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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!
Sep 21

5 Tips for Cooking & Eating on a Budget

Posted By addie | September 21, 2017

Almost everyone, at some point in their life, has had to improvise with a peanut butter sandwich and ramen diet to save a little money, whether for college or for starting a family. Here are some of the essentials in surviving this stage in life, and that will make life and cooking on a budget a bit easier.

  1. Get a rapid mac & cheese cooker: Saves time and money, because just about all microwave macaroni is overpriced
  2. If you have a meal plan, keep the essentials: Like peanut butter, butter, ketchup, and salt, to be used for any late night snack (we’ve all been there)
  3. Rotisserie Chicken: Cheap, can be made into many things, and can be used for multiple meals
  4. Meal Prep: Takes away the stress of figuring out what to eat, and typically leads to heathier eating and perfectly portioned meals
  5. Treat Yo’self: College is stressful, so make sure to take a break, grab fast food, ice cream, or whatever makes you less stressed. Enjoy in moderation, of course.

For more information on college hacks, please visit:

Sep 19

Signs You’re in a Bad Relationship

Posted By addie | September 19, 2017

When you look back on your past relationships you probably think, “How didn’t I realize what everyone was trying to tell me?” or “I should’ve ended it sooner”. Once you experience the consequences of a bad relationship, you can think back and recognize the signs that it wasn’t healthy for you or your partner.

Whether your partner makes you feel bad about the way you look, acts like they could do better than you, treats you like you are replaceable, or thinks you have to conform to their rules, it isn’t bettering you – it’s harming you.

Here are some signs I have personally experienced throughout my bad relationships.

  1. Your partner is manipulative – Often a manipulative partner will guilt you into thinking everything is your fault. Whenever you two get into an argument, even if it was something they did wrong, it will always turn back to you for the blame.
  2. Mental/Physical Abuse – While physical abuse is an obvious sign, mental abuse is harder to realize in the moment. If your partner is constantly making you feel bad about yourself in ways such as your appearance or actions, it’s abuse.
  3. Lying – If your partner is lying, it’s obvious that you aren’t being respected. If you are being honest, there is no reason your partner shouldn’t be telling you the truth.
  4. Cheating – This one is obvious. If they can’t respect you, they don’t deserve you. Don’t waste your time on a cheater. There are plenty faithful people in the world.

Remember, it is never too late to get out of a bad relationship! Notice the early signs of an unhealthy relationship and save yourself from the circumstances.

To learn more about abusive relationships, why people might stay in them, and how to help, visit

Sep 14

Sometimes It’s Cool Not to Fit in!

Posted By addie | September 14, 2017

When I was in high school, I was involved in a variety of activities. I was involved in sports, choir, clubs at school, and clubs through my church, but my absolute favorite thing to do was volleyball. I loved it because it was something I thought I was good at and all of my friends were in it. One Friday afternoon, my friends and I were trying to decide what we were going to do that night because we did not have a volleyball tournament that weekend. We usually had one EVERY weekend so we knew that we had to do something really fun that night. One of my friends mentioned that an upperclassman was having a party that we could all attend. I was a little bit worried about going to this party because I knew the people who were having it and I knew that there was going to be plenty of alcohol there. In the small town that I grew up in, almost everybody in high school went to parties and drank. However, if anyone got caught by the police, they had major consequences like sitting out of school activities.

I had a gut feeling that was telling me not to go. I wouldn’t dare risk getting caught and letting my teammates, coach, and family down. Not only that, but I knew that it was illegal to drink at my age considering. I had too much to lose. Finally, I said, “I don’t think I’m gonna go to the party.” After I said that, they kept asking me “Why don’t you want to go? Everyone else is going and you’re going to miss out.” I stuck to my gut feeling though, and didn’t end up going. Thank goodness I didn’t because my friends got into trouble with the law and lost their privileges to participate in school activities.

If you would like to read an interesting blog about someone else’s realization that fitting in isn’t the only way, check out

Sep 12

Setting Real #RelationshipGoals

Posted By addie | September 12, 2017

You may have seen the #relationshipgoals trend circulating Instagram and other social media. Some of them are cute, some are funny, but many of them totally unrealistic. While the point of this blog isn’t to tell you that the #relationshipgoals trend is bad, constantly comparing yourself to relationship “ideals” can be damaging to your self-esteem and your relationship. (See The more we see pictures of couples with perfect bodies curled up in impossible positions and over-the-top proposals, the more we believe that this is what we should expect from a relationship. There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting relationship goals, just make sure these goals are ones that will enhance your relationship.

  1. Be yourself in your relationship. Whether you are quirky, peaceful, energetic, or adventurous, be yourself, not anyone else. The happiest couples are those who can be their true selves with each other.
  2. Be the source of your own happiness. Relying on another person puts an unfair burden on them and will eventually strain your relationship. To prevent this from happening, keep doing the things that made you happy before you began your relationship continue exploring what makes you happy.
  3. Maintain your own friendships. Starting a new relationship is exciting, which makes it easy to fall into the routine of only hanging out with your new significant other. Couples that balance time spent together and apart are much happier than those who don’t. Letting your friendships wilt also may mean that there is no one to help pick up the pieces should you break up.
  4. Support each other’s separate goals. Common goals are not the only goals that are important to set; your partner’s goals are important too. Couples that last support each other in their individual endeavors.

When looking at #relationshipgoals posts and setting your own relationship goals, remember that no relationship is perfect. Even though everyone else’s relationship seems to be perfect, they most definitely aren’t. People generally don’t post the negative or lackluster parts in their life, which can be deceiving.

Sep 7

Safe Money Transfers: What is Best for You?

Posted By addie | September 7, 2017

You go out to eat and your best friend covers your dinner for you out of nowhere! This is such a kind gesture, but you really want to pay him back. All you have with you is your debit card and there is no ATM nearby. What electronic platforms can you use to safely send your money to him otherwise known as peer-to-peer (P2P) payments?

  • PayPal began in 1999 and allows people to send money using a PayPal account or bank account to others. It has a high maximum transfer of $10,000 and has more active accounts worldwide than any other P2P payment platform.
  • Venmo is actually owned by PayPal, but this version was created for more convenient mobile phone use. It is free to send and receive money when you link a bank account or debit card, but there is a visible newsfeed where your friends can see your money transfers.
  • Square Cash app sends money from a credit or debit card via website or mobile app. It works very similarly to Venmo, without the newsfeed where others can see your transactions.
  • Google Wallet lets you transfer money to others via the web using either a phone number or email address. This platform lets you cash out instantly from the in-app wallet so the money is instantly transferred to your debit card.

Although all major P2P payment systems are encrypted, meaning that all your financial information is protected, there is still a risk for hacks or scams. Use these applications at your own risk and if you feel uncomfortable sending money then use your best judgement. Here are some ways you can protect yourself from potential scams:

  1. Only send and receive money with people you know or have met
  2. Add a PIN or Personal Identification Number if possible
  3. Ask for notifications for every transaction

For more information, check out and take the quiz to find out which money transfer provider is best for you!

Sep 5

How Poor Communication Ruined my Friendship

Posted By addie | September 5, 2017

All the voters agreed that they either avoid confrontation or try to work with the other party on making sure everyone is happy!

Handling conflicts is super hard for me. As a person who prides herself on not getting into drama, I found myself in a whole bunch of it. My mother had always described me as a “peacemaker”, my conflict style being described as “avoidant”. “Choosing my battles” and avoiding confrontation had actually worked for me for most of my life. Well, at least until I met Olivia.

Olivia and I were oh-so-alike in many ways, but also so different in others. We both loved scavenging for deals, creating art, and cooking new recipes. It’s easy to see how we became such fast friends with so much in common. Our differences were slower to surface.

Looking back, I see now how better communication could have saved our friendship. One of the keys to being an effective communicator is to understand the other person, where they are coming from and their preferred conflict management style. Olivia’s communication style was swift and direct. She would always tell me when I did things that upset her right away. For me, it takes either one serious offense or several continued offenses for me to say anything. As a person who was not used to confrontation, I would interpret her grievance as attacks.

I began avoiding her, but avoiding conflict only made things worse and I started to resent her more and more. Without warning, I told her I wanted to end our friendship. She was devastated and confused. A few days later, I wrote Olivia a letter explaining my decision and how her confrontations made me feel. I apologized for blind-siding her and discussed how I should have told her how I felt sooner. She wrote back thanking me for opening up to her and explained to me that she was only trying to be honest and upfront with me, which is how she had always been taught to manage conflict.

Understanding your own conflict management style and stopping to consider others’ perspective is so important for maintaining a relationship. Learn about different types of conflict resolutions strategies and find out your preferred style by taking this quiz: If you are still unsure how to handle a difficult conflict, consider talking to a parent or counselor who has experience in effective conflict resolution.

Aug 31

Coping with the Transition from High School to College

Posted By addie | August 31, 2017

Life is hard. This realization hit me the hardest when I made the transition from high school to college. In high school, I did not struggle with school, making friends, or keeping my spirits high. I was involved in soccer, volleyball, along with many clubs during my high school years. I came home every night to my loving parents and siblings and life was good.

When my freshman year of college rolled around, my attitude began to change. I was no longer living with my support system and I was thrown into difficult classes that I had thought I was prepared for. I immediately spiraled into a stressed out, sad, and anxious state. I figured this was normal, considering how stressed out my friends were too. I felt amazing when I finally got a month at home with my mom and dad. I was ready to take on second semester head-on. I returned to school, but did not finish the year as I had expected. I found it hard to get out of bed for my classes, and had no ambition to finish any homework assignments. I finished the school year with a terrible GPA.

It was strange when I realized I found myself struggling with my mood when it was summer time and I had no reason to feel anxious. I kept it to myself, afraid to let anyone know this is what I was feeling. I hit my breaking point when sophomore year of college came around. I cried almost every day for the first month of school.

I knew I needed to talk to my mom and she quickly scheduled me an appointment at home, and she went with me for support. The doctor explained to me that I had what was called “anxious depression”. I was so relieved to hear that I had medication options and an opportunity to talk to a counselor about how I was feeling.

My advice to anyone who is feeling like how I felt is to talk to someone you know about what you have been experiencing! You will not regret it when you are happy as ever, finally feeling yourself again. Follow the link below to visit a self-help website with coping tips to overcome the struggles when you are feeling low.

Aug 29

Working Out on a Budget

Posted By addie | August 29, 2017

Exercise is good for the body and soul, but it can get expensive. Here are some tips for getting a good workout without breaking the bank.

  1. Thrifting is your friend.You can find all the clothes you need to work out second-hand: sneakers, shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, leggings, sweatshirts – everything! You can even find name brand items and be just as fashionable as people that bought brand new clothes!
  2. Get a reusable water bottle.Staying hydrated during your workout is very important but buying bottled water can put a big strain on your wallet and the environment. Invest $10 in a reusable bottle and it will pay for itself in just a few uses.
  3. Skip the gym membership.If your town has good sidewalks and parks use them. You can get a good work out in limited space as well; Use your front yard, back yard, or any green space you have access to. If you need to stay inside, ask your family if you could move a table or a couch. Ask your school if you can use their facilities after hours: tennis and basketball courts, football, soccer, baseball, and softball fields should be open for the public to use.
  4. Use what you’ve got.No need for fancy equipment. You can use your body weight to get a full workout without equipment! If your body weight exercises become too easy for you, investing in simple equipment can maximize your workout. Yoga mats can be as low as $6 and they make it easier to work out on a variety of surfaces (grass, cement, carpet, slick floors). You can find a set of hand weights for under $10.
  5. Keep it simple.Working out doesn’t only mean leaving blood, sweat and tears on the floor. Working out is anything that gets your body moving! Walking is a great form of exercise and is easy to do. Grab a buddy and play catch. Working out doesn’t have to be painful or hard!

Check out this link for more tips:

Aug 24

I’m Right – You’re Wrong

Posted By addie | August 24, 2017

It’s easy to butt heads with another over differences in opinions. Interacting with someone who has different views can be difficult, especially when you are passionate about your beliefs and opinions. Here are some tips that can help when you find yourself in this situation.

  1. Try to understand the other person’s perspective. We all grow up in different environments with different cultural and religious backgrounds and experiences. All of these factors influence the way we think and feel about things. Try putting yourself in the other person’s environment. Does it now make more sense why they feel the way they feel?
  2. Remain kind. Differences in opinion do not start arguments—unkind words do. Try not to make things personal. Just because a person holds a certain belief does not necessarily make them a bad person.
  3. Let it go. How important is it to you that the other person agrees with you? Is it worth damaging your relationship? No one expects you to be friends with everyone, but it is never wise to make enemies. There are times when it is best to drop the topic and move on to something more agreeable.
  4. Acknowledge that everyone has a right to his or her own opinion. The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution gives all people the right to hold and express their own opinion. Would you want to live in a country where you do not have this right?

Note: Sometimes opinions are based in either logic or emotion, or a combination of the two. Opinions grounded in logic are supported by facts while opinions supported by emotion rely more on how someone feels about something. Both are valid bases for opinion, which can make debating difficult when the two arguments have a different base. Can you really “defeat” emotion with logic or vice versa?

For more advice from Kid President, watch!

Aug 22

Composing Compost

Posted By addie | August 22, 2017

Compost is decomposed organic material. When you think of the word “organic”, you may think of organic food you find in the grocery store that has grown without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. While that is not wrong, the word “organic” has a different meaning when referring to compost. Organic, in compost terms, means “of living matter”, which means anything that, is or was once alive. Organic matter decomposes, or breaks down, when bacteria and fungi consume it. This releases nutrients back into the soil that plants can use to grow. Composting can be done in the home and is “done” when it looks and smells like soil. Composting is also great for the environment!

A good compost mixture contains roughly one part “green” to three parts “brown” ingredients. Green ingredients are those that are soft, fresh, or wet while brown ingredients are hard, dry, or dead. Here are some examples:

  • Green:
  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Grass clippings
  • Coffee grounds
  • Hair
  • Brown:
  • Eggshells
  • Leaves
  • Teabags
  • Paper and cardboard

Are you interested in starting your own compost? Here’s one quick way how!