Matthew Shako believes it is dangerous and might have negative health effects to sleep too much.

“It’s bad for you,” says Shako, 17, who goes to Boston Latin School. “It’s unhealthy for certain bodily functions to not be active for that long.” Although Shako sleeps 8 to 10 hours a night, he would slumber for four more hours if he could because he loves to doze. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need at least eight-and- a-half hours of sleep a night, but 15 percent don’t get that much on school nights – whether they’re up doing homework or getting lost on social media. Then there are those who get too much rest. Webmd.com says that super-sleeping can be a sign of anything from diabetes to depression. Seventeen-year-old Oscar Mercado says he sleeps 6 to 12 hours a night and would love more. He doesn’t believe that too much sleep is bad because it helps him relax and he feels more energetic and happy. “Sometimes your body or your mind is more tired than usual, so you need more sleep,” says Mercado, who goes to Excel High School. Nolan Jones, a junior at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science, feels that resting regenerates the human body. He says he only sleeps for five hours a night due to insomnia and would like additional hours. But he also believes that going overboard can lead you nowhere. “If you get too much sleep,” says Jones, “you’re missing out on life, and life does not stop for you. It keeps going.”
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Dealing with a sibling who has disabilities isn’t always easy. Usually you have many people asking questions or staring. It’s frustrating at times but it’s also what makes your family different.

My younger brother was born de with deformed ears. People often look oddly at him and some kids have gone as far as asking what happened. But he’s comfortable with being deaf. I’ve learned a lot over the past eight years. There is so much technology and many accommodations for deaf people: flashing doorbells, sight-signal fire  alarms, and even implants that are programmed by computer to help him hear. My brother is teaching me how to sign. Seeing an eight-year-old communicate in Sign Language, English, and Spanish shows you just how smart people with disabilities can be.
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Scrolling through the tumblr tag ‘pro- ana,’ pictures of shockingly thin-framed women are displayed.

Pro-ana, short for a pro-anorexia- nervosa lifestyle, refers to people who choose to imitate the eating disorder in which victims often starve themselves for extended periods of time. Patients with anorexia may view themselves with distorted body images. “It’s absolutely disgusting and disappointing,” says 15-year-old Nelly Matos, from Boston Latin Academy, who struggled for a time with weight perceptions. “Girls who are pro-ana are imitating an often fatal disease and it is not okay.” Almost 24 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder, according to kidshealth.org, and 95 percent of those are between the ages of 12 and 25. Annabella Bautista, 15, from BLA, has also dealt with body stigmas and faults the current fad for the recent prevalence of eating disorders. “I totally blame the obsession for having bikini bridges, thigh gaps, and protruding collar bones,” says Bautista.
“It is not -- and will never be -- okay to condition young girls with such fragile self-esteems that you need these things to be beautiful. You don’t.” Still, there are hundreds of young women -- both on and off the pro- ana online forums -- who don’t think simulation of the illness will lead to anything but a normal loss of weight. “Well, I do not support the pro-ana movement, but if these girls don’t really have the disease and are just imitating it, they can stop any time,” says Annie Jones, 16, from Excel High School, “and hopefully that time will be soon -- once they come to their senses. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”
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Arvonne Patterson, a 17-year-old from Madison Park High School, says her parents don’t have specific  rules but she’s asked to follow whatever they tell her to do.

“Sometimes it bothers me because if I don’t do something little, my parents won’t let me do anything at all,” Patterson says. “For example, if I don’t clean the kitchen, they won’t even let me walk down the street.” The way many teens tell it, all parents have strict households -- yet some actually don’t. Andrea Victorian, 18, from Fenway High School, says there are barely any guidelines for her. “The only ones are keep your room clean, be respectful, and be clean after yourself,” she says. “I like these rules because they’re not hard to do. If I want to go out, all I have to do is ask my mom and she’ll let me go because I do what I am told and she trusts me. Nathan Gonzalez, 17, from Boston Arts Academy, only has a few simple instructions to follow. “The basic common rule is respect the house you’re living in because other people are living in there with you,” Gonzalez says. “If I don’t follow the rules, then they put me on punishment. If I want to go out, all I have to do is tell them where, with who, and what time I’m coming back.”
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Teens just wants to be accepted by their friends -- but more so by their families. Teenagers have an interest in piercings, tattoos, or a specific way of dressing -- but parents don’t always agree and may think less of their own children.

David Fortunato, 19, from Madison Park High School, says his mother is always judging him based on the people that he hangs out with. “It makes me feel rebellious because I’m her son and to know she doesn’t see me as my own person is one of the most disappointing things ever,” he says. Karina Cruz, 16, from Dorchester, says her piercings cause family tensions. She says that she always tells her mom that people are the way they are for a reason. “Honestly, nobody’s judgment will change me,” she says. “The way I was born and raised is the way I will remain.” Kordell Hollis, 18, who goes to school in Roxbury, says his parents always tell him that his baggy jeans and long shirts aren’t as attractive as he thinks they are. Hollis says that although they are his parents, he doesn’t let their words affect him in any way. “I stick to myself at all times,” he says, “but it would be nice to have them accept me the way that I am.”
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