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Tips From a Teen for the New Year

January 15, 2009

Rachel Friedman, a publicist, often e-mails me information about all kinds of interesting things. Her e-mail on Monday was about Ketaki Shriram, a 16-year-old author who has already had a book published. When she's not writing, Ketaki, an outstanding student, is highly active in her high school's student government (as student body president) and is opinion editor on her school newspaper. She is currently working on her next book. Rachel wrote, "Ketaki has some advice for teens priming for the New Year."

Ketaki's advice looked pretty good, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Read More – “Read, read, read,” Ketaki said. “Read newspapers, books and magazines. Read more than you did last year.”
Get involved – According to the pollsters, the youth vote tipped the scales in favor of Barack Obama in the last election. “Young people, when united, were strong enough to change the course of one of the most powerful nations on the planet,” according to Ketaki. “Imagine how much good we could do if we all volunteered our time to a worthy cause at least once a week.”
Do something outdoors – Whether you live in the city or the suburbs, teens today are spending way too much time shackled to their computers, lounging with their iPods or texting on their phones. When weather permits, get outside for at least a few minutes every day. “Walk down to the corner store,” she said. “Ride a bike. Do something so that you don’t form bad habits that hurt your health later on in life.”
Talk to your parents – Yes, actually talk to them. Many problems that arise between parents and teens revolve around lack of communication. With time for daily communication at a premium, now more than ever it’s important to make the most of that time. “The more you talk to them about your day, your activities, your social life and yes, even your boyfriend/girlfriend, the more they will feel involved in your life,” Ketaki said. “They will trust you more, and you will benefit from their wisdom, even when you least expect it.”
Stay informed – A whopping 67 percent of high school students couldn’t identify our vice president, speaker of the House of Representatives, or Senate Majority Leader. More than 30 percent didn’t know we were at war with Iraq. “Know who your leaders are,” Kataki said. “Know what’s going on in your town, your state, your country and your world. The only way to be a part of it is to know what’s going on.”

One more piece of advice that I'll add to this list is . . .

Get to know God – Jesus' coming is closer than ever before. Will this be the year Jesus comes? Maybe. Even if it isn't, experiment with God this year, see what He says in His Word, the Bible. Dig in and find out what the Bible really says to you, personally. Discover how incredible God really is. He hopes you'll do this. In Psalm 34:8 is an invitation: "Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who trust in him!" (NLT).*

*Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.


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