School Life

Poll question: Describe your ideal Valentine’s Day

By Emily Clark
Times-News correspondent
   Teens & 20s asked teens and twenty-somethings to describe their ideal Valentine‘s Day.
   “Actually having a girlfriend to spend the day with.” — Hunter Orel, senior at Burlington Christian Academy
   “To me, a perfect Valentine’s Day is spent in front of the fire while watching movies, playing chess and eating Chili’s lava cakes.” — Karissa Teer, 19, of Burlington
    “To me, Valentine’s Day is too commercialized. It’s exaggerated and honestly offensive to me as a woman. I don’t need a man to buy me flowers and chocolates and gushy cards, I can buy that for myself. If I were to celebrate Valentine’s Day, it would be to celebrate important women in my life.” — Kaleigh Farrell, senior at Burlington Christian Academy
    “I want a chill Valentine’s Day. Takeout at home, a movie and a warm blanket.” — Ragan Parker, senior at Burlington Christian Academy
   “I like a chill Valentine’s Day, like cooking at home with my dog and watching a movie in pjs, with chocolate.” — Carly West, senior at Burlington Christian Academy
Emily Clark is a senior at Burlington Christian Academy and a Teens & 20s writer. 

Student of the Month: Jackson Benes has ‘lofty goals & objectives’

By Kamryn Guye

Jackson Benes is January's Student of the Month. [Photo submitted

Jackson Benes, a freshman at the Early College at Alamance Community College, is January’s Student of the Month.
   Jackson was nominated for this honor by his father, Jeff Benes.
   “Jackson has a number of significant accomplishments in his 15 years,” Jeff said.
   The list includes: A honor roll at Alamance Community College’s Early College; Eagle Scout; member of the Boy Scouts Honor Society, Order of the Arrow; black belt in martial arts; accomplished piano player; Scout of the Year for VFW Post 10607; attended both national and world Scout Jamborees and a graduate of the Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.
   “He is a serious student and has lofty goals and objectives,” Jeff added.
   Jackson is the son of Jeff and Cathy Benes of Graham and he has two sisters — Kelley Ghant of Charlotte and Jennifer Benes of Burlington.
   Jackson recently took time out of his busy schedule recently to answer Teens & 20s’ questions.
   Teens & 20s: What are your plans for the future?
  Jackson: My plans for the future are to graduate from high school with A’s, go to a four-year college for Robotic Engineering and graduate with Honors, then find a job I enjoy and live a happy and successful life.
  Teens & 20s: What is your favorite thing about school?
  Jackson: My favorite thing about school is that I have great teachers that care about me.
  Teens & 20s: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
  Jackson: I enjoy reading books, sometimes multiple at once. I also enjoy going on YouTube and watching my favorite YouTubers, like Jacksepticeye, read more…

‘I am enough’ … and so are you

By Kamryn Guye

More than 3 million people suffer with depression. / Metro Creative Graphics

Wake up in the morning. Eat breakfast. Go to school. Go to swim practice. As easy as these tasks may sound, for someone suffering from clinical depression, these are some of the hardest things in the world. Every breath is exhausting. Every activity, draining. Both physically, mentally and spiritually.

   When I was 11, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I was bullied relentlessly by my peers, up until my parents began to worry about me. I was threatened, followed, teased, taunted and tormented for months on end. I was even groped by another student during gym class when I was 13. But despite all this, my school opted to do nothing, thus allowing me to suffer and sparing punishment for those who taunted me.
   My parents had me in therapy from the time I was 11, up until I was 15. It didn’t really do much for me, though. I never learned how to cope with my issues. And so my depression prevailed.
   I went to high school, and things seemed to get better, at least for a while. And then, the spring of my sophomore year, I started spiraling. I finally knew what it was like to be alone. I wasn’t happy. Someone was always upset with me about something. I felt broken. Worthless. Empty. I didn’t want to go to school anymore. I didn’t care about my work. I almost flunked that entire semester in three weeks. It took me three months to fix it.
   I reached my lowest point when I started to self-harm, as a way of punishing myself for not being “good enough.” I blamed myself for not being able to reach the standard of other people.
   Depression is an illness that more than 3 million people suffer with, yet if you don’t suffer, you don’t understand what it’s like. How exhausting it is to wake
read more…
  • About Teens & Twenties

    Teens & Twenties is produced by high school and college writers and photographers throughout Alamance County. The print edition appears on Mondays in the Times-News and is distributed throughout the local schools. On the website, you’ll find some of our stories, photos and more. Feel free to browse around and give us comments, too. We’d love to hear from you!

  • Join us!

    Teens & Twenties' annual orientation party is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. June 5 at the Times-News office, 707 S. Main St., Burlington. We're looking for high school and college writers, photographers and artists to complete our award-winning youth page each Monday. Space is limited so reserve a spot today by calling (336) 506-3057 or email Charity Apple

  • Teens&20s Tweets

    The connection to twitter has returned an error. Please try again later.