Teens In a Recession

Worried Teen OK, so you’ve been hearing about the economy non-stop lately. You’ve probably heard your parents talking about it, maybe your teachers too.

Some of it may sound unrelated to you, like banks closing, or the car industry having problems.  But some of it might hit very close to home. Maybe one of your parents has lost a job, or is worried about losing a job, or had to take a pay-cut.  Maybe your family has to move to live someplace more affordable. Maybe other family members are moving into your household to save money.

So what does this all mean for you, the teenager in the household?

On the money side, it may mean that you have to scale back on some things you were planning on this year, like special school trips, going out with friends, buying new clothes.  If you have a job, your hours might be getting cut, and if you’re looking for a job, it might be harder to find one right now, cuz there’s a lot more people needing work right now.

Also, for high-school juniors and seniors, you probably have to think about your college applications differently.  The applications themselves cost money, and you’re probably thinking a lot about where you can get a scholarship and financial aid, and thinking about state schools vs. private schools.

It’s a LOT for a person to think about.  Especially a young person just getting started in the world. The key for you is to pay attention to your state of mind. If all of the worry and stress is getting to you, and you are losing sleep and feeling really bad, or you are turning to alcohol or drugs for an escape, you need to seek out support.  The first people to turn to are your parents.  Talk to them about what’s bothering you. Together you and they can come up with some plans about facing the money challenges together. They will appreciate the chance to talk to you about it!  Talking with other adults in your life can help too – like trusted teachers, spiritual leaders from your church or temple, or guidance counselors at your school.  You can get advice from them about college applications and financial aid.

These money problems are difficult – sometimes very difficult – but they are not impossible. And a lot of teens and families are in the same boat.  So there’s no reason for you to try and solve everything by yourself, or fold under pressure and harm yourself with alcohol or drugs.  Here are some resources for you, to handle the stress, and reach out to parents and other trusted adults.

Stress – http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/stress.html
Counseling – http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/counseling.html
Depression – http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/depression.html
Alcohol & Drugs – http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/collegehealth9.html

– Freedom