YCteen publishes true stories by teens, giving readers insight into the issues that matter most in young people's lives.
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A Fish Out of Water
Cleaning the fish tank turned into a massacre
author image When the writer's mom asks her to clean her aquarium with over 20 fish, it turns into a dark comedy of errors.

Recently, my mother asked me to clean her aquarium which held about two dozen big goldfish and one giant tropical fish named Felipe. I didn’t want to say no, because my mother does a lot for me. But I’d never cleaned it alone, and it made me nervous... [more]

The World We Want The World We Want
I Won’t be Silent - My Body Isn’t Meant to Be Owned - Does the Bible Preach Misogyny? - Boys Speak: How to Make a Better World for Girls - PLUS: I Marched for Our Lives in D.C. #neveragain
[more stories]
Book Review: <em>The Mare</em> Mario reviews Mary Gaitskill's novel and finds to his surprise that he identifies with the abusive mom as much as the abused daughter. [more]
No <em>High School Musical</em> For Me Anaiss prefers being alone to being in a group. Although she struggles to make friends in a new school, she doesn’t compromise by joining a clique. She eventually finds a few classmates who she connects with. [more]
[LESSON PLAN]
I Didn’t Let Years of Beatings Beat Me Xavier reflects on how being beaten by his stepfather throughout his childhood affects his behavior and relationships. Suddenly, his stepfather apologizes. [more]
This Angel’s No Angel The writer begins a relationship with a boy whose confidence she finds attractive. He starts pressuring her to have sex, and begins to treat her poorly when he’s around his friends. [more]
[LESSON PLAN]
Why I Am an Atheist Elia is raised in Kiev, Ukraine in a strict Orthodox Christian family. When she begins to read the Bible closely, she feels it, and God, are discriminatory. [more]
No Longer Feeling Alone When the writer moves here from the Dominican Republic, she feels isolated. She misses her friends and grandmother. Kids make fun of her, and her mom neglects her. It takes a dramatic act to get her mom’s attention. [more]
I Won’t Back Down “I could not accept a boy talking down to me, acting as if I was not equal to him or deserving of respect,” writes Carolina. [more]
Don’t ‘Man Up,’ Step Up YCteen writers talk about how to make the world a more equitable place and move past stereotypes that harm people of all genders. [more]
My First Protest: March for Our Lives For Carolina, who is from Brazil where there is much gang activity, the threat of gun violence is personal. [more]
Please Stop Saying I’m Trouble Grace has been labeled as “trouble” by men since she was 12. She writes about how this label implies girls are to blame for actions by impulsive men who lack self-control. [more]
[LESSON PLAN]
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