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

Tag: school

Sep 11

Taking Control of My Depression

Posted By iamincontrol | September 11, 2014

taking control of my depression
By Jacob

Sometimes things are hard. For me, things were the hardest during my freshman year of college. I was in a city where I didn’t know anyone, starting a major that was very difficult and stressful, away from most everyone I loved and all my friends. I felt alone. It was at this time that I began struggling with real depression issues. Depression and social anxiety were things I had struggled with in high school, but the transition to college was very difficult for me. At times it left me wondering whether or not I was ever going to be able to get out of the loneliness and stress and be happy again.

I would stay in bed for days at a time, unable to physically or mentally get myself ready to go out into the world and interact with people who seemed to have not a care in the world or anything wrong in their lives. It was hard for me to watch everyone carry on with their lives and be involved and happy and busy and think about myself, feeling like I had nobody and nothing to care about.

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Sep 2

More than One Word

Posted By iamincontrol | September 2, 2014

teenager playing guitar
The results are in!

Last month’s poll question was:

Do you feel like people just group you into that one thing you’re good at? (i.e. jock, band nerd, artist, goth, etc.)

You guys overwhelmingly said:

    • Definitely. People don’t realize there’s more to me.

Here’s how Hayley learned how to embrace feeling more than one word.

We all have that one thing we feel defines us. You could be an athlete, a musician, a mathlete, or a dancer. We often use this one word to describe us and measure our worth. However, we are much more than this one word.

In high school I was the cheerleader. That is until my junior year when I got cut from the squad. I was super upset knowing that all of my friends would be cheering without me. Although I missed cheering on my boys to a victory in football or basketball, not making the squad didn’t turn out as bad as I thought. I was able to get involved in other activities, and it was during this time that I met some of my best friends. I had fun in the stands at sporting events, and I was able to find new passions.

Although losing that one thing you identify with may be hard, it doesn’t always have to be bad. So yes, be the athlete, musician, or dancer, but know that there is more to high school and much more to life.  One door may close, but countless others will be opened. Branch out, make new friends, and remember you are more than just that one word.

Jul 29

Overcoming Anxiety

Posted By iamincontrol | July 29, 2014

By Rachel

I have had severe anxiety since I started junior high school. Stomach aches and panic attacks were issues that I had to face daily. Even going to school or the store caused me extreme anxiety. I understand how it feels to be scared of daily events, and I never want anyone to have to feel the way I did. That’s why I want to write this blog and help anyone who has feelings like these. You are never alone, even though it may feel like it.

I remember my anxiety started to show the day my mother left to go on a trip without me. My mom dropped me off for school like normal, and after school I was to stay with my sister for a week. I had never spent that much time away from my mom, and I was terrified that something was going to happen to her. Right after I got to school, I felt extremely sick and I asked my mom to stay home with me. She of course couldn’t, and I was distraught. I went and stayed with the counselor for the rest of the day because I couldn’t get my anxiety under control.

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Jul 15

Try New Things

Posted By iamincontrol | July 15, 2014

Girl with soccer ball
By Anonymous

One of the most important parts of my high school career was athletics.  Throughout high school I participated in volleyball, soccer, and softball.  Volleyball and softball had been sports that I had played practically my whole life.  Soccer, on the other hand, I had never competitively played until my sophomore year in high school.  By the end of my three years of soccer I was so sad that it was over.  I had improved so much over that time and wished I could have played longer.  Soccer helped me make strong friendships and a strong body.  I have never been more in shape in my life than when I was out for soccer.

Athletics are a great way to stay in shape, make new friends and spend time with old ones, and also another way to stay out of trouble.  Even if athletics aren’t your forte, there are other high school groups that students can get involved with.  Athletics just have the added bonus of improving your fitness.  My experience also taught me it’s great to try new things because you may find out that you really enjoy it!

Visit this site for more information on extracurricular activities and how to find one that’ll be right for you.

You are in control of trying new things.

Jul 10


Posted By iamincontrol | July 10, 2014

Teenage girl
By Natalie

During my high school experience, I went through a lot of emotional issues that made me the strong person I am today. I specifically had a very hard time with bullying and aggression from girls I had once called my friends. It got so bad that things were thrown at me in school. I had Facebook pages created about me, and no one wanted to be my friend. This all spewed from a simple argument between my close group of friends (girls I had been friends with since elementary school) that spiraled out of control. I finally had enough. I became very depressed and refused to return to my high school.

I spent a year in and out of hospitals and treatment centers for my depression and emotional issues. Although this experience was extremely traumatic and life changing, it also impacted my life in a very positive way in the end. From this, I learned to be extremely forgiving and realize that some people just don’t know how to treat others. You cannot blame yourself for that. I also learned that no matter how hard a situation may be for you, there is always someone who has it worse. You have to remember that.

I have slowly become a much more mature and strong person from the events that happened throughout my time as a high school student. I am now the happiest I have ever been, and in a sense I am thankful that I went through such a hard time in high school. It taught me what a true friend is and what it means to be a true friend to someone else.

Visit the resources below for help and more information on bullying and depression:

Your Life Iowa
Love Is Louder
It Gets Better

Also, check out these other IAMincontrol posts on bullying and depression:

Overcoming Bullying & Depression
Battling Depression
Unexpected Motivation

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 12

My Experiences with Bullying

Posted By iamincontrol | June 12, 2014

stop bullying
By Samantha

During high school, I was emotionally and verbally bullied. As a result of this, I had low self-esteem and did not have a sense of self-worth. You may have been bullied, have witnessed someone being bullied or have been a bully yourself. The presence of bullying is likely an everyday occurrence at your school. It could be physical, verbal or emotional. The results of bullying are devastating. It can make a person feel inadequate, worthless, depressed, and angry. The list goes on and on.

I was also a bystander. I would not speak up when I saw another one of my peers being bullied, I would just sink into the corner and avoid the situation. Thankfully, when I was bullied, someone spoke up. My family was there to encourage me and lift up my spirits. They reassured me and reminded me of the solid foundation I stood on, that it did not matter what those other people said or claimed about me. Who were they to judge? I did my best not to allow them to keep me down. In the beginning, I never truly stood up for what I believed in, and I allowed the bullies to win in that way.

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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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Jan 23

Get Inspired

Posted By iamincontrol | January 23, 2014


Everyone pulls inspiration from different parts of life. Maybe you’re inspired by an idol of yours, like a great basketball player, a beautiful work of art, or a quote that gets you through the day.

One place we can’t forget to look for inspiration is in our peers. Seeing others just like us doing great things can inspire us to do great things as well.  Today we’re sharing a page from the Huffington Post that shares stories from inspirational teens, like the ones below.

Kevin Breel, 19-Year-Old, Explains What It Feels Like To Be Depressed In Beautiful TEDxYouth Speech

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