Adolescence is one of the most fascinating and confusing times in our lives. You’re figuring out who you are and who you want to become, navigating friendships and schoolwork, having responsibilities heaped on you while also not being totally in control of your own life — all while being catapulted toward adulthood. It’s a lot.
Each spring, KQED works with high school students from around the Bay Area to help them produce their own stories across multiple platforms. This year, Bay Curious teamed up with four teens who’ve spent the last few months recording audio diaries to give us a look into this tumultuous time in their lives.
“I am a senior. I go to Phillip and Sala Burton Academic High School. I think something that might surprise some people is how much I have to say. Because I am actually really quiet. I also kind of like put up like I guess a front of being like kind of stoic, even though there’s a lot of things that bother me, a lot of things that make me feel. I might not show emotions all the time, but like, I feel them.
“My top choice for university is UCLA, which is quite a long ways away from home. Yeah, I am a little nervous, you know, kind of being in a new situation like away from family. But I’m also kind of excited for it because, like, this is kind of like a new start for me. I kind of get to leave my high school self behind and just like, find a new person kind of.”
“My name is Carlos Escala. I’m a junior at Jefferson High School. I [recently got] a new job because I’m going to be getting my license, and I want to have enough money to get a car. I started working when I was 15, and that made me realize that I don’t ever want to be in a situation where money is a struggle. I want to be financially free.