Being a teenager in today’s society is very different than it would have been 30 years ago. It seems like more and more teenagers are getting drunk, doing drugs, and cutting. ZES helps troubled teenagers that are inflicting harm upon themselves and others to relieve themselves of the pain that they are feeling, for help with your troubled teenager please call a ZES parent advocate today.
Many don’t feel like their parents understand what they are going through, so they basically try to shut them out of their lives. It’s hard being a teenager now because in high schools you are surrounded by all kinds of people that do drugs, have sex, and drink. You tell yourself you wont ever do it, but many of us aren’t strong enough to say “NO” when we are put into a situation. Then, there are some of us who are to hurt to care about the consequences, and we want to do everything that we can to rebel against our parents.
“I’ll never do drugs and I’ll never drink!” Those famous words come out of so many young people probably right before they enter high school. That’s what happened to me. But, then I met some girls who were always partying, always drinking and smoking, and always sneaking out. I know that I didn’t want to do those things, but all of my friends where doing it. I didn’t want to be the “goody-good” girl who didn’t do anything wrong. I had friends whose parents gave them complete freedom and didn’t care if they drank or smoked. At the time, I wished my parents didn’t care, but now I realize that parents who don’t care are setting their children up for failure. Everyone wants to have the “cool” parents who let their kids have parties all the time! But in reality, I know my friends that had those parents weren’t happy. They were hurting because even though their parents were “cool”, they didn’t feel like they had a relationship with them.
To me, the hardest thing about being a teenager in today’s society is the fact that we are already judged and labeled. People in the world set the standard so low, and expect so little of us it’s not even funny! It’s kind of like this: in a way, the world views us as troublemakers. If you are a teenager, they expect you to automatically be doing drugs, drinking, and having sex. I have had friends that have been questioned by police as they were just walking down the street because of the color of their shoelaces (gang affiliation colors). It is so ridiculous.
I know that if this continues to go the way it is going right now, things are only going to get worse. I know we have all heard “be the change you wish to see in the world” but its true! I know that many of us here at ZES are doing things like community service and helping out the town of Kanab. We have been doing a lot to make a difference, and I think that we are showing the world something. You could have made mistakes, BIG mistakes in your past, but you can learn, grow, and move on. You can turn your life around and help people. And if you are doing that, no one should be even judging you or seeing you as the person you were before you changed your life around.
Heather L. is a former student of Zion Educational Systems who made a change for the better and turned her life around. ZES is a boarding school for struggling teens who need guidance and support. Our students come from all over the United States, including California, Georgia.