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I AM in 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!
Nov 24

Plan to Succeed

Posted By iamincontrol | November 24, 2015

During my senior year of high school, my school’s guidance counselor gathered our senior class to talk about our futures. He told us that college is something we should think about along with other options like trade school to open up more opportunities. I was so indecisive on picking a school and I wasn’t sure what I wanted my major to be. I decided to register for classes at a nearby community college that offered some of the activities I was interested in like show choir and plays. I was pretty nervous for college and I didn’t know what to expect. Things kept running through my head the day before school started like:  Was anyone going to like me? What if I don’t like my major? Where are my classes? Do I have to have a major? Do I call all my teachers “professor ____”? Where do I park?

My advice to anyone worried about picking a major, college, or career path is—don’t stress it! Deciding to go to a community college close to home was a great decision for me. I have grown just as much inside the classroom as outside the classroom. Here’s some things that I learned along the way: shutterstock_187290716

  1. If in doubt, think it out! Make the best decision for you. The best decision I ever made was attending the community college I went to. It was a great place for me to sort out my priorities, find out what classes I liked, and learn what things I valued.
  2. You can switch your major as many times as you feel necessary but take into account that switching could mean more years until graduation.
  3. Get involved! Find a something you are interested in. Join a sports team, volunteer, find a club, audition for a play, or even get a campus job. It will help you make friends and connections on campus. Just remember, if you spread yourself too thin it could be hard to keep up with school.
  4. Don’t stress out! Take deep breaths and make time for yourself. You can relieve stress by taking a study break and going for a walk, doing yoga, making a trip to the gym, or even going to grab a coffee or ice cream with your friend.

Deciding what college to attend? Check out

Nov 19

Thanksgiving- Give Back & Give Thanks

Posted By iamincontrol | November 19, 2015

Thanksgiving to some might just mean overindulging on pumpkin pie, football, and a time to relax with family. For me, Thanksgiving has always been a time to give back and give thanks. My family’s Thanksgiving tradition is to volunteer at my hometown’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner. My mother always says, “we must give thanks and serve others before we serve ourselves”.  When I was younger I wasn’t sure what she meant and why we had to serve others before we ate our own meal. Since growing older and continuing the same volunteer tradition, I have had so many learning experiences that have shaped me into understanding what her words meant. I now understand the need for food and connection in my community. Some people get meals delivered to their homes on Thanksgiving and others come in for a meal. Those who receive meals may be in a situation that would otherwise make them tgivinggo hungry and or be very lonely on Thanksgiving. Instead, we help them celebrate, give support, and provide a meal for them. Volunteering before I go home to eat with my family has put life into perspective. I do not take a meal or my family for granted because I have seen or heard about situations that make me very grateful for my own life. By volunteering, I have realized the importance of giving back and have connected deeply with people in my community.

I encourage you this holiday season to give thanks and give back! Start a new tradition with your family, friends, or even yourself. It could be raking leaves from your neighbor’s yard, joining a volunteer organization, or even cooking a meal for someone you know is having a hard time.  Volunteering not only helps other people out, but can help you connect to your community and see your own life from a different perspective.

Want to volunteer? Check out:

Nov 17

What Choir Taught Me

Posted By iamincontrol | November 17, 2015

My love of choir started in elementary school when I joined a morning music group and has continued throughout my senior year of high school. Choir has always been challenging for me, but enjoyable at the same time. It has taught me that a group of people can accomplish a difficult task if they are willing to work for it. Whenever my choir teacher said that a song sounded wrong, she would tell us to think that you are the one off. This may sound harsh, but thinking that you are the one off made each person aware of how their actions impacted the group. Choir gave me a sense of a community because we were are all working equally towards the same common goal of making a song sound great. Choir made me realize that even when you aren’t the center focus, you do impact the group through your actions. If you are unprepared, the group’s sound will not be balanced. Being a part of a group doesn’t conceal your talents, it showcases them!

Choir built up my confidence so much, that during my senior year of high school I auditioned for my first solo. I received a solo part in a song that was an emotional true story about a town not allowing hate crimes to continue to families in the community. When we performed the song, we moved the audience to tears. The feeling of making such an emotional impact on the audience made me have pride in my group because we collectively caused a positive reaction. Choir helped me realize that individual efforts in a group can be a powerful thing when we worked together successfully.choir

Being a part of a group big or small can not only bring out your confidence but can also help to make a positive impact on others’ lives. Groups are great because you have support from others that have a similar interests to you.  Taking responsibility for your part in the group creates trust and leads everyone to success. Belonging to a group can be done by participating in a sports teams, school organizations, clubs, band or choir, volunteering, or just by having a group of positive friends. If you aren’t in a group already, think about ways that you could join one!

Need a place to volunteer in Iowa? Check out for opportunities around you!

Nov 12

Focus on the Future

Posted By iamincontrol | November 12, 2015

A few things that I wish I would have been able to tell myself in high school are: think of the future ahead and be less worried about the drama. In high school, I got so wrapped up in trying to be popular that I forgot to invest in things that would matter in my future. I had a boyfriend that I thought was the one. I thought I was in love and at the time not much else mattered to me. I ditched my friends, quit my sports teams, and stopped doing homework.  Later, I found out that he was cheating on me.  This was a huge reality check and I decided to turn my life around to focus my time on school, sports, and building back relationships with people that truly mattered to me. I got involved in sports again, received a scholarship, and decided to go to futurecollege!

College has been the best time of my life and I wish that I would have known how much things can change for the better. Your high school friends, the drama, your boyfriends and girlfriends will all become a blur of the past. If you are having a hard time in your life remember: it gets better! High school is only the beginning of finding out who you are. Keep moving forward, be the best you can be, and everything will fall into its place.

Nov 10

How I Dealt With My Depression

Posted By iamincontrol | November 10, 2015

When I was in my sophomore year of high school, there were many things causing stress in my life including school, work, extracurricular activities, family problems, and issues with friends. As a result, I became overwhelmed with everything that was going on in my life. I tried to find ways to cope with my stress and I began self-harming.

My depression not only affected me, but my friends and family as well. I became very distant with everyone I was close to and was ultimately miserable. After a while, I went to some friends and family for help. Talking to someone about what I was feeling really helped me. It wasn’t until I confided in an adult that I was really able to start overcoming my depression and self-harm. She kept me accountable, told me about resources where I could go to get additional help, and encouraged me to stop harming myself.shutterstock_91159184

I have come so far from where I was. I am proud to say I have overcome my depression and self-harm. Through this hardship, I have learned to handle my stress by relaxing, creating art, and talking with reliable people about what is going on in my life. My advice for anyone struggling with depression is to talk to someone about what they are feeling whether that be a parent, counselor, trusted adult, or very close friend. It takes more courage to ask for help than it does to keep everything bottled up inside. Do the courageous thing and ask for help!


Need someone to talk to? Call the Iowa State Extension Teen Line at: 1-800-443-8336 or visit

Nov 5

Best Friends for Life or Best Friends for Now?

Posted By iamincontrol | November 5, 2015

Best friends are supposed to be the ones that you go to for everything. You can depend on them for just about anything, right? Trusting people is something that I tend to do fairly easy. I’m quick to forgive and holding grudges isn’t something I like to get hung up on. But what happens when someone you thought was your other half pushes you to your limit? During high school my best friend and I had a one of a kind bond. The sad part is, she wasn’t the one who told me the truth. I found out from other friends that she was lying about the things she was telling me. Everything between us started to unravel, and I realized how controlling she really was. I had been blind for so long about how toxic our friendship really was. I’m proud of myself for being strong enough to cut that friendship out of my life. Not only did I become a more independent person, but life in general became happier!shutterstock_49470013
If you have someone in your life that drags you down when they are supposed to be one of your biggest supporters, don’t be afraid to cut ties with them. That can be done by gradually distancing yourself, having an honest constructive conversation with them, or by getting a professional involved like your school counselor to help moderate a talk with them. Be aware of who you trust and listen to yourself when you think something isn’t right about someone. Surround yourself with people who help build you up and make you feel good.
Need some support from others? Check out


Nov 3

Poll Results: Balancing Act

Posted By iamincontrol | November 3, 2015

The poll results are in and overwhelmingly, students find using a calendar or planner very useful!

How do you balance, school, a job, activities and a social life? The key for me was organization. I worked part-time, was an athlete, and involved in many different organizations throughout my high school years. I had to stay organized to keep all my activities straight. I kept a pocket calendar with me which included all my practices, meetings, work schedule, and other important dates. I color-coded my schedule to help me even further prepare and make sure I didn’t miss anything. Having everything in one central calendar helped me to not get overwhelmed.  planner

I felt like I had control of my life and was very prepared because of my planning. If something else came up during another obligation I would work it out ahead of time to make sure I would make the most important thing. For example, I worked part time at a grocery store; if I knew I had a big test coming up, I would ask for a few nights off before the exam so I could study and get good sleep. Knowing my schedule ahead of time and having it listed in a calendar helped me visualize what needed to get done. Since it was all written down, I never had to worry or guess what I had to do next. It is all about finding a routine and schedule that works for you! Prioritize your schedule so you address the most important or immediate things first.  Do not be afraid to give yourself a break! Just make sure you plan the break around your schedule.

Need some inspiration for your goal setting? Check out this video


Oct 29

Happy Safe and Healthy Halloween

Posted By iamincontrol | October 29, 2015

Halloween is right around the corner so IAMinControl gathered these Tips from the CDC for safe trick or treating.shutterstock_214553419


S  Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible

A Avoid trick-or-Treating alone. Walk in groups.

F  Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you

E  Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.


H Hold a flashlight while trick or treating to help you see and others see you. Always walk and don’t run from house to house.

A Always test make-up in small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

L Look both ways before crossing the street.

L Lower risk of not being able to see clearly by not wearing masks or decorative contact lenses

O Only Walk on Sidewalks.

W Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, or falls.

E Eat only wrapped treats, avoid homemade ones.

E Enter homes only if you are with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Do not accept rides from strangers.

N Never wear lit candles and make sure your costume is flame-resistant.


For the source and additional information: Have a great and safe Halloween from IAMinControl!

Oct 27

The only test you want to fail…

Posted By iamincontrol | October 27, 2015

shutterstock_254219656Last year, my cousin Angela came home from college for the first time.  We were both so happy to see each other and I was so excited to hear about Angela’s first semester at college. She told me funny stories about her professors, football game highlights, and gossip about her new dorm floor mates.  After telling me all about her time at college, she asked me if I could keep a secret. She told me she had met a few new guys while away at college and was having sex with one of the guys named Brad. She told me she was worried because after having sex with Brad a few times her vagina became itchy and it hurt to pee. After talking about how Angela’s body felt off and that Brad and her never used a condom, we decided it was best for Angela to see a doctor and get tested for sexually transmitted infections.

What is an STD/STI and why should you get tested?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are generally picked up by sexual contact. All forms of sexual contact with another person can spread STIs- vaginal, oral, anal, sharing sex toys, and even just skin to skin contact. Most infections come with no symptoms at all. So, if you are participating in sexual contact make sure to get tested regularly.


5 Things Know About STI Testing

  1. Just ask for a test! STI testing is very common! Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or health care provider about your testing options.


  1. Be open and honest! Your health care provider will ask you questions before you get tested to see what tests you will need. The health care provider may ask questions like when was your last period, if you have ever had an STI, and specific questions about your sexual practices. Answer to your best ability, the providers have heard it all so don’t be shy.
  2. Different STI’s require different kinds of tests.

Swab and urine tests: These tests are used for chlamydia and gonorrhea. For the swab test, your health care provider will take a small sample of fluid from your vagina, throat, penis, or anus and place it into a container. For the urine test you will pee in a small plastic cup. These samples will be sent to a lab for testing.

Blood Tests:  These tests are used to detect HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. A small amount of blood will be drawn from your arm and will be sent to the lab for tests. Don’t worry about the needles! Your health care provider is trained to draw blood so it won’t hurt you.

Rapid Response Tests: Tests for HIV. A health care provider will prick your finger and will use that blood for the test. Results take about fifteen minutes. Not all clinics offer this testing, so call ahead to be sure.

Other tests: A sample of fluid from a sore is sometimes used to test for herpes, this is also known as an oral swab. Your health care provider can diagnose anal or genital warts right away simply by looking at them.


  1. Treatment of STIs can be as simple as taking medicine or getting a shot. Some STIs can’t be cured, like herpes but you can receive treatment that can help to relieve the symptoms.
  2. Know Your Resources! There are many places to get tested for STIs. Hospitals and free clinics are places you can get tested at.

Need help locating a place to get tested at? Go to: to find testing centers near you.

Oct 22

Internet Addication: Ways it is Ruining Your Relationship

Posted By iamincontrol | October 22, 2015

I am just like the next person, who can be found with their phone next to them with the Instagram, snaps, and all sorts of notifications. But there are times for us shutterstock_257216497to put our phones away and be present in that moment. This is especially important when we are around other people or we need to give our attention to homework or tasks.


Ask yourself these five questions:

  1. Do you worry someone is trying to get ahold of you, when you can’t look at your phone?
  2. Do you get most of your news from social media or Buzzfeed?
  3. Do you communicate mostly via text message?
  4. Does your cell phone die often when you are out and about?


Ways It May Ruin Your Relationships

  1. Not Present: Our attention drifts from what is front of us to our screens. As a result, we don’t give our friends an opportunity to get out their feelings.
  2. Loss of Communication: Some conversations need to happen in person and not over texts.
  3. Seek Recognition from the Virtual World: We don’t look to our friends in person for friendship, but online to people we don’t know as well.


Look at how the internet is impacting your life.