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Teen Trend Report

Teen Survey Results and Student Writing Contest Submissions:  5,700+ teen and college student visitors, 465+ survey responders, and 120+ essay submissions from teenagers sharing stories about their scars.

Teen Scars - Trend Report

“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.”
-Cormac McCarthy, "All the Pretty Horses"

Stories and Statistics about Teen ScarsBackground:

Scars indicate that a wound has healed. Almost everyone has a scar and each scar possesses a story about your past and how you acquired it.

Maybe you acquired the scar from a fall down the steps when you were 3-years-old.  Maybe you acquired your scar from a bike accident.  Maybe your brother gave you the scar when he hit you in the head with a snow shovel.

And...maybe your scars are ones others can’t see, but their emotional impact resonates in your life. Maybe your scar story is about someone else’s scar and how you gave it to them.

StageofLife.com welcomed thousands of teens to answer questions about their scars, both physical and emotional, and invited them to tell their scar stories.  The insights and stories shared by teens on StageofLife.com were courageous. 

Here are the results of that invitation...

Teen Trend Report Overview:
  • Trend Report about Teen ScarsVISITS:  Over 5,700 teens and college students visited the StageofLife.com writing contest during the month's writing prompt (Oct. 2014) from across the US (all 50 states) and dozens of international countries.

  • TEENS and SURVEY DATA:  465+ students between junior high school and college fully completed the national survey about their scars.
  • ESSAY THEMES:  Out of all of the topics discussed, several major themes were collectively revealed by teens in their essays about their scars. 
  • Writing contest for high school students

    STUDENT ESSAYS:
     
    120+ teen bloggers submitted a qualifying essay to the writing prompt that asked them to, "Write a story behind one (or more) of your visible or invisible scars." 
  • ESSAY WINNER:  Place winners, along with Runners Up and finalists were selected. 


PART I Statistics about Teen Scars

Before submitting their StageofLife.com writing contest essay, teens were asked to complete a survey containing some questions about physical and emotional scars.  Here are the teen statistics from the StageofLife.com survey from the 465+ students who fully completed the poll...
  • 77% of teens have a physical scar on their body.
  • 25% of teens have been made "fun of" because of their physical scar(s).
  • 90% of students say they carry emotional scars.
  • 23% of teenagers say that they've given someone an external (physical) scar.
  • 31% of teens say that they are aware of giving someone else an internal (emotional) scar.  69% are "not aware" if they have given someone else an emotional scar.
  • 42.5% of students are "proud" of their external (physical) scars.  This number drops to 38.7% who are proud of their internal (emotional) scars. 
  • In one sentence, share where your scar is and how you got it: The 400+ personal answers from our teen survey respondents to this open ended question can be found in Stage of Life's full Teen Statistics report.  You can download the free statistics report below (click on the PDF document).
Statistics about Teens and ScarsTo read the full survey results, click the PDF icon to view or save the free download.

SOURCE:  All statistics above were collected by StageofLife.com as part of its monthly teen trend reports containing statistics and writing contest prompt responses from teens on real world issues.



PART II:  STORY THEMES

After taking the survey, students submitted their writing contest essays to StageofLife.com.  From the qualifying teen essay submissions, several themes emerged:

Themes and Trends from the Teen Scar Essays:
  • Teenagers and their ScarsLessons Learned: Scars serve as reminders of the past. When these teens see their scars—whether it’s on their wrist or on their heart—they’re reminded of what they faced, and how they might grapple with that same problem in the future.
  • A Part of Me: These teens said that their scars are part of their identity, even if they aren’t necessarily proud of how the scars formed. Scars are part of our stories, and the canvas that is our bodies.
  • We are Survivors: In a few extreme cases, some teens admitted that their scars proved that they could survive anything. These teens emerged victorious from serious accidents or diseases—their scars are proof that they fought hard and won.
  • No Regrets: No matter what, almost all teens agreed that they had no regrets about their scars. No one should be ashamed of their scars, because it shows that you’ve lived your life and have a story to tell.


PART III:  Read the Teen Stories about Scars

Teen BloggersImmediately below, you'll find links to the StageofLife.com winning essay, our runners-up, semi-finalists, and all qualifying essays from college students and teenagers answering the prompt, "Share a Story About a Physical or Emotional Scar."

Please take a few moments to read an essay or two, especially our winner, runners-up, and finalists.

If you have the time, make a comment on the essays you enjoyed the most.  We know the student writers will love hearing your positive input (they'll get an email notifying them if you comment on their writing contest entry).


Writing contest winnerWriting Contest Winner & Finalists

First Place:
Scar: I am my own worst enemy by mandyrox18

StageofLife.com student essay writers2nd Place: 

Scar: It could never happen to me by peightonbolt


3rd Place:

Scar: A Silver Lining by crystalneoh31


Writing Contest Runners UpRunners Up (in no particular order)

Scar: That Stores Joy by Shringi (This teen fondly remembers a summer with her cousins) 

Scar: A Permanent Reminder by rachelwrites (She learned not to be so mischievious) 

Scar: The Checkered Board by John Michael Loundres (This teen made a habit out of playing chess with his grandpa) 

Scar: Stronger by 1830640 (This teen outgrew the mean whispers and taunts) 

Scar: Defining the Pain of My Past by esmallwood (This teen lost her father to cancer)

Scar: The scars that change us by BlackFlame (This teen’s sister overdosed on sleeping pills) 

Scar: San Juan by Baileytilmay (She found a friend who encouraged her to recover) 

Scar: Sullied Demon Flesh by zoomthemaster (She remembers the first time she ever heard the phrase “thigh gap”)





StageofLIfe.com writing contest submissions

Read teen essays from StageofLife.com national writing contest

Read All Qualifying Teen & College Essays for the StageofLife.com Writing Contest about Scars

The essays below were all written by Stage of Life teen writers for this monthly student writing contest...

All Teen Essays about Scars




Essays about Physical Scars 


  1. Scar: A Scar Full of Memory by energybunny22 (She burned her leg with a hair straightener)
  2. Scar: The Story of How I Wasn’t Thrown in a Barrel by abigailskii (This teen battled with her competitive uncle)
  3. Scar: Back Door by Rakel0921 (This teen just wanted to get back inside the house)
  4. Scar: Long Sleeves by dssherp97 (Scars are stories; they are a part of you)
  5. Scar: My throat scar by sammiesam (She remembers getting her tonsils out)
  6. Scar: Left on my leg after the accident by ron0822 (This teen fell while using a scooter)
  7. Scar: My Greatest Nemesis, A Tile Step by Zachary100 (This teen tried to entertain himself with homegrown fun)
  8. Scar: That Stores Joy by Shringi (This teen fondly remembers a summer with her cousins)
  9. Scar: A Constant Reminder of the Past by adenny (She wrestled too roughly with her brother)
  10. Scar: A wound on my hand by ExtraCredit (He cut himself tossing a knife in the air)
  11. Scar: It’s amazing how one scar can turn a bright, sunny day as cold as snow by zarah991 (Scars are a part of your story)
  12. Scar: My Christmas Catastrophe by kt044 (She was waiting for the results of an important test)
  13. Scar: From Riding Accidents by rebeccapark (This teen didn’t know she had a back injury for a while)
  14. Scar: Rise Up and Rise Above by jorodoz (This teen accidentally ran into a wall)
  15. Scar: The beer incident by Jing (She was injured when a glass bottle exploded)
  16. Scar: How I Almost Lost My Eye by 2016-mcopas (A small dog bit this teen’s eye)
  17. Scar: The Visible Mark of an Invisible Journey by juliagrayparrish (Her scar is a constant reminder that she is a fighter)
  18. Scar: My ‘Adventure’ Story by QuickSilva (This teen was pushed into a river by her brother)
  19. Scar: From Bloody Knuckles to Princeton by edwardleung7 (He is a testament to what an inner city kid can do with a dream)
  20. Scar: Love Scars Too by Toltont (Scars fossilize moments in time)
  21. Scar: Little Things Make A Big Difference by Iwishforapinkpony (Her scar represents the line between life and death)
  22. Scar: The First and Last Time by Savanah (This teen got into a bad sledding accident on her birthday)
  23. Scar: A Permanent Reminder by rachelwrites (She learned not to be so mischievious)
  24. Scar: The Story of a Helpless Little Boy by JakeSteed (This teen didn’t mind breaking his foot to get some orange slices)
  25. Scar: Near My Ear by Josefp (This teen was cut while playing tag)
  26. Scar by Fatumah (This teen is reminded of a time she almost died)
  27. Scar: Blood and Dirt Don’t Mix by Tyler.Johnson51 (This teen reopens his scars every baseball season)
  28. Scar: What it once was by Ceci98 (She thought her scar was originally a birth mark)
  29. Scar: My Bleeding Head by suk.chamlagai (This teen hurt herself during her first time as a goalie)
  30. Scar: A Part of Me by leslye390 (Her scar became a part of her)
  31. Scar: The Bicycle Incident by Yaquelin (This teen only wanted to ride her new bike)
  32. Scar: The Scarring Evergreen Tree by rosepetals98 (Scars remind her of her childish bravery)

 

Essays about Emotional Scars 


  1. Scar: Invisible, yet a lesson by khushboo savita (Sometimes we should listen to our near and dear friends)
  2. Scar: Sirens by WriterS (She remembers the night her grandpa passed away)
  3. Scar: Memories burn in my head of you by c_mash16 (A poem remembering her friend’s suicide)
  4. Scar: I am a Victor by FreelyMe (She has scars on her heart that may not heal)
  5. Scar: What I Was and Who I Am by Paulina Camara (This teen had, and has, bad anxiety)
  6. Scar: The Dagger Upon My Once Truest Friend by LOVINGthatMELODY (She made her friend feel badly)
  7. Scar: My mentality is that I’m never good enough by AnuhBanana (She hides her accomplishments under her mattress)
  8. Scar: The Recluse by ivannaojeda23 (She sought her brother’s help during a tough time in her life)
  9. Scar: Who I Became Because of Them by meerkat123 (Her friends helped her through a hard time)
  10. Scar: My life by Vang1411 (She butted heads with her foster mom)
  11. Scar: All those masked scars by Hearthlet (This teen was bullied by her family)
  12. Scar: So what happened was real by vai (This teen has scars from being bullied)
  13. Scar: Your love was an open wound but thank God it healed by KayHenry (She fell in love with a boy who didn’t reciprocate her emotions)
  14. Scar: Emotionally Damaged is the worst kind of damaged by AlexLove3 (This teen is verbally abused by her father)
  15. Scar: Wounds Becoming Sorrows by byewithoutkisses (Her illness prevented other kids from wanting to be close with her)
  16. Scar: Divorce by sskkyyllrr (She remembers a painful time when her parents divorced)
  17. Scar: Learning to Cope by Lanilynn99 (This teen talks about a friend whose parents divorced)
  18. Scar: My Mom’s Fight Inspired Me by Kniewolak (Her mom had cancer)
  19. Scar: My Mother’s Scars Will Heal, and So Will Mine by ZahraHajee712 (Her mother suffered a brain aneurysm)
  20. Scar: Turning losses into gifts by joseph_mikolaycik (This teen had his heart set on graduating from a certain school)
  21. Scar: Sewing it Up by kber322 (The person she loved broke her heart)
  22. Scar: My Heart’s Daily Reminder by leemarie_97 (She didn’t anticipate a break up)
  23. Scar: My soul’s own Enemy and Hero by addies (This teen needed some recovery for her soul)
  24. Scar: A Benign Living Scar by Kofi Akosah (Her scar is her friend)
  25. Scar: The Scar That Is And Always Will Be by madi7722 (Her soccer coach was hell bent on bringing her down)
  26. Scar: Letting Go by WriterWoman123 (She left her home in China for a new life in America)
  27. Scar: A Place in My Heart by Sagea (This teen misses her brother, who left when she was young)
  28. Scar: The Girl in the Mirror by CrimsonQuill757 (She used to argue with the girl in the mirror)
  29. Scar: The year of hell by kaddy_squire (No one deserves to be bullied)
  30. Scar: The scar that never fades by BrittanyOenning13 (Her best friend died unexpectedly)
  31. Scar: Ugly Imperfections or Beautiful Battles? by kaitlin159 (Scars remind us of our hardships and challenges)
  32. Scar: Separation by miranda.jackson (She had to pick between living with her mom or dad)
  33. Scar: The Checkered Board by John Michael Loundres (This teen made a habit out of playing chess with his grandpa)
  34. Scar: You’ll Never Know by america233 (Her mom has had heart problems since she was a child)
  35. Scar: A Mundane Multitude by MKParmenter (This teen feels isolated)
  36. Scar: Stronger by 1830640 (This teen outgrew the mean whispers and taunts)
  37. Scar: Beautiful Scars by Asha (Her grandmother sadly got breast cancer)
  38. Scar: Lingering Hope by Synieshiea (This teen always hoped to hear from her father again)
  39. Scar: Forever Affecting Me For the Better by Little Miss Dreamer (Her friend left a permanent scar of joy on her heart)
  40. Scar: Defining the Pain of My Past by esmallwood (This teen lost her father to cancer)
  41. Scar: What is Love? by Dynamicide (He had an unfortunate ending to a friendship with his best girl friend)
  42. Scar: A camel tied to a tree by chaeri (Scars aren’t mistakes—they are reminders)
  43. Scar: Love dampens all by Wittacker (This teen is amazed to be in love)
  44. Scar: The scars that change us by BlackFlame (This teen’s sister overdosed on sleeping pills)
  45. Scar: Sensitive Scar by Genevieve Orons (She is glad to know that there are organizations to help people with Autism)
  46. Scar: How Shakespeare almost killed me by kennainky (Depression is addictive)
  47. Scar: The Greatest Scar I Had To by oscar dey (This teen’s first semester was rough)
  48. Scar: Cursed Scars by stephanie.cx.984 (This teen wishes she could forget about her scars)
  49. Scar: The Flames From Burned Bridges by AT (This teen had an emotionally draining friend)
  50. Scar: A Bad Memory by Mondragon_crystal (This teen accidentally hurt her brother)
  51. Scar: Victories by angieisawesome (She was saved by Jesus)
  52. Scar: Perfection by Lily_Reeds (This teen just wanted to be perfect)
  53. Scar: Memory by sarai villatoro (This teen’s father was uninterested in spending time with his kids)
  54. Scar: The Tree is Still Standing by arielnguyen (This teen was regularly bullied)
  55. Scar: The Anarchy Within by Corrine (Her scar is sewn together by the memory of her brother)
  56. Scar: Etched with a Name by poemwriter4life (She feels abandoned by her friend)

 

Essays about Physical & Emotional Scars


  1. Scar: The Pain Behind a Simple Mark by Babybluzes (This teen was hurting herself emotionally by hurting herself physically)
  2. Scar: The Reminder of My Suffering by thatchickkbri (She self-harmed to escape the pain in her everyday life)
  3. Scar: Pure Madness by Iheartpsychology (This teen’s not sure she’ll ever get over the urge to self harm)
  4. Scar: Catheter, Dialysate, and the Waiting Game by breeezyxb (A simple infection put her in the hospital for six weeks)
  5. Scar: A Silver Lining by crystalneoh31 (Her emotional diagnosis led to family closeness)
  6. Scar: Tattooed memories by Alecompte (Scars tell the stories of those around us)
  7. Scar: Self Harm by Paige Murphy (She cut to relieve the anxiety of her home life)
  8. Scar: What I Couldn’t See by Gingersnap (This teen remembers a kind friend who endured a lot in her life)
  9. Scar: Never Forget by shakeyreid (This teen had a drug addiction problem that got out of control)
  10. Scar: I am alive by auliela (This teen survived a dark time in her life)
  11. Scar: Life Lasting Lessons by Inferncorvus (She accidentally suffocated a bunny)
  12. Scar by Jenmillertary (She burned and cut herself)
  13. Scar: Definition of who we are? by ReginaCV (Scars are little miracles in our lives)
  14. Scar: Maybe the Scar Won’t Go, But the Nightmares Will by horsesrunwild34 (She wanted to wear a strapless dress for homecoming, but her scar showed)
  15. Scar: The ones left by my own hands by who_knows (She is a soldier who won her own battle)
  16. Scar: Symbols of Strength by Arielle22 (She remembers a variety of scars)
  17. Scar: Mumbly-peg by rubyslayer101 (This teen was always called “emo”)
  18. Scar: Hidden Vulnerabilities by Alpie123 (She doesn’t like to show off her scar)
  19. Scar: Sports, Round Butts, and Natalie Portman by fbiafore97 (She wants to feel beautiful, despite the pressure from society)
  20. Scar: Stumble by anheldaniela (Scars make us what we are)
  21. Scar: Inside and Out by ninja-duck (This teen self-harms, but hopes to stop)
  22. Scar: I am my own worst enemy by mandyrox18 (This teen starved herself in hopes of achieving perfection)
  23. Scar: It could never happen to me by peightonbolt (She survived a head-on collision)
  24. Scar: The Time I Was Scared And Alone by Mystery Writer75 (This teen got into a fight with a girl she barely knew)
  25. Scar: Torn Away From My Identity by Arobb13 (This teen had to stop playing baseball for surgery)
  26. Scar: San Juan by Baileytilmay (She found a friend who encouraged her to recover)
  27. Scar: The Seen and Un-seen by iam_me (This teen is proud of her scars)
  28. Scar: My Experience by Macster25 (This teen couldn’t handle physical and emotional pain)
  29. Scar: The Emotional and Physical Robbery by omar.hussein.21 (This teen and his friends were robbed at gunpoint)
  30. Scar: Self-Harm by dramophone (This teen is amazed that she is still alive)
  31. Scar: A Wound That Remains Open by annixroy22 (She still scarred by the memory of loneliness she endured in middle school)
  32. Scar: Sullied Demon Flesh by zoomthemaster (She remembers the first time she ever heard the phrase “thigh gap”)




Video Resources About Scars

As part of the writing contest and teen survey, StageofLife.com provided the following video resources about teen scars....

Video:  Find your inner star: Krystian Leonard at TEDxBocaRaton



Finding her Inner Star and realizing her power to change self-perception and become her own kind of beautiful, Krystian Leonard, founder of the non-profit Shining Scars, shares her powerful journey from being taunted and tormented as a young girl with visible scars, now helps to empower children and teens to rise above the stigma of their scars.



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          StageofLife.com hosts educational, national, monthly writing and blogging contests for teens and college students.  In its mission to provide students an authentic community to share their opinions and publish their ideas, StageofLife.com will strive to continue its commitment to giving teens and college students a larger voice. 

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          Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by StageofLife.com.  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on TIME.com, and features in the news.  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 you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

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