When we’re young, thinking that life is something that happens in the moment is easy. Many young people just don’t think about their futures in the same way that older adults do. While young people may appreciate intellectually that they have a long future ahead of them, their actions are all too often those of people who think of only the short-term consequences — if they think about them at all.
It takes effort and willpower to remind yourself of your valuable future, but it’s something that’s well worth doing. Young people have the power to determine the direction of their whole lives, and the decisions you make in your formative years are among the most important that you’ll ever make.
Making good decisions and recovering from bad ones
There are a lot of small decisions that will affect your future, but there are also a few big ones. Many of those involve alcohol, drugs, and the law. These problems can have serious long-term consequences for your health, your reputation, and your legal record. They can also be a sign of deeper emotional and mental health issues!
Alcohol is illegal for persons under 21 in the United States of America. Yet many high schoolers choose to drink anyway: 30 percent of high school students drink, and 14 percent of high school students binge drink. Unfortunately, this is extremely dangerous: more than 4,000 people die of excessive drinking every year. Drinking can also lead to drunk driving, an incredibly dangerous decision. Drunk driving accounts for 28 percent of motor vehicle-related deaths.
If you do make a mistake with alcohol or drugs, make a conscious decision to fight for your future. Secure a DUI lawyer and do as much as possible to limit the damage that a drunk driving incident can do to your record and reputation. Take your mistakes as a learning opportunity! With a trained DUI defense attorney to help you ensure that your rights are protected in a court of law, take some time to consider your actions in your own mind, away from the judge and jury. You may want to consider rehab and other options for alcohol abusers.
Fighting for your physical and mental health
Being young isn’t easy. Young people who have issues with substance abuse and other behavioral and legal problems aren’t necessarily doing these things because they’re fun. It could be that these young people are suffering from mental health problems — and, in fact, there are plenty of young people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other issues who don’t act out at all.
Teenage depression is a mental health problem, not just a “phase.” It can be exacerbated and triggered by issues such as bullying, but it is fundamentally about brain chemistry.
Proper treatment is essential. Teens may find that they need to head to rehab for depression or mental health issues — residential treatment centers for teenage depression can offer powerful support. Working with psychiatrists or psychologists is an absolute must, and parents should support their teens.
As a teen, you have many happy years ahead of you. Fight for them and don’t give up. You have resources such as suicide prevention hotlines to help you find a way to healing. Get help, and fight for your future!
Who you are and who you will be
Whether you’re considering posting a questionable photo to social media or are grappling with suicidal thoughts, the dilemmas you face as a teen will have serious implications for your future as an adult. Remember that you have experts and other resources ready to help you build the bright future that you want and deserve.