Category: Teen Life

How to Find People with Shared Interests to You

how to meet people

If you look at the friends you have today, how many of them have the same interests or hobbies as you? It’s likely that there are more than a few. That’s because making friends is generally the result of participation in a social activity where there’s a mutual interest.

Depending on where you live and what you’re interested in, it may be difficult to connect with like-minded people. We know that having a social circle is important. It gives you people to trust and rely on during times of need and someone to share your successes with, especially if your interests revolve around things like exercise, sports, and eating well.

Fortunately, modern technology has made it easier than ever for us to find and connect with people that have the same interests. Let’s take a look at the best tools to use for this purpose.

how to meet people

Meetup

As the name would suggest, Meetup is an app that allows you to connect with others who share similar interests through groups in your area. You can search for your own hobbies or browse through the wide variety of categories available depending on where you live.

There are groups for just about everything. From outdoor activities such as hiking to computer programming and gaming. There are also educational groups that focus on topics such as public speaking, entrepreneurship, and reading. There are often groups available simply for those who want to socialize, where you can head out for coffee or a movie.

Emenator

Emenator is a unique kind of social platform that allows you to connect with people that have similar interests. Whether it’s art, sports, music, gaming or anything else you can imagine, Emenator has a diverse and inclusive community for you to connect with. The Groups & Gatherings feature is perfect for finding like-minded people in your area.

Even if you don’t want to head out and meet anyone yet, the community offers chats, groups, messaging and video options that allow you to socialize online. If you’re into art or design, Emenator’s approach to content ensures that the images you share preserve their original quality, further adding to the authentic experience.

GroupSpaces

Just like Meetup, GroupSpaces allows you to find communities in your area based on a category or search term of your choice. However, it also allows you to find groups within communities that you’re already a part of such as churches and colleges. This might just help you find familiar faces who you never knew shared the same interests.

WeGoDo

This iOS app features groups that are focused on a certain hobby or activity such as hiking, running and exploration. Unlike Meetup and GroupSpaces, it also features a social hub where you can share content on groups that you are a part of. There’s also a news feed with local offers, recommendations, and curated content based on your interests.

Conclusion

Aside from social meetup apps, you could join local groups in your school and find people through them that share your interests. It’s more than likely that there’s at least one group of people nearby who love the same things you do. You just have to head out and find them — just make sure your parents know what you are doing and approve!

3 Important Facts About Drug Rehab

teen drug abuse

If you are a teenager and you have been struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you need to understand that your brain is still developing. The more damage you do to your brain while it’s still developing, the more permanent the damage will be. Not only must you do everything in your power to quit, but you must have the support from friends and family members to get you through this challenging time of your life.

teen drug abuse

“Just Stop” isn’t Enough

The longer a drug is used, the harder it will be to come off of it. With adults, it has a lot to do with the many years of drug abuse and the toll it takes on the mind and body. With teenagers, it has a lot to do with the still-developing brain being trained at such an early age to tolerate this abuse and adapt to it. Your brain needs to be re-trained to accept a different reality from now on. Addiction doesn’t just happen; it’s based on emotional and psychological problems and you will need to deal with these. Your friends can help if they are not using themselves. However, remember that your peers are in the same age group as you and they need direction too. You will have to learn to accept responsibility for your actions and strive to make positive changes in your daily habits.

Cold Turkey isn’t Always Best

Some addictions, including cigarette smoking, can safely be stopped abruptly without any risks to your health. Other addictions, like alcoholism and prescription drug addiction, take more careful effort to manage during the quitting stages. Withdrawal symptoms from drugs like alcohol, opiates and benzodiazepines can cause panic attacks, seizures, rapid heartbeats and even cardiac arrest. The mental confusion associated with quitting these kinds of drugs can also be very dangerous. Deep breathing exercises, meditation and going on long walks can help with withdrawal symptoms that aren’t too severe. Medically managed detoxification makes treatment safer for those experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.

Avoiding Relapses

Experiencing a relapse can definitely be part of the healing process for many, but it doesn’t have to happen to you. Once you have found a daily routine that works for you, stick to it and improve upon it. If you still have friends that use after you have decided to quit, avoid them like the plague. They will have to understand that you no longer fit into their dynamic. Spend time exercising, eating healthy foods and getting to know yourself better.

Loving yourself will give you the power to continue on the road to recovery. You should want the best for yourself, and that should never involve drug use. Making new friends that share your new beliefs can make a world of difference and keep you focused on making positive changes in your life. From there, make sure you choose the right treatment program that gives you the best chance of long-term success.

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3 Career Paths for People Who Care About the Environment

protect the environment

For teens who are considering a future career that concerns caring for the environment, we’ve covered three career paths that are very relevant to this subject.

protect the environment

Conservation Scientist

A career path like a conservation scientist will include the monitoring of forestry and conservation activities. By complying with government regulations as a conservation scientist, it helps your organization establish plans for the management of the lands and forest resources. Supervising activities of other forestry and conservation workers is part of the role.

Civil Engineer

While civil engineers are part of the hard sciences, they can also provide significant contributions to their environment. Civil engineers can build as well as reinforce dams and levees to protect many large and small towns and cities from catastrophes involving water. Moreover, civil engineers who focus on transportation can make an impact in many ways. Civil engineers work with others to ensure that their designs are environmentally safe and efficient. While many of these positions require bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering or general engineering, there is a lot of demand for these positions. Civil engineers can also work in areas that are rebuilding from natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados, and other natural disasters.

Park Ranger

A park ranger looks after many elements of the park or land. Indeed, the role is very diverse, but park rangers are generally responsible for protecting America’s state and national parks. Those who are considering this job in the future should be aware that a park ranger helps to protect the ecosystems, the natural resources, and the wildlife that dwell within these national parks. And since many people can visit the 418-plus national park sites located in the US, park rangers may serve as environmental experts, park historians, law enforcement officers, or as a combination of those three roles. The good news is that the national park sites extend to US territories like the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa.

National Seashores, which make up 10 of these national park sites, National Preserves, which make up 19 of these national park sites, and National Rivers are just some of the places that teens can research further. There is plenty of information available online about each of these special categories that are classified under the umbrella of the US National Park system.

In conclusion, these three potential career paths are ones for young people to keep in mind who want to help preserve and protect the earth’s natural resources.

 

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Do You Enjoy Working with People? Look into These 4 Career Paths

teen career choices

In our day-to-day lives, there are a lot of individuals out there who enjoy working with people. If, for whatever reason, you have a personality type where you enjoy these activities, then you should take heart in the fact there are many occupations out there that would be a great fit for you. Consider some of these options:

teen career choices

Consulting

There is no question that a consultant job is a great position to have if you enjoy working with people and helping them be an asset to an organization. Consulting.com explains that the pay is decent, and consultant positions come in all different shapes and sizes. One of their main focuses has always been to provide an exterior, objective point of view for spotting gaps and weaknesses within an organization. One of the first things to understand with any consulting position is that there will be a rigorous interview process with any consulting firm. However, don’t be afraid to showcase your personality in your interviews. Your fellow consultants will want someone they can picture working with on a daily basis.

Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology definitely is a field that holds a lot of appeal for many different kinds of people. For one thing, it’s a great field if you like helping others. Maryville University explains that a degree in this field can have you work as a social service specialist or a correctional treatment specialist. A forensic psychologist will assist others by first of all evaluating prisoners and their behaviors. This assists the prison and society at large by assisting in the reform of the criminals. Forensic psychologists also help the legal system by determining whether a suspect is fit for trial or by advising law enforcement personnel on the likely behavioral tendencies of various criminals.

Family Therapist

Naturally, a family therapist will expose themselves to a broad cross-section of people in their day-to-day practice. They are primarily concerned with helping families solve many of the challenges they might be facing. Careers in Psychology explains that during therapy sessions, talking is usually the job of the family members rather than the therapist. A marriage and family therapist will often do more listening than talking during these meetings. The therapist will also watch the members of a family closely for non-verbal body language, or clues to where certain problems may lie. A family therapist has to concurrently relatable and diplomatic. So yes, they definitely have to be a solid people person.

Dental Hygienist

You definitely have to be a people person in order to become a dental hygienist. First of all, they must not only communicate thoroughly with a dentist but they also need to make all of their patients feel as safe and comfortable as possible. Complete Mobile Dentistry explains that dental hygienists don’t require that much schooling, make great money, and have flexible hours, but they also sometimes have to deal with upset patients, the job can sometimes be repetitive, and there aren’t many ways to branch out from this field.  

These and many other career paths are great options for those who enjoy working with and helping people. Look into one of them today!

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How to Recognize the Signs of Online Bullying

Social media and online communities are all fun and games, until they’re not. Though being called names online may seem like “no big deal,” that is one of the most common forms of online harassment.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 59% of teens have been bullied or harassed online. In addition to name calling, spreading of rumors and receiving explicit images are two other common types of cyber bullying.

Though parents and teachers are good people to talk to about cyber bullying issues, it’s also important to know your rights and how to take charge of the situation. Below are a few different types of online harassment that you should know, and ways you can handle them. These tips and the infographic below provided by Panda Security.

Cyberstalking

When someone uses various platforms (ex. social media, email, instant messaging) to repeatedly harass you. Cyberstalking can be a federal offense, and may also have state-by-state laws. If someone is cyberstalking you, make sure to collect evidence to present to parents and/or authorities. You should also set your social media accounts to block accounts that are harassing you.

Online Impersonation

When a person uses your name or persona without your content and with the intent to harm. For example, if someone creates a fake social media account in your name to ruin your reputation. Report social media accounts that impersonate you immediately.

Catfishing

When someone creates a fake online identity for the purpose of starting a relationship and/or tempting you to meet up with them. You are especially at risk if you are on dating sites or apps. Be careful when talking to strangers online and do not provide them with too much personal information like where you live. Never meet them in person alone.

Doxxing

When your personal information is published online with the purpose of others harassing you. This is not illegal if your information is gathered from public accounts — be careful when you put too information like your email or phone number online. You should also Google your name to see what’s accessible to strangers and make sure your social accounts are private to avoid being spammed.

Trolling

When someone makes controversial comments in order to provoke arguments or emotional responses. Trolling is not a crime and may just be a “joke.” However, trolling can also lead to hurt feelings and may start rumors — if you notice someone trolling your or a friend, do not respond. If their trolling is inappropriate, report them to the website.

In addition to understanding different forms of cyber bullying, you should also familiarize yourself with your school’s anti-bullying policies. At many schools, there are consequences for students who are cyber bullies, just like if someone where physically bullying you. Remember to document instances of bullying with screenshots, since the bully may decide to delete their comments later. And remember, being cyber bullied isn’t something to be embarrassed about! Parents and friends are there to support you and help you handle the situation so that it doesn’t happen to others.

cyberbullying infographic

How to Graduate College with Zero Debt – Infographic

how to graduate college with zero debt

One of the biggest challenges regarding going to college is figuring out how to pay for it. For most teens, this means student loans. And unfortunately, this can also means living with massive debt for many years. Now, you can avoid this by going to more affordable trade schools (with great-paying jobs) or becoming a YouTube star so you can just pay your tuition all at once in cash (yeah, right), or you can just get smart about the whole deal and strategize.

OneClass has put together a massive infographic with a lot of great tips for avoiding the stress of student loans once you graduate. Its below…and is worth the scrolling to read all the information so you can have a debt-free future while still getting a great education.

how to graduate college debt free

Top 10 Credit Myths Debunked – and How to Raise Your Score

teen credit tips

Financial literacy is important for all teenagers. Its never to soon to, with the help of parents, start saving money, open up a life insurance policy, invest in stocks, and otherwise plan for the future. One of THE most important parts of your financial life is credit. Unfortunately, most schools still lag behind in teaching this critical subject. So we got some tips straight from one of the big three credit bureaus, the ones who give you a credit score and report to lenders when you try to get a credit card or loan.

teen credit tips

Experian wrote up the 10 Ten Credit Myths Debunked piece below in conjunction with their annnouncement of a new way to boost scores. It is called Experian Boost, and according to them its a:

“free, groundbreaking online platform that allows consumers to instantly influence their credit scores.”

From what we can tell, the way it works is you connect your online bank accounts to their platform, and they will analyze your cell phone, electric, and other payments (which the credit bureaus usually ignore) to generate a better score — instantly.

If your credit is already great, this might not be for you, because it’s designed to provide the largest boost to those with low scores. However, if you are in the 580 to 669 range, it can save you a lot of money on interest — because higher scores mean lower interest rates!

From Experian:

Experian Boost will be available to all credit active adults in early 2019, but consumers can visit www.experian.com/boost now to register for early access. By signing up for a free Experian membership, consumers will receive a free credit report and FICO ® Score immediately, and will be one of the first to experience Experian Boost. 

What are some other smart ways to handle credit and improve your credit score when you start getting credit at age 18?

  • RULE #1: Pay on time. Always.
  • Use your credit cards to buy everything in order to earn cash back or airline miles, but pay off the balance every month.
  • Have at least 5 tradelines (meaning, credit accounts) open. Most companies will keep your account open as long as you use your card at least once per year.
  • It pays to use a secured card or higher interest card when you are first starting out to establish a history, but once your credit score improves and you open accounts to replace them, close the higher interest cards. Do NOT close accounts if you are planning to finance a car or apply for a loan soon, because closing older, positive history accounts might lower your score for a while.
  • Keep your overall balances to less than 30 percent of your total available credit. So if you add all your cards together and you have $1000 in debt, but your total available is $5000, you are at 20 percent credit utilization, which is okay.

Now, let’s get to Experian’s tips!

teen credit card

10 Credit Myths Debunked

By Experian

When it comes to debt, credit reports, and credit scores, conventional wisdom is peppered with myths, misunderstandings, and misrepresentations. Credit is a tool. Like any tool, it’s neither good nor bad in itself. What matters is how you use it.

Myth #1: Debt is Debt

Not all debts are equal. Say you’ve got a $150,000 debt on your credit report. If it’s there because you maxed out your credit cards to throw a birthday blowout for yourself two years ago, then you’re in trouble. Today, that debt is giving you nothing but memories (and maybe an ulcer). But if that $150,000 is your mortgage, then you’re probably just like millions of other responsible homeowners. That debt is giving you a warm place to lay your head at night.

Myth #2: Checking Your Credit Report Will Hurt Your Credit Score

A notation called an “inquiry” goes on your credit report every time someone (including you) looks at your file, and rumor has it that inquiries can hurt your score. Well, yes and no. An inquiry affects your score only if it’s related to a credit application that you have submitted. If you apply for a loan or a credit card, your score might fall, because that application suggests you’ll be adding debt. But if you simply look at your own credit report, the resulting inquiry won’t affect your score. If anything, checking your report is a sign of responsible credit management, though you don’t get points for doing it.

Myth #3: Closing a Credit Card Will Improve Your Credit Score

If you have a credit card you don’t use, you’re unlikely to improve your score by closing the account. In fact, closing the card might even lower your score at first. One important thing scores use to measure risk is how much of your credit card limits you use — a ratio known as “credit utilization”. When you close an unused account, you reduce your total available credit, so your credit utilization rate goes up. (Of course, if an unused card creates an unbearable temptation to spend, you may be better served in the long run by closing the account.) Scores usually bounce back up after a few months, if your credit report is otherwise in good shape.

Myth #4: You Only Have One Credit Score

There isn’t just one single credit scoring formula that applies to all consumers in all situations. By some estimates, there are more than a thousand scoring models in use in the credit marketplace. A consumer could therefore have dozens or even hundreds of different credit scores depending on the lender using it and the types of lending being done. Lenders and others check your credit score for different reasons, and each formula looks at your credit history in a different way, giving different weight to various factors.

Myth #5: Credit Bureaus Give Good and Bad Scores

Credit bureaus do not create credit scores. Credit bureaus collect information about your debts and use that information to build a credit report. Credit scores are generated based on information in your credit report. Those scores are neither objectively “good” nor “bad.” They’re a measure of risk. It’s up to lenders to decide whether a given score meets their criteria for extending credit. And, scores are usually just one factor in their decision. A “good” score might not mean much if you don’t have a job or any assets. Likewise, a high income and a stack of gold bars might outweigh a “bad” score.

Myth #6: Better Job, Better Score

Your income has no direct effect on your credit score. Scores are based only on the information found in your credit report. Your report includes a lot of information about your use of credit and your management of debt. But it doesn’t include your income. In fact, it doesn’t even indicate you have a job. It lists the employers you’ve included in past applications, but if you haven’t applied since you last changed jobs, it might not even list your current employer. That said, your employment situation can affect your score indirectly, in terms of your ability to pay your debts. And when you apply for credit, lenders will probably ask about your income.

Myth #7: Spouses Have a Joint Credit Report

There’s no such thing as a joint credit report — for married couples or anyone else. Married or single, you have your own credit report. If you’re married, you and your spouse may have a lot of joint accounts, such as mortgages, car loans and shared credit card accounts. Those joint items will appear on both your credit reports and will affect both of your scores. But your credit report is yours and yours alone.

Myth #8: Paying Debts Erases Them

Pay off a debt and you’ve eliminated your obligation — but the evidence of that debt can stick to your credit report for years. If you pay your debts on time and in full, you will likely want your paid-off accounts on your credit report because they show that you’ve used credit responsibly. If, on the other hand, you’ve been chronically late, missed payments or defaulted entirely, that’s a problem. Most negative information can remain on your report for up to seven years; some bankruptcies can stay there for up to 10 years.

Myth #9: For Those With Little or No Credit, It’s Difficult to Build Credit

While people with limited credit history and low credit scores may have a hard time building credit, new tools are becoming available to help. One way to instantly increase your credit score is by using Experian Boost, a free service that incorporates your utility and mobile phone payment history into your Experian credit file. This can help you build up more credit history, which helps improve a credit score. It is a great first step but don’t stop there – make sure to pay all of your bills on time and don’t take on too much debt.

Being added as an authorized user or setting up a joint card (i.e. with a parent) is also a great way to build positive credit history. You might also consider opening a secured credit card account. That means you deposit money in a savings account that is tied to the card. If you don’t pay on time, the lender is protected – or secured – because they can withdraw payment from your savings account. However, they would still report the payment late, so be sure you always pay on time. If you do, you can build a positive credit history and start saving at the same time.

Myth #10:  Credit is a Measure of Your Value

Credit scores are designed to evaluate how big of a risk it would be to lend you money. That’s it. If your score is low, it’s because your credit history suggests that there’s a higher risk that you’ll default on a debt. It doesn’t mean anyone thinks you’re a bad person. Good, honest people can have low scores (and yes, truly awful people can have high scores). What you can do is work to generate a positive credit record: pay bills on time, reduce balances and apply for credit only when you need it.

3 Ways to Earn Your Parent’s Trust and Thus More Freedom

how to get mother to trust me

When it comes to being a teenager, the trust that your parents have in you will largely determine how much freedom you’re allowed. This is why it’s important that you establish this trust right away and do everything that you can to protect it. Here are three ways that you can earn the trust of your parents so that you can lead the life that you want.

how to get mother to trust me

Be Honest with Them

Once you break the trust of a parent, it becomes extremely challenging to earn it back. Being honest with your parents is crucial in the development of an open relationship. Earning the trust of a parent by always being honest can lead to more freedom to do the things that you want to do. Although it can be difficult to be honest, especially if you fear getting in trouble, it’s better to keep these open lines of communication open in the long run.

Be Responsible

In order to earn the trust of your parents, you need to show them that you’re learning to be a responsible adult. This responsibility can be achieved by learning how to effectively manage adult problems. For example, in the event that you’re pulled over and cited, it wouldn’t hurt to learn how to handle a traffic ticket so that you can keep your record clear for the future. The more responsibility that you show with the vehicle, the more likely that your parents will loosen curfew rules or allow you to take the car out more often.

Follow the Rules

Although so many rules may often seem unnecessary at times, it’s important that you understand that your parents have your best interests at heart when they put boundaries in place. Many times they want to help you or protect you with their rules. Following the rules that your parents set will immediately make them feel as if you’re trustworthy. If you feel as if a particular rule is unfair, then it’s better to engage in a discussion with your parents about it rather than just disregarding the rule altogether. By making an effort to show respect to your parents and their rules, you’ll foster a better relationship between all of you.

Transitioning from a teenager into an adult can be a challenging season in life. However, earning the trust of your parents and keeping it in place can help to give you the freedom that you desire.

Save Money with the 52 Week Savings challenge

52 week challenge

You might be reading this because you are worried about how little you save money. Perhaps you don’t spend any money at all, or maybe you do save but quickly spend it on something. Setting up long-term savings is a good idea, as it can protect you and your future, and allows you to have a fall-back should you ever need it. It is a healthy way to manage your money, rather than living paycheck to paycheck.

However, getting started with saving money isn’t always easy. If you have very little left over at the end of the month, after all your bills, rent and other commitments, there may not be a whole lot left to save. Do not despair  – you are not the only one who feels like this.

52 week challengeIn fact, online loans provider ‘Wonga’ see saving difficulties at the top of the list of their customers’ worries. They recently blogged about the annual savings challenge, which could help you to get your savings on the right track. They say, “The 52-week savings challenge is an excellent way to slowly grow your commitment to saving, which is something that doesn’t come naturally to us all. Following this challenge provides South Africans with a realistic and achievable way to save money, even in our tough economy and at the leanest times of year.”

Other outlets also praise the 52 week saving challenge. Money blog ‘The Balance’ explains the pros and cons simply, “You start by saving just $1 the first week of the challenge. Pop it in a jar on your counter without a second thought. The next week, put away $2, and the next, $3. You get the idea. By the end of the challenge, you are saving more than $50 a week, bringing your total amount saved to just under $1,400 by the end of the year.” Of course, it can be difficult when you get to the larger values, which is why some people decide to do the 52-Week Money Challenge in reverse, e.g. they save $52 in week 1, $51 in week 2, and so on.

Some people may also suggest just saving a fixed amount every month. However, this can prove difficult. Some months, after an unexpected bill, you might not have the money to put a larger amount away in your savings. Alternatively, others like setting up direct debits to automatically take the money at the start of the money so that there is no way out of putting some extra aside. Dedicating a specific savings account, which you do not touch is an ideal way of saving money that you don’t feel tempted to dig into!

Remember also that you can make small sacrifices in your daily life to help the savings challenge. What about cutting out that daily cup of coffee that you buy; the money you save can really add up. Equally, try to cut down on areas of spending at home, like turning off plugs and electric sockets that you don’t need.

4 Tips on How to Stand Out as a Leader in High School

high school teen leader

High school is a very important time in everyone’s life. This is often a period of time in which life skills, work ethic, and the foundation for confidence are built. This is also a great time in which someone can learn the skills that it takes to be a leader. Here are four things that can be done to can help you stand out as a leader among your classmates and develop leadership skills that will serve you well later in life.

high school teen leader

Help Out Others

One of the great parts of being in high school is that you’ll be surrounded by many different people in a variety of different settings. Whether it’s in the classroom, on the athletic fields, during part-time jobs, or any other setting, you’re bound to find yourself in a situation in which someone is struggling to succeed. Those who are willing to go the extra mile and to try and help others out will always stand out as a leader. They’ll also leave a lasting positive memory for everyone they helped.

Improve Processes Around You

A leader needs to be able to identify areas of improvement in projects and processes and be able to figure out ways to implement these changes. There are methodologies and techniques you can employ that could allow you to implement change with a smooth transition. For example, one source recommends using TIMWOOD as a helpful acronym to help remember a specific set of seven different wastes that can be applied to business as well as school.

Get Involved

In high school, there are many different activities you can participate in. According to ScholarshipPoints, if you want to stand out as a leader, you need to get involved. Further, he or she needs to be involved in an active way and seek out development and leadership opportunities in all of his or her activities.

Have a Positive Attitude

If you’re going to be a leader in high school, then having a positive attitude is extremely important. As a leader, you need to be someone that people can look up to and also be a role model. The last thing you want to have is a negative attitude or not be willing to put in the work. As one leadership development service points out, having a positive attitude will be contagious.

Ultimately, building leadership skills takes time. While some people are natural leaders, others need to work more on their leadership skills. It’s important that people in high school recognize leadership opportunities when they arise and that they act on these opportunities.

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