A community newsletter serving New Melle, Defiance, Augus​ta, Marthasville, Dutzow​​ a​nd surrounding areas.

Being a Teenager is Hard - Find Resources at the Library and June Events

by Campbell Vansell St. Charles City-County Library

Adults love to tell you about how much fun they had in high school: how popular they were, the trouble they got into, their first loves. As a teenager myself, I know this can sometimes make you feel like you’re missing out. This is the age when people expect you to know what you want to do with the rest of your life, but the truth is we barely have any experience, so how should we know?

I am a 17-year-old junior in high school who has been very lucky to have the opportunity to turn my passion for writing into reality by interning with the St. Charles City-County Library’s Marketing Department. This opportunity opened up to me through the St. Charles County CAPS program, which allows you to earn 3 high school credits while interning at a business of your choice in the morning before returning to school in the afternoon.

When trying to figure out your next step in life, you sometimes need to take a step, any step, and see where it puts you. Here are some possibilities that the Library offers.

CLASSES FOR LIFE SKILLS - School doesn’t always teach you the life skills you need. On the Library’s website, you can find Student Resources for Teens on their list of databases. Whether you need help on a research paper at school (Explora) or need help practicing for your Driver’s Test (Driving-Tests.org,) the Library has something for everyone. You can also find a variety of newspapers and magazines specifically filled with information about real-world facts, test preparation, skill-building materials, etc, targeted toward young adults. And if you are looking for in-person lessons; join one of the teen events where you can learn an artistic skill or how to manage money.

EXPLORE THE OPPORTUNITIES -Planning for your future can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. You can only control your future so much with what you are doing now, but there are ways to begin. Suppose you are looking for possibilities after high school. In that case, the Library has a database called College Navigator that helps to find the right college for you based on the financial aid you might need and what you are interested in learning. Maybe you don’t know what you’re passionate about yet, that’s ok. The Library has hundreds of teen classes and events that can help narrow down what you would like to learn. If you like solving problems, join an Escape Room event at the Library. Do you like computers? Join a coding club at the Library. Love being involved in your community? Contact the Library for information about volunteer opportunities. The Library has many resources for you to start building your character and gain experience.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS - Mental health has been an important topic lately. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. You are surrounded by other teenagers at school, and all the adults you know were once in your shoes too. We know there are plenty of solutions for balancing emotions, but the Library has a very good resource that I like to utilize.

Under the Library’s list of databases, you can find a Health and Wellness website specifically made for teens (Teen Health & Wellness.) It includes many options for handling difficult problems or feelings you might be having. You can browse through subjects like body basics, family life, grief, etc; for advice on something you might be struggling with. (It’s better than random answers on Google.) Read about how other people have gone through experiences like yours and how they continued moving forward in a positive direction.

If you need to talk to someone personally one-on-one, there is a hotline for calling professionals to discuss depression, break-ups, self-esteem, and anything you are going through. The Library is a Safe Place, and the people there are eager to help you.

TEEN READS - Finding a good book as a teenager can be hard. Sometimes they’re too childish and cheesy, and others are too boring and grown-up. Thankfully, the Library has a wide variety to choose from.

Some Booktok favorites that are good for escaping reality include The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes and the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Filled with adventures in a fantasy world mixed with a hint of romance, you won’t be able to put these books down.

Looking for a book with more suspense? A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson and One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus are two thrillers that will keep you on the edge of your seat until you have solved the mystery.

I have been recommended Atomic Habits by James Clear many times. If you are looking to work on your personal growth, this is a great book about building better habits and stopping bad ones.

I hope this article finds the right teenagers who need this kind of information to help them take their next step in life, and I encourage you to utilize your nearest Library in order to get yourself out there and start taking opportunities.

Check out our list of June classes and events for our Augusta and Boone’s Trail Branches:

Crafting Connections: Sip & Stitch* - Mon., June 3: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Boone’s Trail Branch - adults and teens. Bring your current work in progress and join other yarn artists as we sip, stitch, and talk about our projects.
Uncle Sam Shelf Sitter* - Mon., June 3: 2 to 3:30 p.m., Tues., June 4: 5 to 6:30 p.m., Thurs., June 6: 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Sat., June 8: 10 to 11:30 a.m. Boone’s Trail Branch - adults. Celebrate the Fourth of July with this Uncle Sam shelf sitter! This is a repeated class; please sign up for only one session.
Crafting Connections - I Love Quilts!* - Tues., June 4: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Augusta Branch - adults. What will you create? Meet other quilt lovers at this monthly event.
Canasta - Hand & Foot* - Tues., June 4, 11, 18, 25: 1 to 3:30 p.m. Thurs., June 6, 13, 20, 27: 1 to 3:30 p.m. Boone’s Trail Branch - adults. Learn to play Hand & Foot Canasta!
Coffee and Conversation - Thurs., June 6, 13, 20, 27: 9 to 10 a.m. Augusta Branch - adults. Enjoy a cup of coffee, a sweet treat, and conversation with others in the community.
Crafting Connections - Yarn Arts - Thurs., June 6, 13, 20, 27: 2 to 4 p.m. Augusta Branch - adults and teens. Other yarn enthusiasts will keep you company while you work on your knit, crochet, or embroidery project.
Crafting Connections - Make-It-Monday* - Mon., June 10: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Augusta Branch - adults. Grab a friend, come to the Augusta Branch, and work on your unfinished projects! Spend all day or just a little while.
Book Discussion - Go as a River by Shelley Read* - Mon., June 10: 5:30 to 6: 30 p.m. Boone's Trail Branch - adults. Victoria Nash is only 17 years old but runs the household on her family’s peach farm in the small ranch town of Iola, Colorado. Wilson Moon is a young drifter with a mysterious past, displaced from his tribal land and determined to live as he chooses. The two of them meet by chance on a street corner, a meeting that profoundly alters both of their young lives. When tragedy strikes, Victoria flees into the surrounding mountains, where she struggles to survive in the wilderness. This book is inspired by true events surrounding the destruction of the town of Iola in the 1960s.
Grow Your Reader: Story Time - Tues., June 11: 3 to 3:30 p.m. Augusta Branch - children. Grow Your Reader with stories, songs, and activities that enhance early literacy skills.
"Read to a Dog" - Tail Waggers - Love on a Leash* - Thu., June 13: 5 to 6 p.m. Boone's Trail Branch - children. Kids can practice reading aloud to an attentive, adorable dog.
Book Discussion - The Lie Maker by Linwood Barclay* - Mon., June 17: 2 to 3 p.m. Augusta Branch - adults. Jack Givins’ father went into witness protection, leaving Jack and his mother to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives as best they could. In Jack’s adult years, he’s a talented but struggling author. He is barely scraping by when the U.S. Marshals approach him to create false histories for people in witness protection, Jack soon realizes this may be a chance to find his dad.
Crafting Connections - English Paper Piecing* - Tuesday, June 18: 2 to 4 p.m. Augusta Branch - adults. Learn how to English Paper Piece, a fun method of sewing fabric pieces together.

*Register at stchlibrary.org/join-class-or-event or call Boone’s Trail at 636-398-6200 or Augusta at 636-228-4855 for more information about classes. The Boone’s Trail and Augusta branches are open Mon., Tues., and Thurs. from 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. and Sat., 9 a.m.- noon. All St. Charles City-County Library branches will be closed on Wed., June 19 for Juneteenth.