Kennedy Fridia 8thGrade (Wichita Kiowa, Caddo)-Age 13
I really like school! It is fun and I love hanging out with my friends. There is a LOT of drama in school now days! Tons of rumors, scandals, and gossip…especially between girls. This is a HUGE challenge. It can make you have to change friends. Sometimes the drama gets too out of hand and you gotta move around. I try not to get involved with it but sometimes you get pulled in even if it has nothing to do with you. I have a friendship with my mom and I tell her EVERYTHING so she is really great at helping me get through these kinds of things. Last year a good friend and I were separated by a misunderstanding and it really hurt because she was my best friend. I talked about it to my mom and dad and even the school counselor. Eventually we became friends again which was a huge relief. But during that time it was hard to be at school and feel bad vibes. I play basketball a lot and that is one thing that really helps when I get down or stressed. When I am playing I can get out some of my anxiety and bad energy. It could be something else for other kids acting, writing, other sports or whatever but I think all kids need to do something they love that can take their mind off of drama. This year my goals are to make good grades, perfect my shot in basketball, and enjoy my last year of junior high.
Isabella Fridia 10thGrade (Wichita, Kiowa, Caddo)-Age 15
Going back to school can be stressful, especially in High School because GRADES count. Also, sometimes it feels like everyone is judging each other. It is really hard not to care what other people think when everyone has an opinion on everything: Clothes, Looks, Intelligence, Athletic Ability….the list goes on. The best support for this is getting a good friend group that has your back. Also, being able to talk to your parents or another adult is helpful. This year my goals are to make good grades and try to be more social (I am kind of shy). Good grades are super important because college is coming up. People tell you all the time that high school grades matter and can make or break scholarships and admission. Some parents (like mine) are extremely concerned about grades and learning. Others not so much. As much as my parents care, which is great, sometimes it adds to my stress. But, their involvement is supportive. It helps keep me on track and my mom always says, “I’m not really concerned about grades, I am concerned with are you learning?” So I try to focus on that. Outside of picking good friends and having my parents to talk to, one thing that helps me get through the challenges of school is going to Inipi (sweatlodge). It really helps me clear my mind get rid of any negativity that I face at school. I wish more Native Youth had the option to go into ceremony because being a teenager can be rough.