Guide for a Freshman (or anyone!)

By Dale Anderson
F period
Living Skills

Introductory Paragraph:
Hi! The following is a description of all the things we learned in Living Skills. I have also included some tips on how to deal with certain situations High School students may face (and worldly issues.) Some are; sexual orientation, development in the teenage brain, Stress and Anxiety issues, the dangers of STDs, methods of birth control, and many more. There is also an extra section covering other topics.

Unit 2- Influences
Inside the teenage brain:
I learned that there are many differences in thinking connected to gender, even before we are born. Women use an average of 20,000 words per day, while men use 7,000. Women remember fights better and are more affected by hormone surges. They also get pleasure from talking, and the female brain releases oxytocin after 20-second hug, which triggers trust. During puberty, the teenage brain trims and reshapes itself, deleting some memories and developing the frontal lobe (which affects judgment.)
Learning styles:
V/A/K (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) learners each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Visual learners learn better by seeing. They can think in pictures, prefer to sit at the front of the class, and need to focus on the person explaining something to learn it. Auditory learners learn through listening. They can learn well from verbal presentations, and understand the meaning of words better when they are read aloud. Kinesthetic learners learn by moving, touching, and doing. They learn best from hands-on activities and may get fidgety if they have to hold still for too long.

Unit 3-Individuality
Sexual orientation:
Most people are heterosexual, meaning they are attracted to people of the opposite gender. There is also a gay/lesbian minority (homosexuals) who are attracted to people of the same gender. As demonstrated by the recent passing of proposition 8, many people are against equal homosexual rights. The Bible can be interpreted, and often is, to say that homosexuality is a sin. People can't choose their sexual orientation, so if it is a sin it's not their fault.
Many people are crippled the teenage accidents. Some disabilities show physically and others are just mental. Hidden disabilities include cancer and diabetes. When interacting with a person who has a disability, use some tact. Don't treat them differently as much as possible and definitely do not call them crippled, disabled, etc. Be prepared for mood swings with people who have a mental illness and tell blind people when you enter or leave a room.

Unit 4- Health
Sleep is as important as food. It enhances memory and a study showed that people scored 40% worse on a test after not sleeping for one day than those with a full nights sleep. Your emotional response gets much more intense when you're tired, and your body produces less leptine, which normally produces a “full” feeling (so you eat more.) The quality of sleep matters too. As people get older they lose the time when their body goes into deep sleep (shown by Delta waves.) To be healthy you need 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night, and you need to avoid sleep debt. Nutrition is universal. At a 2000 calorie per day level, everybody should eat four servings of fruit (2 cups), five servings of vegetables (2½ cups), grains (half should be whole), meat and beans (for protein), three servings of milk (3 cups), and oils (24 teaspoons). Exercise is also very important.
Symptoms are; hopelessness, thoughts of death, and lack of interest in hobbies. To avoid depression, stay healthy and talk to friends. People suffering from depression have less neurotransmitters. Prozac improves neurotransmitter performance, but all medications have side effects. 500,000 teenagers attempt suicide each year, and 5% of all teens have depression. Manic-depression can start with incredible optimism, but 15% of people who suffer from it commit suicide. Depression is the second leading cause of death for college students, and every 15 minutes someone commits suicide. When dealing with someone who is depressed don't give advice and don't talk about yourself.
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Unit 5- Substance Abuse
Tobacco, Alcohol, Marijuana:
Tobacco causes one in five deaths. It contains 4,000 chemicals and the nicotine is highly addictive. 90% of lung cancer deaths are smoking-related. Alcohol is a depressant that can be found in fruits, sugars, and grains. 40% of car deaths involve alcohol. Alcoholism susceptibility can be hereditary. Marijuana contains 400 chemicals. It is made from the leaves of the hemp plant, and the THC in it alters the mind.
Short and long-term effects:
Some of the effects of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana are:
Tobacco: harder to use oxygen, heart disease, lung disease, kidney cancer, and osteoporosis.
Alcohol: hallucinations, convulsions, blurred vision, breath stops, and infertility.
Marijuana: damaged immunity, increases heart rate, distorted perception, loss of coordination, and impaired memory.
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Unit 6- Sexuality
HIV/AIDS and other STDs:
1 million teens become pregnant each year (in the U.S.) 3,750,000 people get an STD per year (U.S.) 50% of all teenagers are sexually active, of which one in four carries an STD. Bacterial STDs can be treated with antibiotics, but viruses are harder to treat. It takes 10 to 12 years for HIV to develop into AIDS (-200 t-cells.) The four bodily fluids that carry it are blood, breast milk, semen, and vaginal fluids. You can also get it by sharing needles. To avoid: get tested often, sterilize used needles or use a new one, have your partner tested too, check Credentials at tattoo parlors/piercing shops.
Methods of birth control and abstinence:
You can use male and female condoms. Only one person should be wearing it though, or the friction may cause it to tear and you risk getting an STD. The female condom is not as effective as a male’s. Some risks are irritation because of latex, allergic reactions, 20% failure rate in female condoms, and a 10% failure rate in male condoms.

Choice Section
Managing stress:
· Don’t procrastinate!
· Use a planner for homework
· Don’t try too many things at once
· Try meditation
· Find your stress response style, and try to improve
· Recognize that it is an important issue that can cause physical problems
· Know the symptoms of depression
· Ask your parents for help if you feel overwhelmed

First Day of School:
Get up earlier than you need to, in case something goes wrong. Have a map of the campus in an easily accessible location, and keep a schedule on hand. Mark your classes on the map and label the periods they are for (or what times.) Find a comfortable way to carry your supplies (your back will thank you for it when you're older.) Introduce yourself to new people and teachers. Bring a water bottle! Eat breakfast and lunch! If you are someone who forgets things, make a list of all the things you need to do in your normal morning routine, and put in a place that you will see everyday when you get up.

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