We’ve recently had a brilliant intern called Eve working with us at Youth for Christ. Here she writes about why youth work is so important from the perspective of a 15 year old girl.
When I was asked to write this blog post I was unsure of what to write. As teenagers, our lives aren’t all too bad. We mostly lead relatively simple lives but every now and again things can get tough and problems occur. Without the support of youth workers in our lives, many teenagers would not be in the positive situations that they are in today.
Guidance and Reassurance
As a teenager, I know how difficult it is to express exactly how I feel, especially to an older person. Sometimes it is hard for us to understand and comprehend our own emotions or circumstances. So to then try and explain these to someone else can be very daunting. We can’t always articulate how we are feeling and need time to think over the things which cause us unhappiness. Although we enjoy our own time and space to think, the guidance and reassurance from our youth workers is something that really benefits us – making a young person feel more comfortable, safe and understood.
Knowing you Matter
As I’m sure you’re aware, some teenagers can face really terrible times at such a young age but with so many awful events going on in our beautiful world it can become easy to feel as though our problems aren’t significant in the bigger picture and so they don’t matter. I know myself that many teenagers try and bury their problems and bottle up their feelings. That’s why building relationships with youth workers is so important. It helps young people to overcome their worries and seek help because they know they do matter.
Nowadays our society practically revolves around technology. Young people want to be connected with friends through social media and through their phones. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It allows friendships to grow and enables teenagers to express their interests and views in a positive, modern way. The time we spend on our phones is often thought to be wasteful or unproductive which as a teenager can be really unhelpful to hear. Social media and being connected through technology is here to stay and is something which should be embraced and understood.
Saying that, in modern day society there are many constant pressures and demands that teenagers feel they have to live up to, particularly through social media. Whether it be comments from peers, photos in a magazine or social media accounts which portray an unhealthy idea how you “should” act or look. These pressures can affect some teenagers massively and can bring about self-doubt. That’s why simply being told that you are loved and appreciated can make the world of difference and can really uplift someone who is struggling with a lack of confidence.
So to all you youth workers, your dedication is appreciated widely across this country. We are so grateful as teenagers to know we are not alone and that we are cared for. Thank you.