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How Do Teens Feel About Today's Issues?

Teen Trend Reports from StageofLife.com

Each month, StageofLife.com releases an exclusive "Teen Trend" report.

The statistics on students and teen trends outlined in the below reports come from the data and essays collected by StageofLife.com during its monthly national survey and writing contest for students.


 Teen Trend Report:  Teens & the Olympics
Teen TrendsStageofLife.com welcomes over 400,000 teens and teachers each year to its blogging contests and polls, and these visits place us at a unique nexus to poll and talk with a blogging community for teens who use us as a platform to share their thoughts on real life issues important to high school and college students.

Have fun exploring the videos and trend reports about teenagers below.  Thanks to the national media and researchers who use these Stage of Life reports as a benchmark on the latest teen trends.  The teen essays below are helping change the world...one story at a time.
--Eric Thiegs
Founder & CEO, StageofLife.com
Media/Press Contact

April 2014

The teen writing contest and survey for April 2014 is live and currently accepting student essay submissions until the end of the month (midnight Pacific Time - US).  Get details to submit your essay and answer the poll for this month's student writing contest...

Teen Writing Contests

March 2014

This contest is currently being judged.  The winning essay, press release, teen trend report, and a link to all of the essay finalists will be posted here after April 20th, 2014

February 2014

Teen Trends:  The Olympic Spirit



The Olympic Spirit Writing Contest
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January 2014

Teen Trends:  Hopes & Fears for the New Year


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December 2013

Teen Trends:  Where Has Civility Gone?

Teen Trends - Civility
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November 2013

Teen Trends:  Do We Have Too Much Stuff?

  • Background: With Black Friday starting to overtake the Thanksgiving holiday, StageofLife.com asked teens and college students to consider the concept of consumerism with the question, "Do we have too much stuff?"  You'll be amazed at some of the responses given by our teen bloggers for this month's writing contest.
  • Writing Prompt:  "Do we have too much stuff?"
  • Prize Sponsor:  For this month's writing contest, Stage of Life education sponsors, Papa John's and IHOP, donated gift cards to the winning essay writer.
  • Participating Teens:  7,200+ visitors, 440 respondents to national teen survey, 160+ submitted essays.
  • Read Teen Trend Report, Essays and Statistics:  Teens and Mass Consumerism
  • Read National Press Release: Teen Shopping Habits and Statistics by StageofLife.com
  • Writing Contest Date: Nov 2013
  • Report Release Date:  Jan 2014
Teens and Mass Consumerism - Monthly writing contests on StageofLife.com


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October 2013

Teen Trends:  What Scares Teens?


  • Background: With Halloween capping off the end of the month, StageofLife.com asked teens the simple question, "What scares you?"  You'll be drawn in by this month's responses as students shared their fears about bugs, death, the future, and more.
  • Writing Prompt:  "What scares you?"
  • Prize Sponsor:  For this month's writing contest, Stage of Life education sponsor, Papa John's, donated a gift card to the winning essay writer.
  • Participating Teens:  8,190+ visitors, 660+ respondents to national teen survey, 160+ submitted essays.
  • Read Teen Trend Report, Essays and Statistics:  What Scares Teens
  • Read National Press Release: National Teen Writing Contests Reveal High School and College Students Fear Miley Cyrus More Than ObamaCare, Reports StageofLife.com
  • Writing Contest Date: Oct 2013
  • Report Release Date:  Nov 2013

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September 2013

Teen Trends:  Teen Goal Setting


  • Background: StageofLife.com asked teens to share a story about when they either succeeded or failed at accomplishing a personal goal.
  • Writing Prompt:  "When have you succeeded or failed at reaching a goal?"
  • Prize Sponsor:  For this month's writing contest, Stage of Life education sponsor, Lenovo, donated a Series A Tablet to the winning teen essay winner!
  • Participating Teens:  8,500+ visitors, 500+ respondents to national teen survey, 260+ submitted essays.
  • Read Teen Trend Report, Essays and Statistics:  Teen Goal Setting
  • Read National Press Release:  Teen Statistics about Goal Setting Released by StageofLife.com
  • Writing Contest Date: Sept 2013
  • Report Release Date:  Oct 2013

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August 2013

Teen Trends:  Moments of Awesomeness


Background: StageofLife.com asked students to share an essay (along with photos, Tweets, and videos) of "moments of awesomeness" from their life.
Writing Prompt:  Share a story about a "Moment of Awesomeness" in your life.
Participating Teens:  6,100+ visitors, 281 respondents to national teen survey, 90+ submitted essays.
Read Teen Trend Report, Essays and Statistics:  Moments of Awesomeness
Read National Press Release:  Teen Writers Celebrate Life with the “Moments of Awesomeness” Blogging Contest on StageofLife.com
Writing Contest Date: August 2013
Report Release Date:  Sept 2013

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July 2013

Teen Trends:  Patriotism


Background: StageofLife.com wanted to understand how teens feel about their country, and in particular, how they define patriotism.
Writing Prompt:  What does it mean to love your country?
Participating Teens:  5,500+ visitors, 230+ respondents to national teen survey, 64 submitted essays.
Read Full Teen Trend Report, Essays and Statistics: Teens and Patriotism
Read National Press Release:  1 Out of 3 Teens Feel Edward Snowden is a Patriot Reports StageofLife.com
Writing Contest Date: July 2013
Report Release Date:  August 2013
Teens and Patriotism - Report on StageofLife.com
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June 2013

Teen Trend Report:  Teens and Summer

Background: StageofLife.com asked teens about their summer plans and how they hope to make their summer an unforgettable one.
Writing Prompt:  How will you make this summer one you'll never forget?
Participating Teens:  6,200+ visitors, 124 submitted essays, 434 respondents to the national survey.
Read Full Teen Trend Report and Statistics: Teens and Summer
Read National Press Release:  75% of High School Bloggers Will Volunteer This Summer Reports StageofLife.com
Writing Contest Date: June 2013
Report Release Date:  July 2013
Trends on Teens and Summer
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May 2013

Teen Trend Report:  Letter to Mom

Background: StageofLife.com asked teens to think about a special woman in their life for Mother's Day.
Writing Prompt:  Share a special memory about your mother, grandmother, or an important woman in your life.
Participating Teens:  6,200+ visitors, 106 submitted essays *No survey data collected
Read Full Report and Statistics:  Teens and Moms
Writing Contest Date:  May 2013
Report Release Date:  July 2013
Teens and their Moms - Trend Report
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April 2013

Teen Trend Report:  Teens and News

Background: StageofLife.com asked teens to share their feelings about current news events and stories
Writing Prompt:  What Current National or International News Story Do You Think More Teens and College Students Should Care About, and Why?
Participating Teens:  6,000+ visitors, 389 completed survey, 150 submitted essays
Read Full Report and Statistics:  Teens and the News
Read National Press Release:  Gay Marriage, Gun Control, and North Korea Top List as Most Important News Stories to Teenagers According to StageofLife.com National Student Poll
Survey and Writing Contest Date:  April 2013
Report Release Date:  June 2013

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March 2013

Teen Trend Report:  Teens and Fear

Background: StageofLife.com asked teens to talk about their fears
Writing Prompt:  When have you applied the phrase 'No Fear' in your life?
Participating Teens:  5,700+ visitors, 445 completed survey, 176 submitted essays
Read Full Report and Statistics:  Teens and Fear
Read National Press Release:  66% of Teenagers are Afraid of Life After Graduation per Latest StageofLife.com Teen Trends Report
Survey and Writing Contest Date:  March 2013
Report Release Date:  May 2013

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February 2013

Teen Trend Report:  Teens and TV

Background: StageofLife.com asked teens to talk about their TV viewing habits and favorite TV shows
Participating Teens:  4,987 visitors, 566 completed survey, 100 submitted essays
Read Full Report and Statistics:  Teens and TV
Read National Press Release:  StageofLife.com Reports 67% of Teens Have a TV Show They Just Can't Miss
Survey and Writing Contest Date:  February 2013
Report Release Date:  March 2013

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January 2013

Teen Trend Report:  Teens and Guns

Background: StageofLife.com asked teens to talk about their stance on gun laws.
Writing Prompt: Where do we go after the Newtown school shooting?
Participating Teens: 5,700+ visitors, 445 completed survey, 176 submitted essays
Read Full Report and Statistics: Teens and Guns
Read National Press Release: Teens and Guns - National Survey Results Released by StageofLife.com
Survey and Writing Contest Date: January 2013
Report Release Date: February 2013

Contact Us about this Teen Trent Report - Teens and Guns
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Writing Contest Archive - Students

Past Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports

StageofLife.com Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of our past writing contests and teen trend reports from the last four years. Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month.  StageofLife.com is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with teachers, teens, and college students as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2014 Writing Contests

 Stage of Life Mission Statement

 2013 Writing Contests

2012 Writing Contests

2011 Writing Contests

 2010 Writing Contests

How Do Teens Feel About Real World Issues?

Teen Trends, Essay Finalists, and Survey Results - Stage of life Monthly Writing Contest Summary Reports

Writing Contest for Teens

Are you curious about the latest teen trends and how teens feel about real world issues?  We are.  Each month, StageofLife.com asks high school and college students to answer a writing prompt about a real world issue with a 500 word essay.  Below you'll find our menu to the specific teen trend reports Stage of Life has compiled based on the responses that tens of thousands of teens have given us on topics ranging from politics to nature to teen stress to prom to institutional trust to marriage and love.

Our student writing contest effort has yielded:

  • Over 400,000+ unique visits from teenagers and college students to StageofLife.com

  • Over 7,000+ essays from students submitted to StageofLife.com

  • AP English and Language Arts teachers utilizing the writing contest to get students writing more outside the classroom:  View articles about StageofLife.com on SocialTimes.com and StageofLife.com's own Education Resources 

  • Mentions of our teen writers' essays in the media:  TV appearance of several of our teen bloggers on "Mary Talks Money" and a mention by TIME.com

  • Collaborative partnerships with organizations who now utilize StageofLife.com to get the raw pulse on teens' attitudes about various topics:  GetSchooled.com, Mint Education, New York Times Upfront, etc.
  • Research and statistics data (our own) that comes out of the teenagers responding to our monthly surveys and analysis of the teen essay submissions.  Some of this has been compiled into our teen statistics page.

Current teenage trends

At the end of the day, our mission is simple:  To give teens a place to make a difference.  To encourage them to write outside of the classroom and hopefully inspire others.  To make the world a better place, one story at a time. 

We know for a fact that the student essays and blogs submitted to StageofLife.com are making a positive impact as teens read their peers' work right here on the site, while at the same time giving educators and parents raw insight into the attitudes, beliefs and trends of today's teens.  We receive emails from teens thanking us for providing this free teen resource and allowing them an honest, non-corporate environment in which to be...real.

Review the writing contest prompts, essay finalists, and teen trend summary reports:

We welcome you to review StageofLife.com's high school writing contest summary reports below.  These reports feature observations about teen trends based on the poll data and essays collected here on StageofLife.com each month.  Below you'll find our menu of analysis reports on each writing contest, which will provide a lens through which to view the world and life of a teenager.  Get up to speed on current teen trends and see what issues are important to young people!  Plus, each report contains links to the essay finalists from each Stage of Life writing contest

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StageofLife.com is an education-based, grassroots, non-partisan, free blogging community with a mission support digital literacy by making the world a better place, one story, essay, and blog at a time.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes literacy resources, free lesson plans, writing prompts for Language Arts teachers, monthly writing contests for high school students (and older generations), student blogging initiatives, blog directories, and financial literacy tools - including Life Rewards® - our free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

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