I’m going to tell you a teenager secret: EVERYONE has been ‘there’. A time when they hated school, or lunch or a 2nd period or bully. Cried in a bathroom, felt lonely, felt peer pressured. Wanted to fit in, tried to fit in, held back their voice, had one of those awful crippling embarrassing moments. Lost a friend, had a bad friend, spread rumors. Felt stressed, boxed in, or hopeless. Have you ever been ‘there’? It’s impossible to tell, but trust me when I tell you, even the most confident boy or girl has insecurities, fears. Even that always happy kid can feel low and sad some days. He just doesn’t show it. You are not alone, with any feeling or situation, there is someone else, even someone you wouldn’t talk to about it who is feeling that too.
Now for the coolest part of this secret: it’s called Teen Link. I think Teen Link is awesome, I bet you’ll agree. It’s a phone number (866-833-6546) to call and talk about any problem in your life, BIG or small, really intense or just annoying. Another teenager is on the line, ready to listen. It’s completely confidential: your parents or friends can’t find out if you called, it’s free, and it’s open every night 6-10pm. It’s a teen helpline, not a hotline, because you don’t need to be on rock bottom to call. You can be, but it’s for everyone.
The biggest part of it for me personally though is it is non-judgmental: everyone is understanding of others’ issues, and the teens really do volunteer to help you. They wouldn’t spend free evenings on the line if they didn’t care about you, who ever who may be, that you feel good that night. Teens empowering teens, it’s just like calling and chatting with a friend. Call yourself, or give the number to someone else: you can make a change. And if you want to help others by becoming a volunteer, we never have too many, and you can become a phone worker by October. Get involved, help a peer, and do your school’s community service hours being part of something that changes lives.
Call 866-833-6546 to talk or for volunteering information.
Maria, Teen Blogger