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

Tag: friends

Jul 1

Bringing Friends Together

Posted By iamincontrol | July 1, 2014

Group of friends
The results are in!  Last month we asked you: “How would you describe your friend group?”

You said:

  • We’re a super tight group and only hang out with each other. (0%)
  • I have a main friend group, but I have other friends too. (66%)
  • I float between lots of groups. (33%)
  • We don’t have friend groups at my school – everyone hangs together. (0%)

Sometimes when you are friends with more than one group, it can be hard to juggle being part of both.  Lexia shares her story below about how she brought two friend groups together to solve that issue.

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Jun 19

Celebrate your Individuality

Posted By iamincontrol | June 19, 2014

Teen girl
By Allison

During my middle school and high school years, I struggled a lot with self-image. I never felt truly accepted by my peers. I spent years trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I would ask myself questions such as:

“Am I wearing the wrong clothes?”

“Do I need to have a specific haircut?”

“Am I listening to the right music and keeping up with all the celebrities the girls in my class talk about?”

“What do I have to say for Johnny to ask me on a date?”

“Why doesn’t anyone ever want to be my partner for projects?”

“What is wrong with me?”

All of these thoughts led to an extremely low self-esteem. I wanted so desperately to be accepted and be invited to the parties that people talked about. Sometimes, I even wondered if any of my classmates would show up to my funeral if I were to die unexpectedly. I was trapped with these negative thoughts, trying constantly to change myself and “fit in.”  I would watch the “popular” girls and try to figure out how they gained acceptance. They often talked about cute boys and complained about teachers or their parents.

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Jun 5

Alcohol Free in High School

Posted By iamincontrol | June 5, 2014

Teenage friends
By Katie

Hi! My name is Katie, and I am going to talk about the pressure to drink alcohol as a teen. When I was in high school, the cool thing to do seemed to be drinking. All the older kids were doing it, and if you wanted to be cool, that’s what you were supposed to do. I’m here to tell you differently.

I never drank as a teen, and neither did any of my friends. I went to a small school, so I had a lot of friends, both boys and girls. We were all very close throughout high school, and I think that really helped us hold each other accountable. We always found things to do other than drinking on the weekends. We would go mini golfing, to the drive-in movie theater, down to the river to have a fire and hang out, giant games of hide and go seek around town or one of the parks in town, or even just a giant movie night at someone’s house.

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May 27

The Cost of Fitting In

Posted By iamincontrol | May 27, 2014

By Emily

When I was in high school, I didn’t appreciate all of the awesome people around me that looked out and cared for me. I was very selfish, and all I cared about was trying to fit in.

While trying to fit in with the group of kids I thought was cool, I lost sight of the people who cared about me, including my family. I found myself lying to try and fit in. I started using new substances I never thought I would. But it landed me a new boyfriend, and that was all that mattered to me at the time. I started to do things I could never have imagined myself doing: sneaking out, smoking weed, drinking, etc. I grew further and further apart from the few close friends I did have, and most importantly, my family.

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May 13

Coming Face to Face with Eating Disorders

Posted By iamincontrol | May 13, 2014

By Katie

I played on a club soccer team with the same team of girls for about six years from seventh grade through the end of high school. It was great because my new step-cousin played on that team with me as well, and we quickly became best friends. Over the years of playing together and spending weekends and summers together, I started slowly realizing that she complained about her body image a lot and constantly compared herself to me as well as our other friends. It was our sophomore and junior years of high school when her strange eating habits began. However, we did not go to the same high school, so it took me a lot longer to notice than some of my other friends who attended school with her.

When it got to our junior year of high school, I attended the first winter in-door soccer practice, and I saw that a new girl had joined our team. After I mentioned to one of my other teammates about how skinny the new girl is, I was shocked to discover that the girl was actually my best friend. I had not recognized my own best friend because she had lost so much weight from her face, legs, and chest. At that moment I became furious, and I took aside the teammates of mine who went to school with her every day. I demanded to know how they could have let this happen to her. I had not seen her in about two months because we were all involved in varsity soccer or cross country at our own high schools, and we did not have any free time on the weekends. My friends explained that they had tried talking to her about it, but she hid it from them. She did not have the same lunch schedule as any of them and every time they had a team dinner she would skip or say she already ate. I had a very hard time accepting this, and it hurt that she had not come to me or even told me she was struggling.

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May 8

Alcohol: Not a Game

Posted By iamincontrol | May 8, 2014

Empty bottles
By Cali

Are you in control of your life or would you say that your friends are in control of your life? It’s time to start doing what you want to do with your own life. Make the right choices for yourself. When I was in high school, I drank alcohol to fit in with all my friends. My friends always peer pressured me into things I shouldn’t have been doing. One night, things got out of hand.

It was a normal night in my small home town. Everyone knew everyone and every little gossip got out. My friends and I got invited to a party that night, but we knew of a better party that was going on so we decided not to go. We knew the people that were going to the party, and they were going to be playing drinking games. They were going to start right after school.

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May 6

Unexpected Break Up & April Poll Results

Posted By iamincontrol | May 6, 2014

Teen couple holding hands
The results are in!  Last month we asked you guys:

“Who do you trust most when it comes to relationship advice?”

You guys said:

  • Friends (53%)
  • Siblings (6%)
  • Parents (13%)
  • Other adults (26%)

It makes sense that most of you go to friends for dating advice – they’re probably going through the same things you are and know the people you’re talking about.  That’s why it’s important to not forget your friends when you start dating someone, as hard as that can be.  They’re the ones that will be there for you through thick and thin (and if you go to someone else for advice, make sure you don’t lose touch with them either!).  Read below about one teen’s experience with getting too involved in a relationship and ignoring her friends.

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May 1

Fitting In at a New School

Posted By iamincontrol | May 1, 2014

 Group of high school teens
By Anaka

When I was starting as a freshman in high school, I had to transfer to a brand new school far away from my friends. I was terrified. There were twice as many students at my new school and I was starting out with no friends. I didn’t even know where my classes were located. On my first day I got up three hours before school to make sure my appearance was perfect so that I would attract new friends, but I had no idea what to expect once I got there. Family friends had told me that freshman year was a great time to transfer because everyone was looking for friends, but I didn’t believe them. Once I got to school and found my locker, I started to panic that I would have to sit alone in all of my classes. I didn’t even want to think about lunch!

My first class was math, which is my least favorite subject, and everyone was talking to each other and hugging and asking how summer vacations were. I sat in the back corner at an empty desk and pretended to be studying my schedule. Of course, teachers LOVE icebreakers, so shortly after the bell rang we were all standing up and introducing ourselves. I mentioned that my favorite TV show was Lost, and a few people cheered and high-fived me. Things were starting to look up!

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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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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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