The VOX Blog

Stressed about prom? Read this!

Posted By: Arlena McClenton · 4/18/2014 11:00:00 AM

Prom. Depending on who you are, the word may leave you overflowing with excitement or with righteous indignation. Most people feel strongly about their special night, whether it’s the glee of finding the perfect prom dress, the satisfaction of going ironically (or not at all), or the anxiety of planning the perfect night.

As the days tick down until the big night, the halls of my school hum with anticipation, an excitement that’s been simmering since the brisk January day we received our “save the dates.” Since my school is small with an uneven female to male ratio, it’s assumed that you’ll go by yourself or with your friends, no big deal. Don’t want to go at all? Though this declaration may be met with some surprise, it’s generally accepted. Most students, however, are going and many have already chosen their dresses. Not I.

I don’t know how to feel. ...

Stress-reducing holiday shopping tips for teens!

Posted By: Arlena McClenton · 12/18/2013 2:45:00 PM

Does worrying over holiday shopping wake you up in a cold sweat at night, gasping for air? Never fear! There are plenty of affordable gifts just waiting for discovery. If you keep your eyes open, you might spot a unique local shop that offers neat, one of a kind gifts. Though they can be hard to find, they’re worth it if you want something your gift recipient won’t find anywhere else. The owners of these shops are often willing to haggle, which means you’ll be able to stretch your holiday budget even further than before.

If the thought of spending hours hunting for the perfect present doesn’t appeal to you, you should try a well-known store like Wal-Mart or Target.  These stores are handy if you have a general gift idea in mind or if you want to buy a big ticket item like an electronic. Even if you have ...

Regaining your confidence after the loss of a loved one

Posted By: Guest Blogger · 11/25/2013 10:00:00 AM

Editor's Note: In August, VOX teens hosted their peers from Kate's Club, a nonprofit helping young people through the death of a loved one. While the Kate's Club teens were here, they expressed themselves through artwork, creating mandalas (click here to see a photo gallery of their work) and through writing. 

In honor of Child Grief Awareness Month, we'd like to showcase an essay and a poem dedicated to the Kate's Club theme of finding your inner confidence.

                                                                        What Confidence Means to Me

To me, confidence is not caring what anybody else thinks and/or feels about you. If you walk with your head up high and push all the negative thoughts out of your ...

User agreements: Read before clicking!

Posted By: Arlena McClenton · 10/17/2013 10:00:00 AM

I agree. I accept. I have fully read the Terms and Conditions.

We click on these boxes daily but have you, really? It’s long, confusing, and full of legal jargon that even lawyers may have trouble understanding. Who has the time to wade through user agreements when there are so many other things to do? However, not reading them comes at a price because they are legally binding contracts. Sometimes, reading them seems to worsen the situation. I know from personal experience. When I was trying to download a trial version of Microsoft Word, Microsoft wanted me to give them my personal information. If I didn’t want to, Microsoft helpfully told me I could hit the cancel button – the one that would cancel my download.

What’s a teen to do? To ignore the terms and conditions is to give permission for the company to do whatever they please, yet ...

Is downloading the new iPhone iOS 7 software worth your time?

Posted By: Arlena McClenton · 9/25/2013 10:00:00 AM

Most of Apple’s updates are pretty mundane, but the newest one – iOS 7 – has had everyone talking for months. Despite popular opinion, you may be wondering if iOS 7 is worth the hype. I assure you, it certainly is.

The highlight of iOS 7 is its sleek new design. Everything slides and fades instead of appearing instantly, as in previous versions. Though this makes for a very elegant user interface, there are some gestures in the new operating system that aren’t intuitive. I had to research how to force close apps, and sometimes the menus evade my finger, but these are only minor inconveniences. Most of the gestures are the same, and the additional ones make life extremely convenient. The best one is the control menu. Simply slide your finger up from off-screen, and you’re met with a menu that has toggles for common services (like Wi-Fi and ...