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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Nov 10

“I CAN SMELL YOUR SCENT FROM MILES” – WHAT DID ADAM LEVINE JUST SAY?

Posted By iamincontrol | November 10, 2014

Just like most of America, I am a huge fan of Maroon 5’s music.  When the Iowa State Fair announced, a few years ago, that Maroon 5 and Train would be a headliner in their concert series. I was sold and could be found near the front on the right side of the stage jamming to “Moves Like Jagger” and “Hey, Soul Sister.” The band’s front man, Adam Levine, has gotten a lot of attention lately for his marriage and role on the popular TV show, “The Voice.” But with the video above, I am starting to rethink my love for the band?

If you haven’t watched the video, the video displays Adam Levine stalking his wife in the grocery store, on the street, and even in her bedroom. In addition, the lead man is found taking photos of his “prey”. Lastly, Adam is displayed running around a cooler hugging shanks of meat and pour blood over himself. The video leads the viewer wondering—what is the point and why?

Is Adam just trying to show off his wife? Show off his abs? I am not sure. But one thing the video does is tries to “okay” stalking and turning people into pieces of meat to devour. Some people may say that this is art or not care, but what does this say about how we treat our boyfriends or girlfriends. What does this say about how we treat those that we care about? As a piece of meat, I want to never be thought of as that. Maybe Maroon 5 went for the shock factor; but before they sing lines like, “hunt you down, eat you alive”, they should think about turning people into a side of beef.

Nov 6

E-cigarettes or a Magical Harry Potter Wand?: A Deeper Look

Posted By iamincontrol | November 6, 2014

On my morning homage to the local coffee house, I noticed a man standing outside on the street with a strange looking mythical pencil. At first glance, I thought this man was carrying a wand from Diagon Alley ready to cast a spell on anyone who mis-stepped. But rather than raising his wand as I neared, he put the thing to his mouth, inhaled, and let out a puff of fog. What the what?! I realized that this man was actually smoking with what I now know as an e-cigarette. I had to find out more about these half-wand/half-electronic cigarettes!

So, there is a cartridge that contains nicotine and long chemical names like, glycerin or polyethylene glycol. Both these chemicals can be found in anti-freeze, which belong in cars– not human bodies. Basically, something heats the liquid in the cartridge (often called “e-juice”) to its boiling point and that becomes vapor you can inhale. That is why smoking e-cigarettes is often called “vaping.” Remember the cheesy fog machine you had at your homecoming dance this fall? It’s the same principle.

Still, what are the effects of such wands on Muggles like us? After a deeper look, the companies that put these e-cigs out do not even tell people what’s in the e-juice. So basically that gives us about the same knowledge as ripping off the label of your mother’s favorite bathroom cleaner and saying it’s e-juice.  In addition, in the first big study of e-cigs, researchers found out that e-cigs do not help people quit smoking and that the vapor has harmful effects on your lungs. So after a deeper look, e-cigs are indeed  magical wands made to cast a spell on people to ensure addiction to their harmful effects.

Nov 4

Putting Friends First

Posted By iamincontrol | November 4, 2014

teenage friends
The results are in! 

Last month we asked you guys:

Do you ever spend too much time with your boyfriend/girlfriend and forget to spend time with your friends?

You guys said:

  • Yeah. I want to spend as much time with my boyfriend/girlfriend as possible. (50%)
  • Sometimes that happens, but I try to make it up to my friends later. (33%)
  • Never!  My friends always come first. (16%)

It’s easy to get caught up in a relationship.  It’s exciting, and you might want to spend every waking hour with this person.  But remember that your friends and family are the ones who will be there for you if anything ever goes wrong.  Read how Hannah learned that below.

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Oct 30

Who to Talk to?

Posted By iamincontrol | October 30, 2014

teen with question mark
By Kayleen

Growing up is tough.  There are so many experiences and changes you face throughout middle and high school.  Some big changes that arise have to do with your sexual health.  (If you aren’t quite sure what we mean by “sexual health,” the Act Together For Youth page on What is Sexual Health? may be able to help.)

When you have a question about sexual health, where do you go?  The first thing you may do is pick up your phone or use your computer to look up the answer on the Internet.  The Internet does have a few reliable and helpful websites, but it is not always the same as talking to someone about your question.

Who is the person in your life that you can ask questions about sexual health?  Friends/peers may be the first people that you go to, but they may not be very knowledgeable on the subject. They may be wondering the same thing as you.  One of the best people you can talk to, besides a family physician or nurse, would be a parent or trusted adult in your life.  Some teens are already close to a parent or trusted adult and have established a relationship where open conversation is easy. That is a great relationship to have.  Other teens do not that have relationship with a parent or trusted adult at all, but it’s never too late to establish one.

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Oct 28

Hard Lesson to Learn

Posted By iamincontrol | October 28, 2014

teenage girl
By Kayla

In 8th grade, I started the longest relationship of my life. I was 14.  It lasted until my freshman year of college!  I jumped into it thinking he was the one and never thought it would ever be bad.  About a year into the relationship, we started to argue a lot.  I could never go out with my friends without him assuming I was with other guys.  He was very insecure.  I always wanted to prove to him that I wasn’t hurting him and that I loved him.

Two years after that, we started breaking up, off and on.  When my freshman year of college started, I had enough of the way he was treating me.  I stopped caring about what he had to say.  I just thought about what my life would be like if I stayed and if he was ever going to change.  If he wasn’t, was I going to let him keep treating me this way? Was I going to be a boring, stay at home girlfriend who never went out unless it was with him?  I ended up spending more time with my mom and dad at home and ignoring his texts and his feelings.  I know my mom was very happy when we finally broke up.  She had seen me cry countless times and waste years of high school on him instead of having fun with school and friends.

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Oct 23

Money Matters

Posted By iamincontrol | October 23, 2014

piggy bank
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.

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Oct 21

Overcoming an Eating Disorder

Posted By iamincontrol | October 21, 2014

plate scale
By Ashley

I developed an eating disorder in high school. It didn’t happen right away, but gradually during my first semester. I had just transferred schools. I had always been pretty active, but I noticed myself working out a lot more than usual. I was so busy with homework, tests, and adjusting to my new school and life that I really didn’t think anything of it.

After being at school for a few weeks, my family started to notice me slimming down. They complimented me on my hard work and becoming more interested in my health. It wasn’t long before that planted a seed in my brain that if I was going to work on my health, I would need to start eating healthy foods too.

That’s when everything went downhill. I started keeping track of everything I ate. I was so obsessed that I used a calorie counter app on my phone so I could record my meals to know how many calories I was consuming. I gradually started cutting back on my meals to see how low I could get my calories to be that day. I would also record how much I would work out and be able to see how many calories I would burn. I never went in public to exercise.

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Oct 16

Dealing with Depression and Anxiety

Posted By iamincontrol | October 16, 2014

sad teenage girl
By Emily

Dealing with depression and anxiety can be a daunting task, especially as a teenager.  You already have so much going on with school, work, extra-curriculars and anything else you might be involved in.  And then you have this nagging feeling.  It could be sadness, anger, fear, tiredness or any other combination of feelings.  Mine started slowly. It just seemed like I was having an off day, which turned into an off week, then an off month until finally I realized something was wrong.  I didn’t want to say anything about it because it’s not like I was sick. I didn’t need to go to the doctor.  I just needed to get out of my funk.  Things I used to enjoy doing were now things I shied away from.  Hanging out with my friends now became a chore.  I wanted to stay home and not do anything.  I couldn’t figure out exactly what was bothering me or why I had started to feel this way, but it was affecting my entire life.

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Oct 14

My Journey to Self-Acceptance

Posted By iamincontrol | October 14, 2014

smiling teenage girl
By Jingyuan

For a very long time, I used to think I was ugly, morbidly obese and a creature of the shadows – neither to be heard nor seen. I was two hundred and forty-two pounds at just seventeen years of age. Today, I feel very comfortable with my weight, but my smile serves not only to show my appreciation of myself and my body image, but also to hide the many scars and wounds I have had to endure for most of my life. I am beautiful, regardless of what other people think. I know and believe this to be true. Anyone out there who has been told that they are not attractive or pretty enough, simply because of their body image, their shape, their height or anything related to their body, should remember that they are beautiful.

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Oct 9

Changing Friend Groups

Posted By iamincontrol | October 9, 2014

teenage friends
By Anonymous

When I was in high school, I had a good group of friends my freshman and sophomore year. We would do everything together and would always hang out on the weekends. However, once we hit junior year, some of my friends started drinking, experimenting with drugs, and hanging around older guys. I did not want to do this because it wasn’t an interest for me, and it went against my morals. When my friends started doing these things, they would encourage me to do the activities as well. At first I would just go along with them to the parties and kind of be the person who would look after them and be a sober driver. After a while though, I got so tired of doing this and was not having any fun going out. I felt like my friends had changed. They slowly stopped calling me because I did not want to engage in drinking alcohol and doing drugs. I felt very hurt, lonely, and just lost. I felt like I had lost all of my good friends.

My mom noticed that I wasn’t hanging out with the same girls anymore and encouraged me to meet other girls by getting more involved in clubs at school. I took her advice and joined the choir at school. I met many great people through the choir, and I ended up being best friends with some of the girls I met. I also reached out to other people at my school who I had never talked to. I had more friends than I had before, and I was a lot happier. I felt renewed and felt like a better person overall. Even though losing some of my good friends from earlier in high school was hard, it made me a lot stronger. I realized that they were not the right friends for me. The friends I made in my junior and senior year are still some of my best friends to this day, and I am very glad that I met all of them! They made my life so much better.