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The Annual Teen Takeover Issue is Out!

TianTian Xu Jingkids 2021-10-19

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Editor's Note

TianTian Xu


This time last summer, an editor from Jingkids asked me to write a food review on a Turkish restaurant for the annual Teen Takeover issue.


The idea both excited and terrified me. I hadn’t eaten out at a restaurant in months. I’d never interviewed anyone, never published anything I’ve written, and certainly never tried Turkish food.


But sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith.


That article I never could have imagined myself writing ended up changing my life. Thanks to editors like Mina Yan at Jingkids for giving me the opportunity to take that first step—a first step that led to a Jingkids internship, nearly a dozen bylines, and the skills that helped me bring our school magazine back to life.

Mina Yan and TianTian Xu

This summer, I’m back as the first student Managing Editor of the annual Teen Takeover— the same issue that started me on this journey.


For the first time, this special issue of our magazine is produced almost entirely by students under 18, some as young as 13, working in almost every department, from editors to photographers to designers to writers.


Memories from the cover photoshoot


I’ve learned so much from everyone here. From our lunch time hangouts to in-office jokes to the draft after draft I’ve received every day since the start of the month, you’ve pushed me to become a better editor, writer, and person.


Growing up is hard. Even now, writing this editor’s note, I’m rereading every word, terrified of the idea of others reading what I’ve written and what they might think. It’s just as scary as taking the first step outside to write my first article. But without that first step I wouldn’t be where I am today, sharing with you all the wonderful stories we came up with under the theme “lessons on growing up”.


Even though we can’t travel outside of China, there are plenty of places sunny and sandy near Beijing to explore (p20). Don’t forget to grab your bags, cause we’re packing these three fun books that’ll make you seem like a literature genius to mom and dad (p10).


Frustrated by the heat? Keep cool with these traditional Beijing ice creams (p28) while discovering the hidden stories behind your favorite Beijing destinations (p26).

Find out what teens today think about curfews (p32), tiger moms (p37), and the ever-present struggles of navigating long-distance friendships (p14). Read about overcoming the fears of starting high school (p44), what the heck “yeet” and other teen lingo means (p36), and one teen’s experience publishing a poetry book with her sister about growth (p46).


I could not be prouder of what we’ve accomplished together. Thank you once again to all the grown-up editors at Jingkids for taking a chance on us teens and for giving us this opportunity to grow and to shine.


TianTian Xu

Managing Editor


Images: Mina Yan, Uni You, Dave Hanssen

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