Module 2 – Your Life Depends On It!
The media plays a heavy part in influencing what many eat – from commercials on TV or online, to publicized studies in certain foods, revealing whether they are ‘bad’ or ‘good’ for you. One might decide to buy something they saw on TV for dinner, but not always for the right reasons. Some food commercials will quickly gloss over the nutritional facts and onto the ‘great taste’, with appetizing shots of prepared food or candy. This is often enough to secure a sale and is one of the main reasons of why advertising is so valuable. Advertising will often appeal to children with colourful cartoons and animations, promises of sweet flavours, and images of other children enjoying whatever is being advertised. In turn, these same children will spot the logo of the advertised candy, breakfast cereal, or other ‘tasty and fun’ product they saw on TV the day before while at the store with a parent. They want the product now, and will pout and complain until it’s been placed in the shopping cart.
My life has not always been ideal. There has often been yelling and swearing around me from a young age, and some abuse towards others and myself. I don’t like to think about it too much, but I do know that I want to be different from that. Sometimes confidence is hard to muster, sometimes I am struck by anxiety, sometimes I am depressed and feel like I don’t matter. It’s not easy to deal with but a part of the recovery is to help others. I try to be good to friends and family, to be the one to remind others they matter, to be easy to talk to and to be someone others are comfortable around. The main reason I make such an effort to be those things is because they were things that were sometimes lacking in my life – and that shouldn’t happen to anyone else. I like to help people work through things, because, as they say, you learn a lot of what you teach. When I help others I consistently I find that I better myself, and it’s a good feeling. I do my best to talk to everyone. Maybe if someone finds themselves in a bad place in life, just one person can pull them out of it and get them away from it. Sometimes, I like to think of myself as that person.
It’s been said many times that a person who was bullied will often become the bully, a vicious cycle of hatred that needs to be broken. Being bullied makes someone angry most often, anger which is not easy to take out safely. If someone is in a position where they are often attacked, verbally or physically, they will usually become very angry. However, the bully is in a position of power, and the bullied individual does not believe they can fight back and stand up for themself. And so they find someone weaker than them, someone that they can hold power over to take out their aggression, anger, and sadness on. This cycle can span generations and dozens of people. Maybe a boy is in an abusive situation at home. He accumulates fury and hatred for the abuser, but cannot stand up for himself because he believes the abuser holds power over him. So he finds someone at school, who he pushes around and calls names at lunchtime. This person, bullied often, becomes angry in turn, and finds someone he can take it out on, because he believes the bully holds power over him. It moves on and on. The solution, however, is difficult. I for one believe that often these people are in difficult home environments and are abused themselves. A first instance should warrant a meeting with a counsellor, who will try to identify the source of the anger. The counsellor should do everything they can to get them out of that situation.
There are many opinions on drug and alcohol use in teenagers. Many attribute it to the observation that the part of the brain that regulates decision making has not yet fully developed, which is, in my opinion, a fancy way of saying that they are young and stupid. I for one believe that the urge to be different is a major influence in using these substances. In the teenage years many kids will become rebellious and angry, finding their parents annoying and boring. I believe that the urge to be different from the two people in their lives who restrict them the most in their attempts to strike out on their own is a huge factor in taking drugs and drinking alcohol. Getting high or drunk is widely frowned upon and typically illegal, and these two actions serve to anger their parents or other authoritative figures and further widen the distance between them.
The most effective way to prevent STIs would obviously be abstinence; however, that is not a realistic objective for a few reasons. To expect over one thousand hormone crazed teenagers in a high school to remain abstinent in such a sexual world is ridiculous, and if everyone were to cease sexual activity the human race would not be in great shape for its future. And so in my opinion the best prevention for STIs is awareness and education, as well as access to protection. Many do not realize that STIs spread far more easily than they think – that vaginal penetration is not the only way to contract an STI. Many schools, primarily in the United States preach abstinence in high school sexual education classes, instead of preparing for the inevitability of sex between students. Were the time spent telling kids to be ‘hands off’ at all times spent in educating about STIs and protection, I believe both STIs and pregnancy in young people would dramatically increase. Additionally, I believe that protection should be easily accessed for free, as well as without shame. In an environment where buying a box of Trojans is comparable to standing on your head at the checkout and making strange noises, it’s no wonder that youths tend to forgo protection. I believe that condoms should be free of charge and easily accessible, in privacy, should the person with. I believe this could bring down the risk of STIs down immensely.
Prezi – Alcohol and Drugs in Teenagers
Wordle – Healthy Eating and Exercise
Easelly Flowchart – Bullying and Bystanders