“It’s About Time!” Reflection by Arushi Agarwal

By Arushi Agarwal, Teen Intern

In late August, we hosted our first TeensWorkLife event – “It’s About Time!”  We asked how can we make time to actually explore the the many things we want to accomplish.  By goal setting!  We got to hear from college students about how they were able to manage their time in high school and received their advice for our next couple of years. Emma and Sid suggested that we all find an activity that relaxes us and do it once a week or every couple of days. Lydia and Daniel advised that we should all try different things in our earlier years, and as we progress through high school, we should slowly narrow it down to the few we really enjoy.  Afterwards, we were able to hear from our own peer group as to how they were able to explore a new activity during the summer. One talked about his internship at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Another bonded with participants when she shared her experience at a volleyball camp.  We then heard from our invited speaker, Suki Wessling, to share how we can set goals, both for the short-term and long-term.  One counsel that many teens found helpful was to stick up two or three goals somewhere they would see them everyday.  It was a wonderful experience for the teens to be able to get advice from college students, their peers, and an adult. It really is all about time: teens should be able to find the time to learn more about their interests, or in some cases, find one, and to be able to connect with people around them who have a similar interest.

Below is a combined reflection from several participants who expressed some of their favorite parts of the event and what TWL could continue to do in the future. I’ve bolded some favorite key phrases below.  

“My favorite part of the event was definitely the fireside chat- it was interesting to hear about everyone’s different high school experiences and listen to their advice. I think the teens took away that they can actually relate with a lot of people.We got to meet others that are going through or have gone through the same things that we did, and people who were genuinely intrigued by our interests and hobbies.We also learned more about how to manage our time and set goals. Also the fireside chat with the college students taught us what our schedule/days might look like in the future. In the future, we should host similar events to expand the people that we reach. I also think that we should have a goal for the teens to complete with the things they like.”

This is how parents described the event:

  • Thinking about your authentic interests and considering if you are pursuing them for yourself AND if you are supporting your child in following their interests.
  • Kids have to start networking and it should start early.  This event was a good base for that. Also Suki is an excellent speaker and I was able to connect with her.
  • Support for teens and parents exploring how to better prepare teens for the world out there.
  • It is an event to learn how to problem solve and use collaborative communication.  Help them set goals based on their needs, interests and desires.

This is how some teens described the event:

  • An event that makes you think about your future and what kind of a life you want. It is very motivating and positive.
  • A great encouraging event on having more time and fun in your life and high school years.

Aspirations expressed after attending the event include:

  • “I will set goals for myself and  plan my day in a more organized way.”
  • “I will definitely take the advice given today, and make the most out of it. I feel like it gave me a lot of drive and motivation. Thank you for the event.”
  • “I think that when I’m in highschool, I am going to do multiple things to find my passion, learn how to really prioritize and manage my time wisely, and set proper, realistic goals to achieve things, rather than unrealistic goals, which I will never actually achieve.”
  • “I’m going to learn a new language.”
  • “I will write down 3 main goals for 8th grade and stick them up in my room.”

Thanks to all who attended!