02/14/2014 12:18 pm ET Updated Apr 16, 2014

What My Students Worry About the Most

In my nine years as an educator, I have spent the majority of my time with teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18, and I have come to one certainty: Teenagers say some of the most profound, and most entertaining, things you could ever imagine. A day doesn't go by that my students don't enlighten me with their genuine innocence or entertain me with their youthful ignorance. For that reason, I believe there is so much we, as adults, can learn from today's youth. So, I decided to not only empower my students, but give them a forum where they can freely, and without judgment, share their thoughts, views and opinions on the topics that are current and being discussed in the mainstream media. Be prepared, because I can never predict what they may think or say.

So, here is what my students worry about the most.

"I worry about grades. For instance, if I just took a quiz or test, I'll be concerned and anxious about what my grade will be... even when I know that I studied for it." -- Toni, 10th grade

"I worry about being successful in the music industry, it is my main focus in life. So, I want perfection in my craft." -- Kennedy, 10th grade

"As a high school student, I worry most about my grades. I play a sport every season of the year, and if my grades aren't all passing, I'll get suspended from my team. If I don't maintain A's and B's, my mother will suspend me from playing. -- Taylor, 10th grade

"As a teenager, I worry about a bundle of things, even though it's my sophomore year, and I'm freaking out about getting into a good college, playing sports and my grades. Out of school, there are a lot more pressures that many teenage girls worry about, like guys, fashion and popularity." -- Jordann, 10th grade

"I worry about learning English, because it takes me a long time to learn about anything using English." -- Thinh Le, 10th grade

"I worry about a lot of things. Something I worry about is school and managing my time... and because I'm a busy person, I have to make time for myself." -- Nervens, 10th grade

"As a teenager, I worry about a lot of things. Right now, I have been worried about my grades and where I'm going to be in the future, or who I am going to become." -- Laurelle, 10th grade

"Something I worry about is there being a Holocaust against gay Uganda. Russia is on the same side with Uganda and there is a huge controversy of the issue. -- Arber, 10th grade

"I worry about failing, not just failing school. My biggest worry is being a failure at life to my family." -- Leshay, 10th grade

"As a teenager, I am most worried about being accepted into a University. I am also worried about the cost of tuition... I am also worried about regular teenage things, such as fashion and friends." -- Jada, 10th grade