Defining ‘youth’


On the surface, it may seem obvious or common sense to define the term ‘youth.’ A youth is a young person, right?

A while back, I had the opportunity to attend a Critical Youth Work course, a professional development certificate offered to Ontario youth workers with the space to engage in critical dialogue and learning about the political, social and economic realities that characterize youth work. When the topic of defining youth, and what age group youth belong to, came up, there were varying opinions and some uncertainty among participants.

In a room of about twenty youth workers, we could not come up with, or agree on, a concise definition of ‘youth.’ Something that often appears to be common sense, and a label we frequently use carelessly, left us puzzled when it was presented to us through a critical lens. Defining ‘youth’

A simple and effective youth engagement activity for mental health awareness

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It is nice to be important, but it is important to be nice.

During my undergraduate studies, I volunteered as a team leader at the Peer Support Centre that offered peer counseling to students. As a team, we were responsible for hosting events to promote mental health and the Centre to students, staff and the campus community in general.

The first event I organized with my team was engaging students to share with us a life mantra or a quote that they live by. We then shared all the positive messages with the general campus community by posting them on the Centre’s Facebook page.

The idea was inspired by acknowledging that young people carry important knowledge regarding their mental well-being. By providing them a platform to share their messages, young people can inspire and support their peers, and foster a sense of community that supports mental wellness and mental health among young adults. A simple and effective youth engagement activity for mental health awareness

How to use your smartphone like a hammer

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

If we used our phones more like a hammer, would our life be a lot better? At least, according to the musical genius himself,

Look at your phone as a tool, not an obligation. Would you walk around with a hammer in your pocket?  You would pick up a hammer when you needed it. You would never be addicted or obligated to it. Use your phone like a hammer only pick it up when you need it.Kanye West

It is a bit of very good advice.

I still use the iPhone 5SE I purchased almost three years ago that has been begging to be put out of its misery for quite some time now. I chuckle a bit inside whenever I drop it and everyone around me gasps in terror. It is so old that I couldn’t care less. It is almost ridiculous how often I drop it from various heights and angels, and it, somehow, has refused to break and end its own misery.

My dad has joked that Apple might have a trophy for me for managing to still use such an old iPhone model, and for how beat up it is while still managing to work. If they do, please contact me here.

.  .  .   How to use your smartphone like a hammer

Dear Diary: Keeping a daily journal for mental well-being

Photo by Rachel Lynette French on Unsplash

Writing can be a very therapeutic endeavor.

Any form of writing, including artistic, academic, or otherwise, can serve as a form of self-therapy, a way to make sense of our thoughts and feelings and discover our deepest desires. One way to incorporate writing into our daily routine is by keeping a daily journal.

In 2009, I wrote my first-ever journal entry on an online diary. By 2013, I have managed to write thirteen entries. Although, I would always promise myself, and my diary, that I will, for sure, write more this time around, it took four years to seriously immerse myself in keeping a daily journal.

Since 2014, I have written 1128 entries, about 280 entries a year. Dear Diary: Keeping a daily journal for mental well-being

Fostering critical consciousness for youth empowerment

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

In a previous post, Youth citizenship: An intersectional analysis, I briefly touched on the importance of youth engagement to provide young people the knowledge and skill sets needed so they can become active citizens that contribute to building healthy communities and a stronger nation.

The need for involving young people as leaders for social change strategies has recently gained momentum. We recognize that young people carry knowledge and expertise on the conditions of their marginalized position in society and the stresses that such conditions impose on their everyday lives [3].

As such, youth are important sources of knowledge and power, and should be given the opportunity to participate in public life and to contribute their knowledge to the public sphere. Fostering critical consciousness for youth empowerment

Sleep hygiene: is your sleep dirty?

grey and white floral bed comforter
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In my previous article, titled how to fill our days, I mentioned, rather sarcastically, that we should all denounce the Busyness Olympics, and instead brag about the glorious 7 to 8 hours of sleep we get each night.

Unless there is a legitimate reason for an individual to sacrifice sleep, such as needing to work lots of hours, running multiple side projects, and/or other obligations, everyone should aim to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, or whatever amount of sleep one needs not to operate on sleep deficiency.

Sleep deficiency is no joke. So much so that it is one of the very few of our biological needs that the science seems to be in unison on— getting enough sleep is vital for our overall health and well-being. Sleep hygiene: is your sleep dirty?