Straight Talk Advice

Real teens. Real life. You need to know.

GOT FUTURE? Our non-profit syndicated advice column presents over
85 youth panelists helping other youth -- like only they can. Teens listen.
Parents learn. And no topic is too controversial! 
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Rose

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I got involved with this column when it first started in 2004. I am a native of Auburn, California. At 18, I felt the need to exercise my right of freedom and do some traveling (a fancy word for saying I was a transient). I did that dance for a minute and decided I really liked sleeping in a bed and taking showers, not to mention having food in my stomach. At 19, I packed up everything I owned and moved to Salt Lake City to live with my boyfriend Zach, who was also a traveler. As it turns out Salt Lake City wasn’t my cup of tea. Zach and I found ourselves in a pickle with the law and I decided to move to Oregon. Zach was supposed to follow but decided to travel instead. I then moved back to Auburn where I am now a full-time student and kindergarten aid. As for Zach, his life was taken tragically by drugs July 3, 2008. He was only 20 years old. We had been in a relationship for 3 years when he died. I tell you this because some things I have done in my past I would never want my daughter to do. Zach’s death has encouraged me to talk about my past and use my knowledge and life experiences in hopes that no one has to go to the funeral of a 20-year-old because of drugs.