A Michigan Teen: Renae, 16

Renae is a 16-year-old from Lowell, MI. She is a creative individual who spends a lot of her time reading and learning Japanese because she would like to become a Journalist in Japan.

What do you want to be when you grow-up? For a long time I wanted to be a tattoo artist because I am really into art and sketching. Now, I’m not so sure. I’m very open minded, spontaneous, and forever changing. I’ve thought about being an author and a journalist quite often.

What is your dream job? A vet. I can’t be a vet because I was born with 2 fingers on my right hand. I can do most every day things without a problem and people hardly notice it. The people I see on a daily basis forget I have it because there’s so much more to me. At first I was like “I will never let it hold me back!” but now I understand that I could possibly hurt the animals more than help them with an unsteady hand. Another dream job would be anything I could be doing in Japan.

Do you know what you want to study in college?

Yes. Journalism, photography, psychology and art.

Do you know where you want to go to college?

Yes. Grand Valley State University after 1-2 years at Grand Rapids Community College.

What is the biggest misconception you think parents have about teens?

A lot of parents think that kids need to be protected from the world. Some parents smother kids, keep them at home, block what TV channels they watch and limit their access to the internet. That’s the worst thing you can do for a kid. You want them experiencing the world and making mistakes so they learn early. The Internet is an online library of practically everything. When kids watch TV and look up things on the internet, they’re learning. Do you want a kid to be vulnerable when they live on their own? You want kids to be prepared for life when it knocks them off their feet. The second biggest misconception is parents always think kids are doing drugs and that is a terrible stereotype. “Oh, they’re teenagers. They’re probably up to something. Probably doing drugs.” I know so many parents like that.

IF there is one thing you could tell parents about teens what would it be?

Give teens respect, space, a sense of right and wrong and a good amount of freedom and you won’t have to constantly worry about what’s going to happen to them. If you teach them how to take care of themselves and make them adaptable in all situations then you’ll be able to trust they’re making the right decisions. We learn by example in early ages

What is your favorite website?

Google by a long shot. I do like the music websites too. ^_^

Least favorite thing about high school, most favorite thing about high school:

I love school. Least favorite would be the food….but then again, I don’t eat it. Haha. Favorite thing is everything else. I go to an alternative so we’re like a family. We all get along and if we don’t, we immediately work out our problems without creating new ones. My teachers are amazing and have a lot of trust in me.

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