Rogoff was bullied in elementary and middle school, and those experiences inspired him to become a Sources of Strength leader his freshman year.
“I was called a lot of things about my weight,” said Rogoff, and “a good portion of it was some people using derogatory slurs towards people who aren’t straight because I acted flamboyant as a kid.”
In high school, the bullying subsided, but he’s still wrestling with its effects on his mental health.
The pandemic has also taken a toll. Social isolation has been particularly difficult, and he misses in-person classes, swim team, marching band practice and going to movie theaters.
At the same time, he’s intentional about using the coping skills he’s developed.
“If I feel sad, I’ll just play the piano and feel much better. I like playing video games, so that’s a lot of fun to be able to take anger out or just have fun. I’ve also taken up boxing,” Rogoff said.
Social media is another tool that’s new to him. Before the pandemic, Rogoff wasn’t allowed to use social media, but now his parents let him use apps like Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.
“That helped so much because I was able to connect with people that I hadn’t talked to in years,” he said. “It’s crazy to be able to talk to so many people on just a couple of different platforms.”
Through the pandemic, he’s found it’s important to “take action” when he feels down about himself.
“I think that’s something that I’ve learned is really important and helped me through this time.”
This profile is based on a panelist interview for “Call to Mind Presents: Life’s Not On Hold – Teens Navigate Missed Milestones.” On Jan. 28, 2021, Colorado Public Radio’s Avery Lill will lead a discussion with and for teens to share their experiences, along with licensed therapist and school social worker Feliz Fraser, and Rosalind Wiseman, teen mental health advocate and author of “Queen Bees and Wannabes.” The discussion will explore the losses teens have faced during the pandemic and solutions for navigating this turbulent time in their lives.