Habits can enter a person’s life without notice. “I have a habit of leaving my phone in places where it doesn’t belong,” says Michael Harris, 19, who goes to school in Jamaica Plain. “I vowed that one day I would stop this horrible manner but, sadly, my phone was stolen before I could even attempt to break the habit.” Breaking bad habits is not easy, especially if you’ve been doing them for a long time. “There is no breaking of bad habits, you just have to replace it with a good one,” says Andrew Moore, 15, from Dorchester. Many teens continue with their negative actions until something drastic happens. “I had a habit of biting my nails and I knew I had to stop,” says Marcus Sanchez, 18, who goes to school in South Boston, “because of the fact that I would bite my nails so far down that it would begin to bleed.”
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Fifteen-year-old Cameron Smith, from the South End, has a solution to the rising T fares. “I use skating to get around instead of using the MBTA, mostly,” says Smith. Even with unpaved roadways and annoying metal grates, Smith uses his skateboard as his wheels. Other skateboarders rely on the T to get them to their skate spots – but then they are free and clear of the rails. “Skating Boston has the closeness of a smaller town but the benefit of a big city,” says Jared Blake, 15, from Mattapan. Xavier Spinola, 18, from Dorchester, believes they should lower T fares but raise the number of legal skateboard locales.
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Glenda Interiano, 18, says she takes special precautions when riding the T at night, hiding her legs and not wearing anything too revealing. “There is a lot of drunk dudes that when they see skin, they begin to give girls a lot of unwanted sexual attention,” says Interiano, who attends the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. A Boston Magazine article last year proclaimed: “The MBTA May Be Broke, But Crime on Public Transit Is Down.” But many young women say they continue to feel unsafe at some T stations after sundown. Seventeen-year-old Gabby Grant says that young women often wait for trains alone at night. “Anything can happen,” says Grant, who goes to the O’Bryant. Shannon Zarnoch, 17, says that there are times she’ll look around a T station and fi no one else in sight. “If I’m alone,” says Zarnoch, from the O’Bryant, “then I’m more likely to be targeted.”
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I was born on the night of October 10, 1998, and I’ve already made my life’s plans. For my high school years, I want to get a job for all four summers doing things that I enjoy, so it’s not strictly about what my colleges see. I’ll get paid and donate some to church.

For the academic years, I’ll try to get closest to a 4.0 GPA. I just feel better prepared if I make the decision to get into a good college. It’s my life and I’ll squeeze the most out of it.

For my extracurriculars, I’ll do two sports every year -- soccer and softball -- and I’ll participate in the annual play. The theatre is like having multiple personalities -- except people don’t lock you up. They clap instead. And sports are a necessity; without that, I’ll end up fat with no good workout habits.

For colleges. I’ve decided to go to the Ivy League. To be the best you need to go to the best.

After college, I plan on becoming a film writer/book author with my double majors in film production and writing. And, with my business minor, establish my own dance studio (after watching too much “Dance Moms”).

Then I’ll meet my exotic husband who is several nationalities. I’m pro interracial and to make the world better we’ll have to accept our differences.

I will have up to three kids and name one after me, just so my name lives on through the generations. When I feel alone after they move out, I’ll adopt another. We’ll live in a varied climate with rain and trees.

And finally, I’ll die of old age in my sleep, with a good book and a bible on the night stand.

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SATs. College visits. GPAs. Despite all the hype around going to college after high school, many teens still see the military as a better option in the short run.

For some, it’s one way to actually afford to attend a good university down the road. “I would join the Armed Forces so they could pay for my college,” says 16-year-old Ronnie Brown, from Excel High School. In an unstable economy, the military says it provides job security. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Opportunities should be good for qualified individuals in all branches of the Armed Forces through 2022.” “I just want to join the Army,” says Selena Mejia, a senior at Boston Community Leadership Academy. “It seems interesting, you get to learn new skills.” Sounds good, skeptical teens say, until you think about all the wars raging around the world. “I feel like the Army is for people who aren’t afraid to die,” says Lashonda Cottrell, 15, from West Roxbury Academy, “because you’re risking your life.”
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