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Making Choices

Pulse Category - Making Choices

NOTE: If you are in need of help now, we have provided many resources for you.

This is about deciding what lifestyle choices are best for you in the long term and how to deal with peer pressures and short-term challenges.

The choices you make, both good and bad, have lasting effects. It is important that you have the information necessary to make the best choices for your life. Often times, the choices that you make are influenced by the opinions of other people. Peer pressure is a powerful influence on decision making, but you can still be successful as long as you remember to make decisions that are best for you based on the information that you have. It may not feel like it at times, but you have the opportunity to make a lot of choices in your life. Some of the most important choices you can make are to choose to use the more positive coping mechanisms, and to choose to be grateful for what you do have. Below is some information about these two areas.

  • “Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” - John C. Maxwell
  • Choices are the hinges of destiny. - Pythagoras
  • Always make decisions that prioritize your inner peace. - Izey Victoria Odiase
  • Before making a DECISION, take a moment and ask yourself this question: ‘Will it bring me happiness?’ - Anonymous
  • May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. - Nelson Mandela

Coping Mechanisms

Healthy Coping Mechanisms

These are healthy coping mechanisms that you can choose over ones that may hurt yourself or others:

  • Drawing/art
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Knitting
  • Crying
  • Being with friends
  • Playing an instrument
  • Writing/journaling
  • Listening to music
  • Starting a routine
  • Go for walk

Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

These are coping mechanisms that can hurt you:

  • Self-harm
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Substance abuse
  • Keeping your emotions to yourself and bottling them up
  • Bad eating habits - eating too much, little, or in unhealthy amounts
  • Physical/emotional violence on yourself or others
  • Shopping/gambling too much
  • Sleeping too much or not enough




Gratitude is being thankful for what you do have. At times it may feel like everything is against you, but that simply isn’t true. Here are some videos that can help you find your gratitude:

College and Career

One of the biggest choices you can make in your young life is the decision to either go to college or go into the workforce straight out of high school.  Here are some resources about this topic: 


National Institute on Drug Abuse: Students & Young Adults

The “Students & Young Adults” section gives information and resources about drugs, smoking, marijuana, steroids, prescription medications, and other topics.

Go Ask Alice!

Go Ask Alice! is a health Q&A internet resource. It provides readers with reliable, accurate, accessible, culturally competent information and a range of thoughtful perspectives so that they can make responsible decisions concerning their health and well-being. Go Ask Alice! answers questions about alcohol and other drugs, emotional health, nutrition and physical activity, general health, relationships, and sexual and reproductive health. If you’ve thought about a health question, it’s likely on Go Ask Alice! If you don’t find the health answer you’re seeking, then ask Alice! Keep in mind, Go Ask Alice! provides health information and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, treatment advice, or a second opinion for health conditions. If you have an existing ailment or an urgent health problem, consult with a health care provider before acting on information contained here.


If you’re looking for a website that connects with teens and presents clear information that they need, turn to StayTeen.org. They provide information like birth control comparisons and offer relationship advice while encouraging teens to make sure they are dating the right person for the right reasons. One of their latest blog posts asked, “are you about to have sex for the wrong reasons?” with the goal of preventing teens from having sex before they’re ready.

Teens can even find local health centers near them through this site to get the services they need.

We Think Twice

We Think Twice amplifies the voice of your generation: your voice, your goals, your future. We’re here to help you focus on what drives you and leave the drama behind. As teens, you face difficult decisions and challenges every day, but your generation is smart and driven. You know that having sex, drinking, and using drugs can get in the way of achieving your goals. That’s why most of you are not doing these things. We are a social media campaign designed with teens for teens to help teens live their best lives. This campaign is brought to you by the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), with support from RTI International, who leads the campaign research, design, and implementation.