Is there even such a thing as a bored teenager _ or even a bored person, period?

They don't exist in today's hurried society because we all have mounds of tasks still to do at any given moment, or somewhere to be five minutes ago. Some of those tasks could be stress-relieving, though, right? We should set aside times for relaxing and creative outlets. The Oneonta Teen Center provides many of these escapes, so you can be active but enjoy it at the same time.

Located on the corner of Academy and Fairview streets, in the historic, set-in-sepia-looking armory, there's always something going on. Let me tell you some of the upcoming ventures.

T-shirts are a big part of today's style, not that I really know about styles. But do you ever just want to make your own tees exactly the way you want?

There was a design your own T-shirt activity during the summer and, because of its popularity, it's starting up again in November and December from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursdays.

The T-shirts are designed to fit your personality because you design them with what you're into. So whether you want to promote your favorite band, or a band you're a part of, or you simply want a specific imprint, it's a great idea.

They're created using stencils, and you have to bring your own shirts. This is important because there aren't excess shirts lying around except a few extra-larges. If you love artistic design, here's a cheap easy way to create.

An event that started on Oct. 25 and continuing through December, the Make the Band activity invites talented teens in the performing arts to come together in one meshed show. They meet on Wednesdays between 7 and 8:30 p.m.

There's a few more things in the music avenue because, of course, "music is life." Guitar and drum lessons are starting up, so if these are instruments you want to learn, come on down and speak to someone at the center about a lesson.

Lessons will be Fridays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. during the months of November and December.

Then if you get proficient enough in your instrument and want to produce a CD, the center's going to have a make your own CD special starting Nov. 7 and running Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. This will include how to make CDs, how to make them appealing to buyers out there, what songs to keep, and what order to have those songs.

The music industry is booming now with huge amounts of competition thrown at you, so if it's what you want to do with your life, don't hesitate to get some instruction.

Concerts happen year round at the center. There's one on Nov. 10 and then an acoustic night on the 30th, both from 7 to 11 p.m.

In December, acoustic night is the 15th and there's live music during First Night (Dec. 31), also from 7 to 11 p.m. On the Dec. 28, Jimkata is coming to present a benefit concert.

If music's not so much your vein but art is, there's an art show on Nov. 16 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Work will be showcased in an open house form, so if there's anything you want to get out there for the world to see (or just Oneonta for now) bring it over and see if it sells.

If the Teen Center finds you as one of it's frequenters, ask about its free memberships.

With this membership you'll get $1 off admissions to shows (except benefits, of course) so there's no reason not to. Those bucks will add up.

The Teen Center dishes out creative things to take part in every week. Its intent is not to create more busyness in your life but to encourage those talents in us kids, which need encouragement sometimes to keep growing.

The performing arts, music, photography, writing, graphic design or any other creative pursuits are in demand now and there's no better way to cultivate those talents than in an environment developed with our age group in mind.

Or if you just want to have fun and hang out doing something you love without the pressures to be excellent, that's another reason to stop by and check it out.

I am advocating this establishment because I believe sometimes we need direction and outlets to express ourselves while we're figuring out who we are and who we want to be!

Jessica Bailey is a senior at Lighthouse Christian Academy in Oneonta.

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