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I’m Different

I’m Different

Everyone used to tell me how drugs were a nice way to relieve stress; how you only became addicted if you let yourself become addicted. To a degree, it was true; however, it’s not true for most people. I started smoking marijuana in seventh grade, and it was just kind of a side habit until my junior year in high school. That’s when it went from monthly, to weekly, and then to an almost daily habit. I thought I had the will to limit my addiction, but eventually it overcame me. I don’t know how or why, but at some point, I realized where I was heading with drug abuse. I know people who’ve gone on to ecstasy and heroin, and I can’t tell you how glad I am that I’ve ditched that dirty habit.

Daniel, California

The choice is yours

The choice is yours

Many may say my background was designed for me to fail. Well I believe in choices. You can choose to become apart of the commonly known indigent negative influences, or choose to become elite and strive for greatness. I chose to be great…no matter the circumstance’s. The choice was mine!

daviel, New Jersey

Going against the crowd sometimes gets you the farthest

Going against the crowd sometimes gets you the farthest

I was bullied all of my life up until Middle School for not quite fitting in. I’m not so good at sports and I didn’t always know what to say. The lack of human compassion pushed me onto my laptop and the internet a lot instead of being out on the streets causing trouble out of boredom. This is the beginning of how I took an interest to Computer Science. It was something I was good at and kids at school couldn’t take away from me no matter how hard they tried. I started getting better at it, and soon other people online and even my classmates and teachers started to admire my work. The internet is also where I discovered other kids had the same problems I did and  where I learned how they overcame them. That’s when I realized that the silly comments other kids made didn’t matter and I could define who I was. Fast forward three years and now I am a sophomore in High School. I have friends that now come to me for life advice, I accomplish magic using a keyboard and I now work for a cloud web hosting company in NYC.

Sean, Michigan

Know That You Know

Know That You Know

It took me a long time and lots of mistakes to get to this place of…believing that I CAN make the right choices. Then again, I CAN make mistakes and still be “good.” I’ve learned to ask myself one very important question when making choices: Can I look back on this day and truly say, “I did the best I could with what I had?” Sometimes the best I had WASN’T as good as it could’ve been or better yet, would have been (one day). But, the more I tried, the better at it I got! It’s MY journey and I’m ok with it! It’s MINE and it’s GOOD even when I make mistakes!

Sandy, South Carolina

Break the cycle

Break the cycle

I grew up in a home with two parents who were addicts, and thought it was “normal” to have families like mine. As I got older, it grew into anger and resentment and finally got to the point of “if they can do it, so can I.” Watching how addiction can hurt a family, and how the cycle can spread down through generations has made me want to help others. I now help others see how serious addiction is, not just for the individual, but for the family of that individual as well. I live above the influence every day, and help those around me as well—personally and professionally to break the cycle of addiction.

Anonymous, Kansas

The Fears That Chain Me

The Fears That Chain Me

Every morning, I pick out the flaws in myself. I stare at myself, fixing my clothes, standing straighter, messing with my hair, finding a way to smile that hides my under bite. All this just so that a few hundred people will accept me into their cruel, judgmental society that jumps on every difference and turns it into a weakness, not something that defines you as who are but instead as something that you shouldn’t be. Everyone has characteristics that makes you an individual, not just a uniform part of a whole. But many refuse to accept that these traits are normal. And this misconception of a how a society should be run causes everyone unneeded stress and worrying. This feeling of being different plagues me every time I decide to go talk to a pretty girl. I think she will believe I am lesser than her because of my differences. This anxiety of being rejected by people has ruined many relationships throughout my life. But don’t be like me. Be confident. Be courageous. And be yourself.

Cy, New Mexico

Message to Parents

Message to Parents

Teenagers listen to people who can truly connect with them, who understand their point of view, and don’t accuse them of being a bad person. This is why teenagers don’t talk to their parents because they’re scared of them thinking they’re failures.  That’s why we lie lie lie lie lie because we are scared that we are not good people. It’s like you can’t help an alcoholic if you yourself have never gotten drunk. Kids open up when all you say is, it’s okay I understand and really mean it. Then they open up. An authoritative figure who can also be honest and admit their flaws is someone we would be willing to try listening to. Try acting more of an equal.

Anonymous

Believe in Yourself

Believe in Yourself

At one point in my life I was called fat. I was told no one liked me. So, I started to change who I was. I started acting the way the “cool” group acted and I started dressing like them. That didn’t work too well and I relized I was being fake. When I was by myself I would wear sweatshirts and sweatpants. I would sing, I would write and I would read the books I like to read. I liked the real me. I stopped being fake and I did what I loved. Would people pick on me? Yes. Did I care? At first I did care and I still do; however, it is alot easier to remember who I am now because I have a group of friends that like me for me and don’t care what I look like or what I like.

Alicynn, Indiana

It Ain’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

It Ain’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Let me start by saying I am a devout Christian. And I try not to judge people who aren’t and behave in ways I do not believe in. But it’s extremely hard not only to not judge, but behave at parties. I have a lot of friends, I go to a lot of parties. And believe me, there are people drinking, snorting, having sex, doing whatever they want to. And it’s hard not to join in. I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink. I bring my own soda or whatever and keep a lid on it at all times. I am still a virgin. But I can feel myself starting to succumb a little to the peer pressure, even though I’m usually the person taking people home or calling 911. I see that people who are using drugs and alcohol are becoming worse and worse. And I pray for them. And I hope that with maybe a little help from my God I won’t give in. And I will NOT let my life get messed up.

Nick, Pennsylvania

YOU

YOU

You are you. You are nobody else. You’re not meant to be anyone else. Don’t ever let anyone convince you that doing something you’re not into will make you cooler or get you more friends. You don’t always have to go with the flow. You don’t always have to go along with what everyone is telling you to do. Stand up for yourself. Don’t let people push you around and take advantage of you. If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it. If someone doesn’t want to do something, don’t make them do it. Sure, you’re going to make mistakes, everybody does. But those mistakes are not what defines you. Live for yourself, no one else.

Bridget, Texas

No Really Means No

No Really Means No

If all of your friends are all doing something you don’t feel comfortable doing, don’t be afraid to stand up and say what you want to say. Don’t give in. If they can’t grasp the fact that you don’t want to participate, then they aren’t friends. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known them or how close you are. If they can’t respect your wishes, they don’t deserve your friendship. Stay strong.

Michelle, Pennsylvania

Subtle but Strong

Subtle but Strong

Remember, that though it might seem that drugs are not having an effect on you or your friends, the effect can be subtle at first. Drugs change your perception, your mood, your outlook on life. They affect who you hang out with, the choices you make. Over time, the effects might become a little more obvious, or you may even be oblivious to them as you’re still under the spell. I know I prefer to be able to think with my actual brain, the real me, not a brain under the influence that I simply can’t rely on.

Cath, Alabama

It Will Pass

It Will Pass

Just wanted to write and say, I know you may be feeling that pressure to join in and do drugs/drink, etc., as I did, but I am a few years on now, and really, honestly, I’m so glad I stopped. Of my friends who carried on, one is now on heroin, one has serious mental health issues and is on heavy medication, another got pregnant and her boyfriend left her, and another is practically homeless, with chronic depression and lung problems. I’m not kidding. Ok, so a few survived without these problems, but is it worth the risk? Think ahead to the life you will want, it’s worth a little “sacrifice” now for a happy life. I struggle a bit now with anxiety after my brief bit of drug use, but wow am I glad I didn’t carry on..it’s just not worth it. Life gets easier in terms of peer pressure – stand your ground, stand up for life!

Cara, Illinois

It’s OK to Feel Pressured

It’s OK to Feel Pressured

It is natural to feel pressured into doing something you don’t want to because others say it is cool or fun or even safe. Personally I have never been pressured into doing something like weed or alcohol but I know many of you reading this have. I hate to admit it, but most of my life I have been pressured into looking like everyone else or even changing my friends and interests because I don’t want to be bullied by others. Last year I looked in the mirror at all my makeup and my jewelry and clothes and I said to myself, I am done. Ever since then I have refused to go with the crowd and I have refused to be like everyone else. I go to the store and buy clothes so I don’t fit in and I love the clothes I buy. I am not saying that you shouldn’t go with the crowd. It is apart of life. Just remember that those people you are trying to be like just want attention. If you’re gay be gay. If you’re into music not gangs, great. BE YOU.

Sophia, Massachusetts

Falling Isn’t Failing

Falling Isn’t Failing

After spending nearly 4 years behind bars, and I’m only 22, I’ve finally wrapped my head around this thing we call Addiction. Ive always had a great life full of opportunity and a loving family, but drinking turned me into someone I’m not. Everything I did, no matter how fun or exhilarating it was sober, had to have the booze to make it acceptable. It was the unnecessary cherry on top of my sundae. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this, it’s that, I couldn’t deal with my true emotions. Happy, sad, angry, mad, death or success…was drowned out. Now I’m a real man who can cry and deal with my problems the right way. Although drinking can be fun, the price is much too high to pay. The risk is too severe. My choices are my own…but they affect everyone around me in some way. I’m done being selfish. I don’t need a cherry on my sundae because all the things that make it what it is are usually under what we see first.

Jake, Pennsylvania

Think about it.

Think about it.

Here’s my story. I started at age 13, I was in gangs and I always thought I was so cool. But before I got into gangs I was depressed because I was raped at a young age. I found that as an excuse to do drugs. My 16 year old ex boyfriend was a drug dealer. He gave me Crystal, Molly, and Weed. I was high for any occasion. I’d sneak out of the house when my parents went to work and did drugs and gang deals with my boyfriend. I’d come home so high that when my Mom talked to me I never paid attention. There was a time I started getting acne. At family reunions I was always ticking because I wanted to get high so much. I was addicted. Next thing you know, my Mother finds out and my whole family hated me. I ran away with my boyfriend  and a couple of weeks later my Mom was diagnosed with Cancer. My family was separating. My cousins didn’t like me. No one. It took me so long to realize that I had to stop doing drugs when I figured out my Mom was dying. Let your mother live worry free Knowing YOU’RE drug free.

Cynthia, Nevada

Relationship Idea

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Relationship Idea

If a relationship is going bad, try to fix it first. If it doesn't work then find something new.

Katherine, Louisiana

Stay Away

Stay Away

I used to do drugs 24/7. It started to have a super negative impact on my life. I started mostly with smoking weed, after that I tried some harder stuff. It was mostly because of all my friends. I have been clean for over a year now and I don’t plan on starting back up. One of my really close friends still does super hard drugs and i’m trying to get her off it. Don’t try drugs, its not worth it at all. STAY AWAY

Anonymous, Florida

Surrounded

Surrounded

I’m surrounded by friends who drink, smoke weed, do other drugs, and party. My dad is an alcoholic, as well as a lot of my friends’ parents. Its sad to see so many of my peers be subjected to these things. I’ve promised myself never to drink or smoke. It just makes me so sad to know that a lot of people don’t think about what these substances are doing to them. I’ve become very shy and introverted because I don’t want to do the things most people at my high school do. I know its what’s best for me though, so I’m okay with not having many friends.

Cass, Illinois

Peer Pressure

Peer Pressure

As a minor, I always promised myself I would not be negatively influenced by the world and fall into the peer pressure of doing prescription drugs and consuming alcohol as a minor. As I matured peer pressure got worse. I was now in college and there were parties every day. Soon I was pressured into other things I never thought I would do. I had no intentions of ever consuming alcohol; many of my family member have been/are alcoholics. I’ve seen people addicted to heroin, meth and coke. I never intended to not only take but abuse prescription drugs. As a 18 year old college student all the pressure was overwhelming and I unfortunately gave in. One day when I was under the influence I looked in the mirror, and it wasn’t me. I had no idea who I became and since that day I am attempting to say no to drug/alcohol abuse and also be a positive influence on my peers. A good friend steers you away from wrong doing and things that can lead you to self destruction. Say no to peer pressure!!!!

Charde, Indiana

Running Away

Running Away

A month ago I ran away because I was unhappy and I wanted my dad in my life more. I was hanging out with the wrong people. When I ran away, my mother was stressed about where I was and had to constantly call the police. When I ran away last month I realized something … that my friends and the kids I hung around were the ones influencing me not to go home. I listened to those kids. Now I hang out with kids that are like me and dropped the ones who influenced me to do bad things.

Kiarah, New York

Above

Above

Some kids say that you should do it because  others are doing it. You shouldn’t always listen because you may do something that you don’t want to do. Please think about the choices that you make. Believe me I didn’t and it got me in a lot of trouble so think about it.

Y'umani, Georgia

One Regret

One Regret

I’m 24 years old and I been an alcoholic for the past 10 years. I became sober 2 months ago. I have done many bad things when I was drunk that could easily put me in jail for a while or even hurt people in a really bad way. Getting in trouble, hurting myself or family around me never made me change my mind about my drinking problem. How did I hit rock bottom? The outcome of the last time I got drunk was losing the love of my life. The irresponsibility of my actions made me lose her little by little until she lost the love for me. I’ve been trying to be strong but I have entered into depression and feeling awful. My story is long with many details to cover, but the fact of talking about it makes me feel good. I would love help and support, but I would love more to persuade people to stay alcohol free! Stay above the influence :):)

Alex, California

Changes

Changes

Everyone is different. Everyone wants to look like that super model they find in the magazine or on TV. But you’re not that person. Just because you want to be super skinny just like that one girl, doesn’t mean you should stop eating . Everyone is beautiful no matter their size, shape, color, and look. I know a girl who made herself throw up because she thought she was fat. She almost died because of that. Don’t change how you look. If someone says something about your size, ignore them and walk away. It works every time, but if they keep doing it contact someone older, like an adult or a teacher.  My point is to always be yourself and to never change because you are beautiful, and beautiful people need to stick together as one.

Breann, New Hampshire

Don’t Waste Your Life

Wasted-by-Isis-Payne

Don’t Waste Your Life

Isis, Oklahoma

Running Away

Running Away

When I was 17, my friends influenced me to try ecstasy at a party. They said it was fun and it wouldn’t hurt to try. I ended up getting hooked, meeting a boy, and running away with him to a different state! Together we tried almost every drug, from marijuana to methamphetamine to all kinds of pills. I thought I was in love; I thought I knew what I was doing. At one point we became homeless due to a false promise from a “friend.” After months of sober, deep thinking, I realized the pain I was causing myself and my family. I realized 3 years passed by and I was at a standstill… I finally told my parents I wanted to come home and how sorry I was for doing the things I had done. Here I am now, 2 years later, and I am at home rebuilding my relationships with my family members and sharing my experience with those who have questions and temptations! Overall, I am happy now that I overcame the obstacles that I created for myself, but I still get sad when I think back to those years.

Jenna, Florida

Clarity Of Mind

Clarity Of Mind

When I was in high school, all anyone could talk about was when, where, and what they were going to smoke. At first I was saying no to the parties, but after a while I went to one of them. I didn’t take, smoke, or drink anything. I just watched to see what it did to you. The outcome was the worst thing I had ever seen. People throwing up and forgetting even the simplest things like where they were and who their friends were. It wasn’t “fun” or “the best thing out there” from where I was standing. After that day, I thought to myself “OK, so if that happens when you drink, or smoke, or do any kind of drugs, then I’m never doing anything, ever in my life.”  And I am proud to say I have stuck by that thought. Most of my old, and ex, friends that still drink and smoke are now either in jail, have been to jail, or have had to go to the hospital because of whatever it is that they drank or smoke. I am drug free, alcohol free, and most of all. . . Above The Influence.

Jordan, New Mexico

My Struggle With Eating

My Struggle With Eating

In the fifth grade, I developed anorexia, bulimia, and purging disorder. I struggled with being bullied everyday and called fat. Everyday, I was weak. I couldn’t run for more than 30 seconds without being tired out. I mainly struggled with purging disorder. I ate not a single thing and puked up everything. I puked up blood many times. I hated myself. But I knew what I was doing wasn’t safe. One day in the summer after sixth grade, I fainted in school. By then, I knew I had to stop. I never told them anything so I had to overcome everything by myself. I went to get help from my friends. They helped me get through one of the hardest parts of my life. I want every person to know that they are beautiful and that they should never go to such extremes to fix themselves to fit society’s image of beauty. :)

Joseph, New York

Dating

Dating

I started dating about a year or two ago and I eventually started to hate dating. Every guy I dated was either on drugs, drinking or both and I didn’t realize how bad it was until my last boyfriend called me one day, telling me he had to go to court and was going to probably miss my junior prom we planned on going to together, because him and his friends stole someone’s vehicle while they were smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. I told him I didn’t want that for us and he kept on doing more and more drugs and kept drinking. I found out a month after we broke up that he cant find a job, his new girfriend broke up with him after only a week, and that he will be going to prison, not 20/20 but prison, for 3 years. All I can say is I am happy I was never involved with anything he did that involved drugs or alcohol. Thank you Lord for taking away a bad future and giving me a better one!

Dee dee, Ohio

Straight Edge

Straight Edge

Don’t listen to everyone’s else’s opinions. The only opinion the matters is yours. When I was fourteen I started listening to straight edge music and became straight edge. I hung around with kids who drank and did drugs, but I never did, because I knew who I was, and I knew who I didn’t want to be. I never felt pressured because I set my boundaries and made my beliefs to my friends clear. I wear a straight edge bracelet everyday to remind me of who I am and to avoid temptations. I later realized I didn’t like who I was becoming with those friends even though I didn’t do drugs with them. I cut them out of my life and found friends who weren’t bad influences on me. To this day I am still straight edge and happy. So my point is cut out the negative influences in your life. Even if you’re not doing drugs with them they can still affect your life negatively.

Bella, California

It’s worth it

It’s worth it

I have always been known as a “good girl.” Someone who doesn’t put herself into situations that are risky and likes to take the safe road. Recently, I have felt as if I have been deemed as someone who doesn’t like to have fun because I do not drink, but I know that’s not the case. I don’t drink because I have experienced alcoholism in my family, and it has showed me that it’s not who I want to become. I would rather stay home on a friday night and miss a really big party than wake up one day finding myself empty without a drink in my hand. At times it may be hard, but it will be worth it, I know it will.

Erin, Illinois

Opinions and Rejections

Opinions and Rejections

Don’t hold back what you have to say if you know it’s important. We live in a world where people will judge you on what you say, and what you don’t say. What you do, and what you don’t do. But at the end of day, people will judge you. You shouldn’t let their opinions stop you from being you. So what if people reject you? They didn’t raise you, treat you, or diet you. You can live a fake life having everyone like you, or you can live life as you. Some people will dislike you, but most people will LOVE you. You can make an impact on others lives by speaking your mind. This world wants you to say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing. You don’t need everyone in your life, don’t spend it trying to please everyone. Society forces you to take rejections personal, it’s okay to hear or say no. Don’t stop yourself from being you for someone’s comfort. Don’t let opinions and rejections hold you back from being the person who you’re meant to be.

Isaac, Georgia

Do it for yourself

Do it for yourself

What I hate is how at school they just say drugs are bad. They just show us the negative side, which makes us just want to ignore what they’re saying and do what we want. Also, with everyone at school saying how fun it is, I know I want to join in the fun. However, I think we forget to respect ourselves. We ultimately get to make the choice, no matter how many scary advertisements and teachers yelling no, and no matter how many friends tell us how great last night was getting high. No matter what, we have to remember that we are good people, even if we mess up. Even if we mess up a lot. And good people are worth respecting. So we should respect ourselves, and make the choices we ultimately want to make.

Sydney, Colorado

NO HARMFUL DECISIONS

NO HARMFUL DECISIONS

I’m 15, and my sister’s going on 17. She and my mom always encourage me to go with my sisters’ friends. Truth is, I don’t, because they smoke and drink. I already have a plan to go to NCSU and be a biologist. Why would I let drugs and alcohol get in the way of my dreams?

Zakiyya, North Carolina

The Party Scene

The Party Scene

Being a senior in High school I’ve experienced many things & people. My freshman year I didn’t do anything too risky, but I went to my first house party. I saw certain things such as my friends, peers, and even my own sister doing drugs & alcohol. I looked around at this “party scene ” and saw that I didn’t quite “fit in.” I never really saw the point of using drugs or getting so drunk I can’t even remember my name. I honestly just was looking to mingle and have a good time. Things took to a bad turn and the police busted the party. Not only did that scare me like crazy but I had to find a way to explain to my mother why my older sister is acting so crazy because she was drinking. That made me realize who I am as a person. I don’t “go with the flow” of things, I do my own. To this day you’ll never catch me at a “party scene” with drugs & alcohol. Even though I don’t have millions of friends bc of not going out to parties I’m satisfied with who I am, who I hang around & who I will become.

Ayanna, Maryland

*My Story*

*My Story*

I started using drugs at first because my boyfriend at the time told me that it would make him love me more than he already did, so I hit my first bong. Worst thing I ever did, because after that he knew he could get me to try any drug he was doing. Luckily for me we broke up before it got too bad. I was eventually using marijuana daily, and I am now getting better. Trust me when I say that you are better than any drug out there. Stay safe. Stay drug free.

Abby, Maryland

We have the freedom.

We have the freedom.

So many people tell us to be like someone else. Like, if there’s two sisters and a mom, one of them seems perfect, and the other is not. The mother fusses at the imperfect child every day, and tells them to be more like the perfect one. The imperfect child knows that her mother just cares too much about what’s on the outside, and continues to be herself. Most of us are that child. Everyone is perfect the way they are. You don’t have to fit in. Be yourself, Live Above the influence.

Nella, Louisiana

Your life your choice

Your life your choice

It’s your life and you should choose what to do with it. It’s ok to take advice or views from your friends, but you shouldn’t let them make your life decisions. If you feel pressured, tell that person that you don’t want to do that certain thing with them, or ever. You should always speak up if you have a problem with something, even if it makes you look different or weird; people will respect you for your courage. If they don’t, then they weren’t meant to be in your life. The people that respect your opinions and decisions are meant to stay in your life forever life.

And if people think you are a square or a narc for having you own opinion and mind, then be the best square you can be.

Leaders make their own decisions, and followers follow what everyone else is doing.

Destini, Tennessee

I want to remember

i-want-to-remember

I want to remember

Anonymous

Big bully, a letter:

Big bully, a letter:

Dear bully,
You spit in my face
You pushed me down
You’ve kicked me
Called me names
And you feel so tough when I freeze in fear and I have no control of the situation.
But bully I never felt the need to do this to others and dealt with my pain of being hurt by you.
Now bully do you have a name? As much as I don’t want to like you something hurt you and it’s your turn to talk about it.

John, Connecticut

Self-hate

Self-hate

I honestly don’t know why I’m here. I’m barely ever bullied and everyone likes me. They think I’m so happy and such a great friend. Maybe I am, but I wouldn’t know. I am full of self-hate. I just can’t seem to find any likeable thing about myself. Because of this, most people think of me as a drama queen. And for having so many, non-backstabbing, “friends,” they think I’m an idiot for thinking of myself as alone. I know that this is totally dramatic, but I really truly am alone. I just want to move away and start fresh. But you can’t just delete your life. And deleting it will still leave scars. You have to fix it, mend the heart. After a while I have sort of come to an understanding that maybe I’m not as bad as I thought I was. Some kind people out there, who’s lives are no longer existent, have shown me how good I can be. You just have to understand that there will always be someone out there that sees no imperfections at all within you. Your beautiful inside and out.

Umbra, Alaska

Don’t Be Fooled! It’s Society!

Don’t Be Fooled! It’s Society!

There is a lot of things adults and society blame on teens like me and you. They say that this generation is terrible and wrong. But that very statement is baffling to me. How can you say that the generation fueled on twerking and drugs is the kids’ fault when the adults were the ones who made it? No matter what you do, just remember society’s image of “beauty” will never be true beauty. To be beautiful you must have a beautiful mind. It doesn’t matter if you are a size 0 or a size 13! You are beautiful

Cara, California

Learning from others mistakes

Learning from others mistakes

My older sister did drugs and alcohol for years and she passed away in a car accident along with the other driver one night while under the influence. Drugs and alcohol impact the body but they also impact those around us. I’m above the influence for my younger sister and for my parents who both were affected by my older sister’s actions. I choose to use these experiences and turn them into something good. I hope that my story will impact others and inspire them to rise above. As it has helped me rise above. If you have a loved one who struggles, or you are a loved one who struggles, you are not alone and you have the power to make a difference in your life and others’ lives one step at a time.

Morgan, California

The Choices of Today

The Choices of Today

People tend to forget that the choices we make today pave the path for our tomorrow. Peer pressure is all around us, we live in a world of peer pressure. The world tells us we have to be a certain way, our parents and teachers tell us, even our friends tell us. So we always have to choose wisely because our choices today will affect us tomorrow. Sometimes the right choice isn’t always popular, and it isn’t always easy. We have to stick to our gut, listen to our mind and follow our heart. We are all perfect the way we are, we do not need any drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or sex to make us “better” or “cool.”

Hannah, New Jersey

If it aint broke, dont fix it!!

If it aint broke, dont fix it!!

Imma keep this short and simple. When the human body is healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally, it’s gonna work the way it was created to. Why mess up a good thing by doing drugs and being under the influence?

There’s truly no point. Live life sober–that’s what we were created for.

<3

N, New York

your decisions

your decisions

Don’t let your friends make the decisions that could possibly ruin your life.

ian, Alabama

Live above the influence…Stay Strong

Live above the influence…Stay Strong

Living above the influence is staying away from peer pressure and resisting temptation. An example of living above would be when I resisted doing a nicotene-like drug called a hookah pen. There are many such ways to stay out of trouble, to live above the influence. I have relatives that didn’t resist, and now they are addicted to chewing tobacco and cigarettes. Even though I have their genes I stayed above! I believe that many middle and high school students are influenced by peer pressure to try drugs. Once you start, it is very hard to stop, because you can then become addicted to the drug that you tried at a young age. If you stay on drugs, it cuts years off your life, and it will also burn a hole in your pocket spending a ton of money. I have a grandmother that started smoking when she was young and hasn’t been able to stop. She suffered multiple lung problems because of smoke inhalation. I guess the point I’m trying to get across to you is that drugs are bad and can hurt!!!

Riley, Texas

My life

My life

People see me as a strong happy teen, but deep inside I’m alone. My mom walked out on our family 7 years ago, and we haven’t seen her for 5 of those years. She is always putting me down, saying that I’m never going to go to college and stuff like that. I am not happy, but I am strong. I don’t listen to her and try even harder to prove her wrong. She needs to move on and leave my sister, my brother and me, so we can be successful without her negativity. We will be successful with or without her. All she does is put us down. I cried myself to sleep every night because of her, but I later learned that she’s not worth my tears. I will move on and never look back. I have so many problems, I don’t know what to do anymore, but I’ll work hard and move forward. Failure is not an option!!!

nancy, Michigan

Preachers Kid

Preachers Kid

I’m a preachers daughter, and I used to smoke weed every day. I came to realize weed is not for me. I no longer smoke weed. I Am Above The Influence.

Deja, California

Living Above

Living Above

For me, being Above the Influence is my future, my image, my way of being.

Emma, Iowa

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