Teenagers in every generation face various dangers. If you’re a teen growing up right now, you’re staring one down that no other generation has seen: Covid-19. It’s scary to see what it has done to the US and the entire planet.
Still, young people don’t seem to die as often from it, so that’s comforting to some degree. Also, there are two vaccines out now, so everyone should get one sooner or later.
When the coronavirus is gone, though, you’ll still need to worry about some existing perils. Let’s run down a few of those.
We’ve just gotten through the end-of-the-year holiday season. However, other holidays are coming up a little later this year, and people of all ages will want to celebrate.
As a teenager, you’re not old enough to drink legally yet, but that doesn’t mean you might not be able to locate some alcohol. If you go to a gathering, keep this in mind: 50% of people state that alcohol plays a part in their holiday parties.
If you attend a party with alcohol, you don’t have to drink. Don’t let anyone pressure you to do so. Also, if you decide to consume alcohol, don’t ever drive.
You might have your license now, but you have not been driving for long. You don’t have much experience, which makes you even more dangerous than the average individual who imbibes and then gets behind the wheel. If you drink, make sure a sober person gets you home, or you could also get an Uber or a Lyft.
Many young people are sexually active. If you like someone, and you start going out with them, you might feel like you want to start a physical relationship.
There’s not anything necessarily wrong with that if it’s what you both want. However, you should always use protection if you’re sexually active, and you should also think twice about sexting.
You might think it’s a good way to be intimate with someone to send them suggestive or even explicit pictures, but keep in mind that once you’ve sent one, you don’t know what they’re going to do with it. You might break up with them, and they could decide to share those pics on social media.
If that happens, and you showed your face, that picture is out there forever. You’ll probably feel mortified. If you have kids of your own one day, think how embarrassing it would be if they saw those images.
Teens also experience peer pressure frequently. That’s something that’s not unique to Gen Z. It has been happening for many years.
Your peers might pressure you to do just about anything. They might want you to vandalize something, or maybe they want you to kiss someone to whom you’re not attracted. They might want you to try alcohol or shoplift something from a store.
Often, peers pressure each other, and the popular kids can exert their influence over less popular ones. If someone tries to pressure you, and you don’t want to do whatever it is they’re suggesting, stand up to them.
If they want you to do something illegal or against school rules, an authority figure might catch you if you do it. If that happens, you could face severe consequences.
Teen drug use is also nothing new. Some of the drugs may have changed, but young people often want to experiment.
Your friends might have access to marijuana, LSD, mushrooms, or MDMA. They might have pharmaceuticals like Oxycontin or Vicodin. Maybe they have beer or liquor. Remember that alcohol is a drug as well. If you are facing some troubles with substance abuse, seek help immediately from an alcohol detox clinic.
You might attend classes where they warn you about drug dangers, but if the opportunity ever presents itself, you still might feel the temptation. If you succumb, you run all sorts of risks.
You might take more than you intended to, and you can overdose. If the police catch you, you might face criminal charges, depending on how old you are and how much you have on you at the time.
You’ll get in trouble with your parents, and they may not trust you anymore. If you value your relationship with them, you shouldn’t give in to pressure to try substances if someone offers them to you.
If you and your parents have a good relationship, you can discuss these topics further. Remember that they were this age once, so they probably faced many of the same issues. You can ask them any questions you have.