Amy McCready /age 14 grade 9th/ Topic # 1. How can choosing abstinence impact your present and future life? In their teen years, 1 in 3 minors will choose a life of sex and drugs over abstinence. In America this has lead to a worrisome increase in higher divorce rates, drug addiction, growing criminal rates, and other issues that appear on the newspaper or on any TV news channel everyday. These teens, ignorant of the real world, unable to support themselves but wanting to be free of their parent’s rules, thrive off the support of family and friends. Those who choose abstinence as their way of life are given a freedom from regret. They don’t depend on drugs, have no fear of contracting an STD or pregnancy, don’t suffer from a conditional love relationship, have less future health issues, and have a clear chance of establishing an ideal family of unconditional love; a world of open opportunity. Teens like me go through an emotional phase of wanting a sense of belonging. We look for acceptance, happiness, and most importantly, love. Teens are also lazy so we tend to look for these feelings in a rushed way and we may look in the wrong places. Drugs are seen as an instant release from pain and stress, when “high” one feels giddy and relaxed. Eventually the persons body adjusts to the drug high and it takes higher levels of the drugs to get a high, and the person gets completely hooked and risk getting caught by the police, put in jail with a criminal record, and incur future health problems. Alcohol is a depressant that also gets people in a state of mental relaxation and giddy happiness that turns into loss of self control. This can result in drunken driving accidents that are 45% of the crashes that are the greatest cause of death for people from ages 6-33. Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among young people; it can rip families apart with domestic violence and accidental pregnancy, completely altering the lives of its consumers. The last impact that abstinence can bring is the affect of love. Wanting love is a natural part of human nature, especially wanting to receive love. People in high school and also older people often enter into a relationship based on physical attraction which leads to dating. When fallen people enter into a relationship, they always want to receive love, like they see in movies. Eventually all they care about is if the person they are with makes them happy, totally forgetting that to be in a successful relationship, there must be two people striving to make the other happy unconditionally. Also in these relationships, people want frequent proof of love and satisfaction and enter into a sexual relationship to receive it. 63% of teens who have had sexual intercourse wish they had waited. Sex is a beautiful act, created by God as a way to bring life in a natural and loving way, and to nourish closeness between committed partners. However without commitment people use sex to fill their emotional needs and insecurities. Engaging in sexual relationships outside of a committed and monogamous relationship often leads to STD’s and pregnancy. STD’s are seriously dangerous to both genders and quite embarrassing to admit to. They can spread like wildfire in free sex communities, causing havoc. Pregnancy is supposed to be a celebrated and joyous welcoming of new life made from committed love. But without the support of a seriously committed (married) couple, pregnancy is seen as a negative shift in life that closes many opportunities. A baby is a responsibility that must be cared for at all times. This affects ones opportunities and cuts out future goals and dreams, time for a job, and time for personal fun; evidently leading to an unhappy family of conditional love that was started by an accident. Abstinence is the door of freedom, life, and opportunity. It has no downside. It protects one from regret over bad decisions, dependence on drugs or alcohol, remaining health problems or fatal incidents caused by drugs or alcohol, and preserves a clear mind and record for success in a career, and a happy family of unconditional love. True love is worth the wait.