A Press Democrat Blog

Teen Life

News and opinion from local teens

Ryan Santos, 17

My Sacrifice I gazed down at the bottom of the pool and focused on my stroke. As I came up for air, I could see my coach waving her arms in a frantic manner, gesturing for me to speed up my pace. It was my meet last of the season, and I could feel the eyes of coaches and spectators on the pool. Swimming the 500m is a long, and daunting 20-lap race—a test of mental fortitude and physical endurance—especially… Read More »

Caleb Lundquist, 17

Without Tears Thirteen years; seems like quite a long time, doesn’t it? Well over a decade, and if counted from birth, takes up most of your childhood life; yes thirteen years can be seen as a substantial amount of time– a lengthy period of life. Well, at least until it’s understood that thirteen years actually stands for the age a young boy was killed at, and suddenly thirteen, that substantial amount of our lives, seems unfair; thirteen becomes too low… Read More »

Alex Figueiredo, 15

I Am No Olympian     This was it, finally. The sun was glaring down at me, beating me with its endless, Apollo-worthy electromagnetic hammer of brightness. Sweat flowed down my face like jubilant magma flowing from a cryptodomic volcano. The dust from the track rose around me like an army of killer bees, swarming around my adolescent head and stabbing into my open mouth like a drill-wielding dentist experiencing a severe sneeze mid-operation. My legs were screaming; my lungs were… Read More »

Evelyn Arroyo, 17

Rise Above Fashion It was an early Friday morning, a day planned to be one of the most rewarding for Joshua Woods because he would finally get his hands on those Nike Air Jordan XI ‘Bred’ sneakers. It began as a simple trip to Willowbrook Mall with his friend; they had woken up early in order to be first in line in what is known to be one of the craziest, most consumer-hungry retail lines in history. Woods and his… Read More »

Feben Messele, 17

My Home I used to be furious at the advertisement that represented Ethiopia as a grimy boy begging for food; on the summer of 2011, when my mother, my younger sister and I flew to Ethiopia to visit family, I understood its accuracy. Although that unparalleled interdependence between the citizens was there, the times, the streets, and the country had changed. Most of what I saw contradicted what I had remembered. I do not think it was my unaccustomed eyes… Read More »

Paco Villegas, 17

My Origins I can remember everything as far back as preschool—when life was as simple as the colored building blocks I used to play with, and when stress and sleep deprivation weren’t even factors that came into play. The world I come from is a planet like everyone else’s but the life I live is that of my own; factors such as community and family have influenced my life, and therefore are important parts of my world. I grew up… Read More »

Malcolm Pinson, 17

I’m Not a Statistic Today, society portrays the black man as: a rapper, a thug, someone who only cares about brand names, and someone to be feared. The media constantly portrays the African American male as a monster as they are constantly seen as criminals. All of the statistics about African Americans are negative, for example 80 percent of all people in jail are black, and 72 percent of African American children are born without a father figure. As an… Read More »

Peter Adams, 17

The Bench “So, knowing what you know now, would you have sat on the bench?” “I dunno. Maybe.” “Well then I’m afraid I’ll have to give you a detention.” In sixth grade, I was obsessed with Nelson Mandela after writing a report on his struggle to bring racial equality to South Africa. I soon decided to emulate him as much as possible, even wanting to name my future son Nelson. One day, I would be viewed as a hero just… Read More »

Ellorine Carle, 17

Genius Brother My brother is a genius. You probably wouldn’t think so if you look at his grades—above average for a normal person’s standards, but extremely disappointing compared to my report card, decorated with an obnoxious abundance of “A’s” and “Advanced Placement”, almost as if my life depended on it. You probably wouldn’t think so if you look at his writing and reading abilities either. He painstakingly struggles for hours over writing an essay, that when read, hardly makes any… Read More »

Rose Teplitz, 17

Waving Goodbye Since I was old enough to peer out the car window, I can remember my grandmother standing by her curtains as we pulled away in our car, waving good-bye, her fingers fluttering gleefully. Every time, as we piled back into the car, I would immediately buckle my seatbelt and hurriedly crane my neck to see my grandmother at the window, oddly frantic that I would miss her gesture. To me, it is more than just a sway of… Read More »