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October 24, 2008

Down Time

This Extra Ink was written by our intern, Betsy C.

I know you're busy. School, work, volunteering, college applications, and even potentially a social life in there somewhere keep most teens scrambling from the crack of dawn until . . . umm . . . just before the next crack of dawn?

At Teen Ink, however, we value creativity and imagination for their own sakes, not just because they might help you get the big letter from Prestigious University X (though we won't complain if it helps, of course.) So this week, I want to encourage you to take some 'down time.'

Large parts of our website are devoted to just that. On our bulletin boards, for example, you can talk about school, work, and all that good stuff, but there are also threads on everything from dating and relationships to art, writing, and just random thoughts. And starting this week, we have a brand-new feature: the Teen Ink Book Club!

Our very first Book of the Month (A Prayer for Owen Meany) is already posted; you can go there right now and start chatting. We've already got a bunch of great books lined up--and stuff you probably won't get assigned in English class, either. And the best part? You can help decide which book the thousands of teens who visit our site will read and discuss every month! Just post your suggestions by clicking on this link.

So yeah, you're busy. The life of a middle- or high-schooler is rarely mellow, and maybe you're thinking that more reading is not exactly what you need right now. But get on TeenInk.com/talk and voice your woes (or joys) . . . I'm willing to bet there's another teen on the site who can relate. And if you need a small escape, I can pretty much guarantee that our books of the month will provide it for you.

Got ideas for a great Extra Ink or something you'd like to see covered here? Reply to this e-mail to send us suggestions for websites, events, or organizations that would excite you or teens you know . . . we'd love to hear from you!

Have you read anything RAW lately? Check out TeenInk.com/Raw and rate stories, give authors feedback, and get your favorite articles to the most popular list. Heck, submit your own work and see if you can become the most popular author on Teen Ink RAW!

P.S. Call For Submissions: Are you touring colleges? Tell us what you think of them. Did the dorms stink? Were they too small? Was the cafeteria food amazing? Was it in a big city, or in the middle of nowhere? Send us your College Reviews now, and save your peers from the bad choices, and point them in the direction of the good.

Find Teen Ink on Facebook and MySpace and join our online community. Start participating in weekly writing exercises, updates on contests and cool websites, and a ton more! And don't forget to tell your friends about us.

Miss an Extra Ink? Go to TeenInk.com/ExtraInk for past e-newsletters.



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