High school can be a blast. But it also can be incredibly stressful. The teen years are a highly transitional time when kids are leaving childhood behind, learning about and dealing with the opposite sex, balancing social lives with scholastic responsibilities and unknowingly making decisions that may affect the very course of their lives.
Among the top concerns of today’s high school students are drugs & alcohol, sex and personal image.
- Drugs and Alcohol: Teenagers typically engage in drinking and using drugs for one or both of two reasons – peer pressure, or personal problems. Trying to fit in with the cool crowd can lead to many regrettable decisions, and getting high or drunk is a common one. Plus, many teens who are carrying unseen burdens including health issues, family struggles or legal problems find drugs and alcohol an easy, though temporary, escape.
- Sex: Few things impact the life and future of a teenager more than the consequences of sexual activity. Peers and media convince teens that sex is no big deal – that everyone’s doing it. Plus, at that age, it’s easy to believe that a high school romance will last forever. The issue can be harder on teen girls, because they’re typically hit with the worst of the double standard. While boys who “score” are considered cool, girls face the stigma of being considered loose. This can severely damage a young woman’s self esteem. Meanwhile, boys may learn that using, manipulating and lying to females is okay – something that will surely affect their relationships later in life. Both boys and girls are susceptible to STDs.
- Personal Image: During the high school years, personal image is an insanely important issue. Teens who feel insecure about their looks or body image; their athletic abilities or talents; or their family’s financial situations can experience deep feelings of inadequacy, rejection and loneliness.
To help teens confidently face these ever-present issues, Project SOS offers an array of age-appropriate mentoring and presentation services designed to help high schoolers with setting goals, establishing personal boundaries, developing refusal skills, avoiding risky behaviors, dealing with bullying and peer pressure, and building leadership skills, among other benefits. If you’re a teen who needs advice, or a school official who would like to schedule services for your students, call 904-296-9950 and speak with a Youth Development Department representative today.