your back to school checklist!

Here’s how:

  • Get to Know Your Rights: Teens in California have a right to comprehensive sex education! Make sure your high school offers sex ed and learn about what topics must be covered in this class. Not getting the information you should be? Let us know! Teens also have a right to access confidential health care services during school hours and to stay in school if they are pregnant or parenting. You also have a right to get FREE and CONFIDENTIAL sexual health services like birth control, STD testing, and more! Be sure you brush up on all of your rights as you head back to school!
  • Get Tested: About half of all sexually active teens will get an STD before their 25th birthday and many of them won’t even know it. Because the most common types of STDs don’t have any symptoms, you can put you and your partner at risk. The only way to know your status for sure is by getting tested for STDs. Find a clinic near you, learn more about STDs and how to get tested! It’s easy.
  • Get Vaccinated: HPV is a very common STD that can cause cancer or genital warts, but there’s a vaccine you can get to protect yourself. Sometimes people are vaccinated at age 9 but if you haven’t had the HPV vaccine yet, it is not too late! Many clinics provide the vaccine for free and you don’t need a parent’s permission to get vaccinated for HPV. Find a clinic near you to get vaccinated!
  • Get Free Condoms: Besides abstinence, condoms are the only way to protect against pregnancy AND STDs! Find a location to pick up FREE condoms near you! If you are a teen in certain areas, we’ll send you a packet of 10 free condoms along with lube and information on STDs in the MAIL! Before you get busy with homework and tests, stock up on free condoms!
  • Get a Birth Control Method that is Right for You: When you start looking to get on birth control, you’ll find there are so many options. That’s why it’s important you find the one that is right for you. Learn about the different options and think about the one that fits into your lifestyle so you use it regularly. If you want to start birth control or get a new method, find a clinic near you!
  • Do a Relationship Check In: When it comes to all of the relationships in your life (friends, family, romantic relationships), it is important to make sure they are healthy, positive parts of your life! Check out our tips for talking to your parents and direct them to Talk With Your Kids if they need help talking to you! Your peers and friends are also important. Think about how they treat you and how you treat them. Remember there is no reason to use peer pressure or bully your friends. Unhealthy romantic relationships are common, especially for teens. Be sure your partner listens to you and respects you and learn more about healthy romantic relationships.
  • Get the Hookup: Sign up to get quick tips about life, love, sex and health sent right to your phone! You can sign up for the Hookup texts by sending “hookup” to 877877 or filling out the form.

We hope these tips help you have a safe and healthy start to your school year! There’s 99 things to worry about in high school and owning your health shouldn’t be one of them.

Get Involved with TeenSource

Want to blog for TeenSource? Click here to find out how CA teens can help educate their peers about sex + reproductive health.

This blog was reposted from, a project of Essential Access Health. is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.

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