Name: Katie Fuchs
College & major: Middlebury College, Neuroscience and Music
Zzzzz… it’s not just the sound of your phone on vibrate.
This is considered a pretty boring topic, but could add years to your life (ok, maybe not years, but at least a few more months worth of Netflix). You probably aren’t getting enough sleep. Only 15% of teens actually clock in a decent 8.5 hours a night. From overbooked schedules to midterm anxiety, late night texts and social obligations, you’re probably only taking in an average of 6.5 hours a night, when in reality you need anywhere from 8 to 10 hours just to function without dribbling that third cup of coffee down your shirt.
Q: Ok, why on earth would a girl get an IUD (intrauterine device) when there are less invasive forms of birth control out there?
A: IUDs are a great option because you can ‘set it and forget it.’ With an IUD, you don’t have to remember to take anything at the same time every day, and you can have as much or as little sex you want as soon as it’s in place.
Specifically, if I met someone tomorrow, I could have sex and not have to wait for a week for any hormonal birth control to start working (though if it IS someone you just met, it’s certainly best to use a condom regardless. You can still catch STDs). With an IUD the contraception “coverage” is instantaneous. You don’t have to worry if you took your pill yesterday, or if you removed your vaginal ring during the wrong week (little things like that could unintentionally lead to pregnancy).
‘Love Letters’ is a Petal + Sass blog feature that regularly asks a group of diverse women in their 20’s and 30’s about their experiences with health, sex, emotional wellness, body image, college, careers – and what they wish they had known themselves as teenagers. Visit the ‘Love Letters’ To My Former Self page to learn more about the contributors.
Question Posed: When you’re a teenager, you are often asked ‘Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?’ What did you picture your life to be ’10 years from now’ when you were a teen, and did it go the way you planned? What do those ’10 years’ from teenhood to adulthood really consist of?
In a generic Google search, the phrase “is it safe if…” immediately autofills with “…a guy pulls out.”
Let’s save you the data on your cell phone for this one: No, it’s not safe if a guy pulls out.
Honestly and statistically speaking, sure. You might just dodge a few voracious swimmers from seeking and destroying your egg (sperm are like tadpole versions of heat seeking missiles). Pulling out before ejaculation could significantly lower your odds of getting pregnant, but all bets are on baby once an unsheathed penis descends upon the vaginal slip n slide (teens do still use slip n slides, according to Google.)
If you have experienced sexual assault, it is important to realize you are not alone, and you are not ruined. Your body is yours, and only you can decide what to truly and willingly share with another person. You may not always receive this message in school or from the media, but your choices are important – and you are still a whole person worthy of respect, personal decision making, and intimacy.
If you have endured the physical and emotional trauma associated with unwanted sexual contact, assault and rape, unfortunately you must also deal with conflicting societal messages. Broken self perception and diminished self worth is a long lasting side effect of sexual abuse, particularly in a society that condones abstinence-only education, creates a culture of slut shaming, and has a lack of physical and mental health resources. The system is broken; you are not.