Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Real Teen Life: Dylan, Warren, and Zack

Last month, Sara introduced us to Kacey, and we got a little inside scoop into teen life from a female perspective. So, this month I thought I’d give you an interview with a more testosterone flair. Three fairly average guys, all soccer players, and all with pretty similar responses to questions about school, issues, girls…even books.

So without further Alison rambles, here they are!




Dylan and Warren are both sophomores, play school soccer and classic (travel) soccer for my husband. (he bullied them into this interview - just kidding) Dylan wishes to pursue a career in the medical field and Warren aspires to play soccer at Chapel Hill. They're pretty much a package deal. You rarely see one without the other.




Zack is a senior, and he plays soccer, football, basketball, and baseball. When he's not playing sports, he's surfing. His dream school is the Universal Technical Institute.




A Day in the Life


Up by six, showered and out the door by seven, then most of their day in rigorous classes. Zack even takes an auto body class at the nearby community college. All three play soccer (Zack goes to football practice AFTER his soccer practice), and by the time they get home, eat dinner, do chores, take care of their siblings or watch little sister play volleyball, the rest of the evening’s devoted to homework and maybe some TV.

Two out of three said “in bed by ten.” Only one stays up later to get online.

Um…busy much?

(PS—interviewer’s note: a lot of the kids I teach carry this kind of schedule. If they’re not playing sports, they’re working 4-whenever shifts.)

Weekends are a little more chill for these guys, but still sounded super crazy. Here’s a little of what they like to do. Dylan tries to ref soccer games for the local soccer organization. He and his friends try to get a pick-up game going or he’s hanging out with friends and his girlfriend. Warren plays for a travel soccer team, and when he doesn’t have games with that, he’s trying to ref one too. Zack enjoys skim boarding and surfing. He cuts grass and likes to go bowling, eat out at the hot new ice cream bar. All three get a little down time, but it didn’t seem like much.

In a nutshell, I think they’re busier than me!



When Not in Season?


What do they do when soccer season’s over? Dylan and Warren smiled and shook their heads. “There is no off-season.” For both, it’s high school ball in the fall, travel soccer in the spring. And while Zack doesn’t play soccer all year, he moves from soccer into basketball and then baseball! There’s “maybe a two week break during the summer.”


So, then I got their take on some of the issues that are maybe (yes) going on, stuff kids are dealing with and facing. Here’s what they said about



Bullying


Dylan and Warren: Not really a lot of bullying. Most people just hang with their groups. When people talk junk, it’s just that. Most people just joke around. They don’t take it serious. And the bullying’s more so with girls than it is with guys.

Zack: With girls, it’s more online. With guys, it’s more physical—at school and outside of school. The worst bullying occurred in middle school. By the time we hit high school, that kid that was five-foot-one and ninety pounds is now six-foot-three and 240 pounds. ( I wouldn’t want to mess with him!) And most people who get pushed around usually instigate it. We’re pretty diverse and have all learned to be tolerant. Our school’s like a “little America.”



Social Media


Facebook and texting are the biggies, although they all said they are familiar with and/or have used Skype and Oovoo. Zack mentioned that Twitter’s making a comeback, although Dylan and Warren didn’t seem to hear much about that at their school. As for emailing, nobody really emails. Zack said, “emailing’s more professional, like for college applications.”

Are they on Facebook? Warren uses it to keep connected to family, Zack barely has time for it, and Dylan doesn’t have one at all.

And what's with all the drama? Warren says he doesn’t see a whole lot of bullying, mostly notices a lot of drama between girls and their boyfriends. And Zack added that the drama is almost as much with guys as it with girls, flaring up when some guy “comments on some dude’s girlfriend.”

And the new changes?

Zack: With everyone’s notifications running down the top of the screen, “The new changes make you feel like a stage-ten stalker.”



Drugs


While they don’t use drugs (yay!), they know people that do, and cite the biggies as alcohol and marijuana. Prescription drugs is big in some circles and Zack mentioned Adderall (ADHD medicine) as one of them—something meant to control ADHD acts a stimulant for people who don’t need it.

But it was refreshing to hear this: “A lot of people think it’s (drugs) the ‘cool thing to do.’ People don’t think it’s serious, but it is. It can ruin your life.”



On Dating


Good news, teen followers—Dylan’s the only one with a girlfriend. But all three could definitely comment on the dating scene. I asked them if they actually go on dates or do they just hangout. And the conclusion: a little of both. They’re all big on hanging out whether it be at football games or at the beach, but they will take their girl to the movies or out to dinner. (just not to Red Lobster AND the movies)

And since my girls brought up the issue regarding the promiscuous way other girls dress, I thought I’d ask the guys their opinion.

Zack: Some girls claim to be anit-provocative. And then dress the opposite.

Warren and Dylan didn’t seem big on the whole promiscuous dressing thing, but some guys like it. It just depends. But neither one of them can understand the “twin-ish” dress style. Why some girls feel they have to match every day.

Hmmm, ladies. Care to explain?


Finally we finished our chat by discussing my favorite topic.


Books!


I asked them if they’ve read any lately.

Dylan: “. . . ”

Warren: “. . . ”

Zack: “. . .”

Sooo—I asked what kind of books they might like to read. What would you like to see in fiction? What would grab and hold your interest?

Zack does like to read sports books and loved the Mike Lupica stories. Books with an athletic story line would hook him.

Dylan mentioned how he really liked Ender’s Game (*just added to TBR*). And then somehow that triggered a new wish list for the perfect book: ninja sports, wings, and lasers.

Dylan: Like super hero soccer.

Warren: Yeah. Space Jams meets the Fantastic Four. Mr Fantastic dunking full court.

There you have it. Write a book with sports, superheroes, and a little bit of sci-fi—these guys will definitely be reading it!

Thanks so much for the interview, guys!

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