here’s the 5 tips on how to play sports and study with less stress:

1. Make flashcards on your time: Flashcards are a great way to study. I made my flash cards while on the bus traveling for my basketball and softball games. I also found an awesome flashcard phone app called studyblue.com. You can even make your own quizzes on the app! I love having all my flashcards online, so I don’t have to carry around a big stack of flashcards.

two young girls doing sport

 

2. Form a study group with your teammates: Stating a study group with your teammates is a great way to have team bonding. Our softball team studied and took quizzes together after practice, this made us all accountable for studying and getting our homework done.

3. Look ahead: On Sunday, I would look at my school and sports calendar and plan my week around what is due for school and sports games. If you know you have a game out of town and a test the next day, make sure you have time before the game and test day to study. Use travel time to review for your test.

4. Figure out your time wasters: Watching Netflix or scrolling through your social media can take up time that you don’t even realize you’re wasting. Be mindful of how you spend your days, you will start to notice what is taking up your time. For me, mine was Facebook. I decided to delete the app off my phone, so if I want to use Facebook I have to log on from the website.

5. Notify yourself: Writing down things you need to do can help remind you of what homework or studying you need to do. I stick post it notes to my wall by my desk to help remind me of what needs to get done each week. Using your sticky notes or notepad on your computer can be a great way to remind yourself what needs to get done too.

For more info on managing your time watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvwJIZZh7Us

Apr 26

5 Ways to Swap out Snacks for a Healthier You

Posted By iamincontrol | April 26, 2016

Eating healthy can be tough with a busy schedule! Eating healthy is key to feeling good and having energy to fuel your brain and body. Use these 6 tips to swap your snacks and eat healthier this week.iStock_000016672820_Small

  1. Freeze grapes- snack on these frozen treats instead of a sugary popsicle
  2. Cut the fat in dips by using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
  3. Have a meatless Monday- Swap meat for whole grains (quinoa, bulgur, etc.), beans, or mushrooms
  4. Try using lettuce to wrap tacos instead of tortillas
  5. Applesauce can replace oil (and some sugar) to make healthier cakes
  6. Instead of drinking pop add in lemons and cucumbers to water to make a refreshing drink

Looking for more ideas? Check out: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/healthy-snacks.html

Apr 21

Turn Failure into Future Success

Posted By iamincontrol | April 21, 2016

It’s okay to fail, and it will happen more often in your life than you expect. Growing up I was a perfectionist who cared about my grades and school work dearly. You can learn a lot about yourself and how you react to situations when you fail. You can either let it destroy you and give up or you can make yourself a stronger person and grow. What you do and how you see yourself in a rough patch can influence your approach when faced with the next hurdle. During my freshmen year of college, I had a friend who failed a class that she needed to be accepted into her major program. She was devastated about her performance in the class and iStock_000071987209_Smallunder a lot of pressure from matters outside of school as well. She retook the course, she got a tutor from the university, and spent her time studying. Her hard work paid off and she received an A in the course. Now when I need assistance or motivation, I often ask for her guidance.  She inspired me to get a tutor for one of my classes because of how great she took responsibility for her academics. Her hard work and preservation helped her prepare for her future. In the short term, failing can be devastating and can mislead you into giving up, but please stay optimistic. My friend wanted to change her major after failing, but now is on the path to the future she has worked so hard for. If you want something, turn your failure into your future success.

For more info about making the most of your college experience visit: http://collegeapps.about.com/od/choosingacollege/tp/8-Tips-for-a-Campus-Visit.htm

Apr 19

Greek Connection

Posted By tammy | April 19, 2016

It was my first semester of college and I had a handful of friends. I had taken interest in Greek Life events and was contacted by different sororities from time to time. Bids were coming out soon and I had a specific sorority I could see myself becoming a part of. I talked to one of my close friends I went to school with and we were nervous that becoming potential new members would mean encountering typical movie scenes and negative rumors said about Greek life. I turned in my bid and waited to see what the next month of pledging would be like. I am now in the second week and am seeing myself change. The change is for the best, I know I have found lifelong friendships and I am learning more about myself and what I am capable of than I ever have before. My advice would be to really look and research the Greek life your campus has to offer. Youth Friends Friendship Technology Together ConceptSororities and fraternities are unique because you get to find people that are similar to you, yet different at the same time. The women in my sorority have similar values, goals and dreams. My chapter has become a huge support system for me. Maybe Greek Life isn’t for you, but my suggestion is to find people that you can connect with so you can start to form a support system at school. Finding friends in the same major is a great way to have a group of people pushing you along the way when times get tough. You have the opportunity to meet some amazing and diverse people in college! Take advantage of all the networking and life experiences it hands you.

Thinking about going Greek? Check out these tips: http://www.slu.edu/beabilliken/go-greek

Apr 14

Need a Summer Job? 5 Tips on Landing a Job & Making the Most of It

Posted By iamincontrol | April 14, 2016

Summer is right around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about how you will spend your sunny summer days. Having a summer job is a great way to save some cash, meet some friends, and polish your skills. Adding a job into your schedule will not only look great on your resume but can be a fun way to gain iStock_000020967192_Smallsome personal and professional skills. Here’s 3 tips to make the most of a summer job:

1. Take charge: Volunteer for a leadership role, show willingness to do more than asked, or suggest new approaches. Your suggestions could impress management and help your job environment be better for yourself and others. You could suggest a new way to organize the sales floor to attract more customers, or maybe you use your design skills and recreate your job’s logo.

2. Make an impression: Making an impact while at work can be meaningful and can leave an impression about your work ethic.  In the future, you may need a reference for another job or for academics. People you have worked with in the past can help your future by referring you to a new positions and recognizing your hard work. Making an impact can be as simple as being positive at work. Others will take notice of your great attitude and reward you!

3. Start the search early: This gives you more time to explore all options and shows potential employers that you are forward thinking and serious. Search the web and local newspapers for openings. It never hurts to call or stop in and talk to someone about potential job openings. Connecting with others is a great communication skill and will start to build your contact list of potential employers.

For resume and interview tips visit:  http://www.collegebound.net/article/v/18576/land-your-first-jobresume-and-interview-tips-for-teens/

Apr 12

Campus Safety- Know b4 You Go

Posted By iamincontrol | April 12, 2016

 

 

Spring brings college visits and making final decisions about the college you may attend. Here’s 4 tips on making your college environment safe and successful!

Diverse Group People Working Together Concept

  1. Have a buddy: Making friends at college can be scary at first but remember that almost everyone is in the same situation of making new friends! Meet someone on your dorm floor or in your classes that can walk you to your car, home, or to an event with you. Having a walking buddy is a great way to connect and build a relationship with someone while feeling safe!
  2. Be aware: The college environment and campus is usually a safe place but follow all safety guidelines. If you live in a dorm, make sure to lock up your belongings. If you’re studying at the library make sure to have someone watch your laptop or simply bring it with you wherever you go.
  3. Listen to your body: Starting college can be a difficult transition. Make sure to take care of yourself; including your mental and physical health. Pulling all nighters to study can leave you feeling tired; plan out your study schedule ahead of time. If you’re feeling stressed take a long walk or jam out to some music.
  4. Learn your school: Before classes start, print out your schedule and prepare your best route. Bring along your friends and explore campus! Knowing where your classrooms and buildings are before your first day will help you feel more confident and ready!

Need some more college tips? https://www.youtube.com/watchw?v=0sm7Rw6GhhU

Apr 7

The Road to Recovery

Posted By iamincontrol | April 7, 2016

 

High school is supposed to be one of the best times of your life. For me, high school was a time where I started my downward spiral into an eating disorder.

At 16 I had what looked like a great life. I was an athlete, an A student and I had a network of loving friends and family.  However, on the inside, there were these voices in my head constantly saying that Powerful girl with glasses. Reality vs ambition wishful thinking conceptI wasn’t good enough. I could only take so much of those voices before it became too much too handle. For a couple of years, I found comfort in quieting those voices in my head with food. I had developed a binge eating disorder. I gained a considerable amount of weight and after hurtful comments were said and a doctor’s appointment, I decided I needed to lose weight. I started restricting and cutting back my food intake and exercising more. In my mind, thinness lead to happiness and success but the thinner I got, the worse I felt. The summer after my freshman year of college was when my eating disorder became life threatening. I didn’t hang out with my friends, every time I stood up I was dizzy, and I barely had the energy to get up out of my bed. I describe myself during this time as a shadow of a person; I wasn’t living, I was just there.

I was 19 years old when I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and in August of 2014, was when I began the road to recovery. I checked into a residential treatment facility for eating disorders, where I stayed for 6 weeks. After being an inpatient, I moved to outpatient treatment for 3 ½ months. I’m coming up on my year anniversary of being out of treatment, and while I’m forever grateful for my time there, I have no intentions of going back. I learned so much from my time in treatment. The staff taught me different coping skills I could use when urges and stress were high and when I was feeling difficult emotions. When life becomes stressful, self-care is incredibly important! Taking time for yourself by reading a book, painting, or taking a bubble bath can help decrease your anxiety. I also love animals and they are a great form of therapy. You can relieve stress by spending time with your own pet or volunteering at a local humane society.

My eating disorder took away the things that mattered to me and I lost my authentic self.  Recovery has allowed me to find who I truly am. The best part of this journey has been discovering the real me. Every day is a battle, but I never fight alone. I have a support system that fights with me day after day. The road to recovery is difficult, full of ups and downs, but it’s 100% worth it.

Find more information about eating disorder support at: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-help-support

Apr 5

Poll Results April 3rd: FOMO: 5 Ways to Resist Peer Pressure

Posted By iamincontrol | April 5, 2016

Friendship and summer holidays concept. Group of teenagers having good fun on the city streets making a selfie.The teens of Iowa overwhelmingly said that they have experienced FOMO.

Have you ever experienced Fear Of Missing Out- often known as FOMO? FOMO can appear in various situations. Last weekend, I had to work while all my friends went to a concert. The whole time at work I was wondering if they were having fun, if the concert was good, and what Snapchats I was missing out on. Feeling FOMO definitely is not fun! Sometimes though, FOMO can also include peer pressure, which feels even worse! I have had “friends” try to pressure me into doing things that could potentially hurt me or get me into trouble. Here are some tips on avoiding peer pressure and feeling good about it!

  1. Be straightforward- If you don’t want to do something, tell them! If it doesn’t feel right it most likely isn’t going to turn out well.
  2. Suggest an alternative- Like going to the mall or an activity you feel comfortable doing
  3. Distract- Tell them something off the wall like a random fact or what your teacher did in class today
  4. Call out idiocy- “That’s so silly”
  5. Delay- Talk about other things, keep their mind off of what you don’t want to do
  6. Don’t even explain- sometimes they just won’t understand!
  7. Play the parent/guardian card- “My mom is calling me, I forgot I had dinner with her tonight” “I forgot my grandma was going to take me shopping, so I can’t come”
  8. Diss the dumbness- let them know how unreasonable their suggestion is
  9. Joke it off- Tell them something funny or say no to them in a joking manner
  10. Say no firmly- Just plain say no!

Dealing with peer pressure can be a difficult thing to do. Avoiding people that you don’t like or don’t respect you is a great first step. Surround yourself with others who appreciate you just the way you are and do positive things.

Check out this video on avoiding peer pressure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A7h2JtcPf0

Mar 31

Do You Reduce, Reuse, Recycle?

Posted By iamincontrol | March 31, 2016

Most have heard of the three word phrase: reduce, reuse, recycle. Recycling is the component that receives the most attention; most schools have recycling bins and parks have bins for things like water bottles and pop cans. The two things that come before recycling are just as important! Reducing the amount that we consume is the first step and finding uses for waste materials is next. If it’s broken, fix it don’t replace it! If you can, return it to the manufacturer- you can often do this with electronics like cellphones and computers. Tossing it into trash can should be your last choice. Through a balance of these three principles, you can see your waste decline. A good example of recycling is tossing your empty water bottles into a recycling bin.  However, by using a water filter and reusable water bottle you can reduce or completely eliminate your need for plastic water bottles. This can also save you cash since you won’t have to buy bottles to replace yours.

5 Quick tips to become Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Master!

  1. Know what you can and can’t recycle. Read up on the recycling rules for your area and make sure you don’t send anything in that can’t be processed.
  2. If you don’t use something, donate it. Many charities welcome donations of almost anything you could think of. Check around in your community and try to make a rule of donating items unless it must be sensibly thrown away.
  3. Power down to save energy. Turn off the lights and computer and unplug chargers when you are finished using them. Devices still use energy when on standby, so go ahead and turn off those devices to save even more!
  4. Walk, ride your bike, take a bus or carpool to school. Not only will you receive the benefits of physical activity and social interaction, but you will help reduce energy and emissions from an individual car.
  5. Educate others and advocate for environmental issues. If you’re really feeling the “green” movement, think about starting a “green” group at your school. You could even organize a community clean-up or plant trees in the community.

For more information visit:

http://www.iowarecycles.org/

Mar 29

Alcoholism and Alateen

Posted By iamincontrol | March 29, 2016

For as long as I have been alive, my father has been an alcoholic. Although it has always been hard on myself and my family, it was especially difficult throughout my teenage years. I always knew that my father acted in a way that would upset my mother and older sisters but it was not until I was older, roughly age 10, that I had the realization that my dad was an alcoholic. His disease was theshutterstock_137054423 cause of a lot of changes, sadness, and struggles within my life. He and my mother separated when I was six years old, which resulted in my sisters and me living mostly with our mother. We were able to stay with our father every Tuesday evening and every other weekend.

 

I began feeling ashamed and embarrassed of his actions, wondering if I was doing something wrong to cause his drinking. I did not want to bring friends around him, in the fear that he would be drunk and acting out. I did not know how to deal with the emotions I was feeling from his alcoholism. Finally, when I was thirteen years old, I started attending Alateen meetings with a friend who also had an alcoholic parent. Having a friend with a similar problem, that could understand what it was like and how I was feeling was very helpful. Alateen is a fellowship of teenagers, whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. It goes along with the Al-Anon system which is designed for adults affected by alcoholism.

For my specific group, we met every Tuesday night and were able to talk about our weeks with one another, whether there were any situations involving our parent’s alcoholism or not. This program changed my life in such a positive way. I built relationships with people that I will never forget and they helped me get through some of my toughest days. I will be forever grateful to the Alateen program for all of the good they did for me. I would not be as strong and healthy as I am today without it. From attending these meetings, I was able to channel in on what my specific challenges were and how to distinguish between my emotions. I learned how to cope with a variety of feelings and situations. The most important thing I took away from these meetings, though, was the ability to help myself even when my father did not want to help himself. My father and I have a strong relationship to this day and I credit that to this program. I strongly advise anyone who is going through a similar situation to check into any Alateen groups within your area.

You can find more information about Alateen and locations groups meet at this website, http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/how-will-alateen-help-me.