by Christina O., Day-Riverside Branch
I love my friends and as a teen I’d spend endless hours hanging out with them doing just about anything and everything. Expressing my feelings and hearing their opinions about situations I was going through and just hanging out, but as a lot of adults know, once you leave high school and enter into “adulthood” making and keeping friends is a super tricky task!
I’m hoping this blog post can help you (and let's be honest myself) learn the importance of friendship, what we should look for in our friend, what we should look for in a friend, and how we can keep our friends close even as we get older and our life shifts!
So here is the most obvious question ever: Why is friendship so important as you get older?
Well according to helpguide.org “Friends bring more happiness into our lives than virtually anything else.Friendships have a huge impact on your mental health and happiness. Good friends relieve stress, provide comfort and joy, and prevent loneliness and isolation. Developing close friendships can also have a powerful impact on your physical health.”
That's great, but you might be asking: how do I keep my friends as my busy life continues to chug along?
Well, I always like to work backwards. I like to ask myself what made this person and I connect? How do I keep that connection strong and able to evolve? How does this person like to communicate? Is texting their preferred way of communication or should I give them a call?
Answering these questions can help you establish better relationships and understanding with your friends, help you get closer, and stay friends for years to come!
So, if you have a friend that you soley communicate with on Snapchat for example maybe instead of a text message you can do a video snap where you can show them your face or what you are doing throughout the day. I’ve actually been doing this with my best friend Ashely and it’s been so nice to see her face and hear about her day!
So now that you know the benefits of having friends and you've got some tips on how to start the communication process, here's another question. What makes a good friend? Not to be that guy, but you gotta look out for yourself! Remember it’s important to look for people who have your best interest in mind and you enjoy being around.
At the end of the day it’s important that your friendship helps you and not hinders you from being your true self!
Now you may be wondering “ what do I do? I'm shy!” Don’t worry I got you covered!
Okay let's start with making new friends, from my experience It’s so much easier to let people talk about themself. Ask open ended questions about hobbies, music and what you do after school and if a subject comes up that you enjoy, voice it!
An important factor of being a good friend and/ or starting a new friendship is paying attention to what your current/potential friend has to say. That is half the battle!
Remember to be open minded and willing to share your own experiences. You’re sure to get a connection but, if you aren’t interested in what they have to say and don’t see yourself hanging out with that person it’s totally okay to move on. Just remember to be nice about it!
It doesn't mean that you or they are bad at meeting people or making friends. Sometimes it’s just not meant to be and that's okay! According to google there are about 7.753 billion (2020) people on the earth so you have options. Just remember to be kind to them and yourself!
Alright buddy, lets review:
by Yoli, Marmalade Branch
Here are some ways to help:
Resources and Articles that Support Teen Mental Health:
A list of organizations that are Helping Ukrainians On-the-Ground, and In Neighboring Countries.
by Stephanie C., Main Library
The Super Summer Challenge is on the horizon!
With about one month of school left and the weather heating up, it's not hard to be dreaming of summer right now. At the City Library we are busy getting ready for our biggest event of the year, the Super Summer Challenge, which runs from June 1st to August 13th.
The Super Summer Challenge is our version of a summer reading program, and while reading is a big part of it (because it's important to keep exercising that muscle over the summer), we also incorporate lots of other fun activities into the challenge, so there is something for everyone. I mean that literally. Anyone can participate, it's not just for kids. We have separate challenge trackers for Babies & Toddlers, Kids, Teens, and Adults too! You can get together with friends to complete challenges as a group, or do activities as a family and everyone wins. Most activities don't even require you to be at the Library. In fact, we want you to get out there and explore your city, world, and beyond this summer.
What's that you say? Are there prizes? Well, yes, of course! Not only do you get a prize for every level of the challenge you complete, you also get a prize just for signing up. If you sign up early, you'll have your pick between a sticker sheet, enamel pin, or library tote bag for your sign up prize. Here's a sneak peak of this year's enamel pin. Shhh!
Oh, and in case you haven't heard, we've started doing in-person events again. So, if you do want to hang out at the Library this summer, we've got you covered. You can always find a cool place to hang out, geek out, art out, and check out your favorite books and movies this summer.
Starting June 1st, set a course for any City Library location to grab your FREE Super Summer Challenge Tracker, or you can go paperless by tracking your progress online with Beanstack or by downloading the Beanstack Tracker app.
Are you still reading this? Nice! If you are really really excited about the Super Summer Challenge and can't wait to tell everyone about it, you might want to consider being one of our Teen Squad volunteers this summer. Tweens and Teens ages 11-17 can volunteer in the Library this summer, helping to sign folks up for the Super Summer Challenge, giving out prizes, and congratulating participants for all of their accomplishments. If that sounds fun to you, head over to our Teen Squad page to learn more.
See you at the Library soon!
By Saia Glendale Branch
April is Poetry month! I wanted to share some of the books in verse that I have found and enjoyed. Poetry is important to me because it allows the reader and author to dive deeper into complex emotions and thoughts. Through this process we can have a better understanding of ourselves and the people around us. I encourage teens who don’t necessarily like to read to give these titles a try! The formatting is different from your average novel. Due to this, books are actually easier and faster to read.
I hope you enjoy this short list. What would you add?
Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice. Edited by Gail Bush & Randy Meyer
This book is arranged to lead you, the reader, on a journey of social change. Each poet writes from their own perspective and experiences living in the United States. All together, the poems are woven together to tell the diverse story of what it means to be (or not to be) an American when you are seen as the other. -Source
Long Way Down. By Jason Reynolds
Determined to avenge his 19-year-old brother's death, Will, age 15, takes his brother's gun out of their shared bedroom to kill the person he's certain is the murderer, but it's a long way down in the elevator. Almost the whole novel takes place in the span of the 60-second ride from the seventh floor to the lobby, as Will's past and "The Rules" he's learned about being tough flash before him, aided by conversations with the ghosts of friends and relatives who were victims of gun violence.
The Poet X. By Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers---especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami's determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomaara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.
So when she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she doesn't know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can't stop thinking about performing her poetry.
Clap When You Land. By Elizabeth Acevedo
Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…
In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.
Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. When it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other. -Source
Muted. By Tami Charles
Seventeen-year-old Denver’s whole life is music. And she hopes it’s her future, too: along with her bffs Dali and Shak, Denver is determined to write and sing her way to a better life. So when the girls find their way into the sights of R&B legend Sean “Mercury” Jones, a man with the power to make that dream come true — and then some — Denver doesn’t think twice, or look back.
Merc offers them everything, but everything comes with a price. Parties, perks, wild nights — they’re going to live and look like stars. And it’s all worth it, even the pain and the lies. It’s all part of the game. Until it’s not. -Source
by Stephanie H., Sprague Branch
One of the habits that I picked up during the pandemic was walking. Before the pandemic, whenever I felt restless or bored or just wanted to get out of the house, I would go to a store and wander around. The problem with this of course was that I would usually end up buying something, or feel the desire to buy something even if I did not need anything. In a capitalist society, we are continually bombarded with pressure to buy more. Walking outside changed this for me, I began to notice the seasonal shifts throughout the weeks and months, I began bird watching and I also got to discover many hidden gems throughout Salt Lake City.
While walking is a physical activity, I allow myself to go at a comfortable pace, it is not about exerting myself. Sometimes I walk by myself, usually listening to a podcast and sometimes I go on walks with my friends or my wife. Going on walks with another person gives us time to enjoy each other’s company without distractions.
I have found that since starting this habit, anytime I am facing a crisis or stressful situation, a walk can help me put my thoughts into perspective.
Here are some tips I have for getting into a walking routine:
A few books on walking that I recommend:
52 Ways to Walk: The Surprising Science of Walking for Wellness and Joy, one week at a time by Annabel Streets
Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit
How To Walk – Thich Nhat Hanh
In Praise of Paths: Walking through time and nature – Torbjørn Ekelund
by Lexi, Day-Riverside Branch
Teen Squad volunteer Emily Barnard has orchestrated an amazing Menstrual Product Drive! Emily is a local teen who is passionate about menstrual equity - a rarely talked about lack of resources. She has worked very hard to bring this issue to the forefront of conversations
Her drive runs for April 1st - April 31st! If you’d like to contribute to this important cause, please drop off unopened Pads and/or Tampons to the Marmalade, Glendale, Foothill, Sprague or Riverside branches of the Salt Lake City Public Library!
At the Anderson-Foothill Branch:
At the Day-Rivertside Branch:
At the Marmalade Branch:
At the Glendale Branch:
At the Sprague Branch:
Blog posts are written by our Teen Librarians and, in some cases, teens like you. Visit your About page to learn more about our Teen Librarians.