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

Questions, Answers and Resources for Teens

Use this resource for questions regarding your health, your relationships, your body and your sexuality.

While this site is informative, it is not a substitute for talking to your doctor, parents or other trusted adult.

Apr 24

Let the Healing Begin

Posted By iamincontrol | April 24, 2014

By April

No matter how annoying younger siblings can be, we all have that protective big brother/sister instinct in us that comes out when they get hurt. We feel we have to protect them from things in this world that we don’t want them to ever have to experience, and when they do experience them, we feel a sense of failure that cuts deep.

I have a sister who is three years younger than me. We’ve gone through so much together­­. Our biological mother gave us up for adoption after giving birth to me at age 13, and my sister at age 16. This only made my sister and me closer. We got through foster care together and were fortunate to both be adopted by the same family. I was forced to grow up a lot faster and take care of my sister’s needs first. This seems like a huge task for a four year old, but you do what you have to do. Being placed in a good home allowed me to let someone take care of both of us, but there was still that sense of protectiveness in me.

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Apr 22

Finding Your Fit

Posted By iamincontrol | April 22, 2014

Marching band
By Eric

As a teenager in a very big high school, I found that the people you interact with on a day to day basis have a great influence on things like popularity and acceptance by others.  In high school, I had a hard time fitting in.  I was what you might consider a “Band Nerd” and made my closest friends while participating in marching band, jazz band, and concert band.  As a freshman, I also played basketball and got to know some guys who would be classified as “Jocks”.

At that point in time, I experienced an identity crisis as I tried to figure out which social group I wanted to be with.  I even began behaving differently when I was around the guys I knew from basketball and guys I hung out with from band.  I wasn’t sure who I was or how I was supposed to act.  I got a crush on a very athletic girl who played both basketball and volleyball.  She was not interested in me at all and even made some negative comments about my nerdy looks.  At that point I was feeling pretty down.

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Apr 17

Money Matters

Posted By iamincontrol | April 17, 2014

By Jacalyn

When I was in high school I had two jobs, and to be honest I made quite a bit of money. However, while still in high school, I was very privileged by my parents bill-wise. I did not pay anything. So I mostly spent my money on stupid things like getting my nails done, tanning, getting my hair done, eating fast food, going to expensive places with my friends and buying expensive purses or electronics that I did not need. I was also very privileged in the sense that my grandparents and parents bought my car as well as put money in a savings account for me for college. When I left to start college, all my incoming money came to a halt.

At first I was like, whatever, I’ll just take out the maximum amount of loans I am given, but I soon realized that wasn’t the smartest. I pay out-of-state tuition (which is expensive), and I realized I was just wasting the rest of my loan money. But, I am now a junior in college, and I try to take out the minimum amount of loans I need for school-related things like tuition and books because I do not want to be paying back my loans until I’m 90.   Read More

Apr 15

5 Things to Love about the Farmer’s Market

Posted By iamincontrol | April 15, 2014

By Addie

Now that it’s springtime, I officially have my countdown ready for the first farmer’s market of the season. And it’s right around the corner! Below are some reasons for you to check out a local farmer’s market in your area this summer.

  1. Fresh (and local) produce—Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, and there is no better place to search for those than a farmer’s market. On top of that, buying local is the new trend, and it’s a good one. Not only does it help the local economy by supporting small businesses, it can be cheaper than supermarkets if you buy produce that’s in season.
  2. Free samples—Who can say no to free food? If you walk around the farmer’s market, you will likely see a lot of free samples. Take this opportunity to try new foods; if you like what you taste, ask for recipes.
  3. Getting in your exercise—Being active and walking around to all of the vendors is an easy way to get in all your daily steps and you don’t even realize you are being active. If you have a dog, take him/her for a stroll as well as many of the farmer’s markets are dog friendly.
  4. A job—Many vendors look for extra help in the summer, especially since farmer’s markets tend to be in the evening or on the weekends. If you are a people person and love to be outside, this may be a great option for a part-time job. Contact a local business if you know they are involved to ask about a job, or ask face-to-face while visiting. You never know if they might be looking another hand.
  5. Socializing—Go with a group of friends and spend time together. This is a great way to hang out with your friends that doesn’t have to cost much. Want to go by yourself? There is always a good chance you will run into someone that you know. The people that are working are usually friendly and willing to talk to anyone. And even if you don’t see someone you know, what’s not to love about people watching?!

To see what produce is in season when, visit this website.

You are in control of eating healthy, local foods.

Apr 10

Overcoming Bullying and Depression

Posted By iamincontrol | April 10, 2014

Teen girl
By Jenna

Being the target for bullying and dealing with depression were two of the hardest obstacles I have ever had to face.  I am writing this post with a smile on my face because I am proof that although these are difficult times, they can be overcome and life does become easier.  If someone had told me this in eighth or ninth grade, it would have been difficult to believe.  No matter what your age is, and no matter how sad you feel, remember there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I remember feeling alone, very sad and unloved during these times.  I also remember wondering if I left this earth if anyone would miss me.  If anyone reading this is asking this same question, the answer is always yes.   You are a unique person who is special in different ways and loved more than you know.

In junior high, I started hanging out with different people, and my best friend at the time did not like this.  Rumors were spread on both our ends.  However, my ex-best friend took it to another level.  There was a big sleepover at a girl’s house, and I was not invited due to the rumors.  I had a few friends over.  The large party kept calling me, screaming at me, bullying and leaving harsh voicemails.  My once so-called “friends” had called me every name in the book, informing me that no one liked me and everyone thought I was a “whore.”  I remember bawling the next day, wondering what I did to deserve this.  At school, I did not feel comfortable talking to anyone and I could feel people whispering about me when I walked by.  This situation, along with a few other tough times such as my close sister moving to college, and seeing my how my uncle’s suicide affected my father and family, spun me into a deep depression.  I would eat everything in sight, hoping that would make me feel better.  I became very obese.  I stopped enjoying activities I used to love doing.  I did not talk to anyone and did not feel myself.

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Apr 8

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

Posted By iamincontrol | April 8, 2014

You’ve probably all heard of eating disorders, like anorexia or bulimia, but have you heard of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)?

What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)?

BDD is when a person focuses on what they think is a flaw in their body and obsesses about it.  It’s usually something that nobody else notices or thinks is a big deal.  For example, someone might think their nose is too big, and while the people around them don’t really notice it.  Even if their nose isn’t really big, that person can’t stop obsessing about it.

Compulsions and avoidance behaviors often go along with BDD.  Compulsions are when the person feels the need to do something about their problem as a result of their obsessive thoughts.  The person above might ask multiple people a day if they think their nose is too big.  Avoidance behaviors might include staying home from school because the person thinks their nose is too big to even be seen in public.  These behaviors are often a result of trying to “fix” their obsession or avoid thinking about it for a while, but in reality, these make BDD worse.  BDD is controlling their life.

In the video below, a teen was diagnosed with BDD because she obsessed over her face shape. Read More

Apr 3

How I Let Alcohol Affect My Life

Posted By iamincontrol | April 3, 2014

Teenage girl By Anonymous

The beginning of my junior year of high school was going perfect, so I thought. I had the best boyfriend and friends a girl could ask for. My friends that I would hang out with every weekend were big into partying. So I thought that I needed to impress them and give into peer pressure. I went to some parties here and there with my friends, and they were pretty fun.

One Saturday night we went to a big party an older kid was throwing. We were there for about an hour, and then the next thing I knew, the cops showed up.  Everyone at the party was trying to run and hide from the cops.  That didn’t work very well because there were only two ways out of the house, and there were cops by both of those doors.  Eventually we were all sat down and were breathalyzed. They ended up giving us all tickets and wrote our names down. The cops turned the names into our school and most of us were athletes, so we had to sit out games.

After this happened I didn’t go out for the rest of my high school career. One night of partying isn’t worth getting in trouble and having to sit out and watch everyone else play. At first I wanted to blame my friends for peer pressuring me to go to this party, but then I realized that it was my fault. No one can make me do anything, I make my own choices. If you ever run across a situation like this, don’t give in. Stand your ground and make the right choice.

Apr 1

What does being in a relationship mean?

Posted By addie | April 1, 2014


The results are in!

Last month’s poll question was:

When do you consider yourself in a relationship?

You guys said:

  • If we hang out a lot (11%)
  • If we’ve gone on one date (33%)
  • When we call each other boyfriend/girlfriend (55%)

Being in a relationship can mean different things to different people, and when you’re in one, you might want different things than someone else.  Watch this video to see what other teens look for in a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Read More

Mar 27

Why I Will Wait

Posted By iamincontrol | March 27, 2014

Teen couple
By Alexandra

Growing up in today’s society, it feels that everyone is having sex. Sex is everywhere, TV, music, movies, and hearing it from peers. During high school many of my friends lost their virginity by the time we graduated. I always sort of felt out of place, because I was still a virgin. It was not because I had religious beliefs I wanted to follow, it was just because I didn’t really have a stance on whether I wanted to wait or not. Therefore I decided to do some research and decide how I felt about sex.

I am a very visual person; I like pro/con lists a lot. When researching reasons to wait/not wait to have sex I put them into a chart. Many of the reasons to have sex were to grow emotionally closer to another person, feel pleasure, and show someone how much you love them. However, the reasons not to have sex were very daunting. STIs are among the number one reason to not have sex. They can impact your life and your partner’s life drastically.

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Mar 25

Finding a Best Friend

Posted By iamincontrol | March 25, 2014

Best friends
By Priscilla

I grew up with different friends throughout middle school and high school. During middle school, I had a group of girlfriends that turned out to be not the best examples for me in later years.  At the time, I just wanted to be liked by them, so I joined their group back then. I did not know very many people because I was the new kid in town at that time, but I learned to make new friends throughout middle school.

I found my best friend in 7th grade. She has been a great friend since then because she has always been there to encourage me to make better choices when I am not making the right decisions. I am so thankful that I found a friend that will help me through anything. In high school, she was the first one to tell me more about her faith and how that has helped her get through things. I did not want to be involved, but because she was I thought I would give it a try and attend a church service with her. I ended up thinking it was not for me, but then later realized it was.

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