1) What do you think are the most intense challenges for teens in Grade 8?I think that one of the most intense challenges for teens in general is to be themselves. It's hard to not let other people influence what you do or say, even if if you don't want to do it. It is important for teens to find a balance between sleep, school, and social events, or else it can get very overwhelming. It is also very important to find real friends who care fir you and know that you can always count on your family to help you. You shouldn't care what people think of you or your body, as long as you are happy with it.
2) How can we deal with pressures/expectations to have a certain body image, or to fit in, or to handle our friendships or engage in dating relationships?
I feel that in those types of occasions you just need to surround yourself with people that make you feel comfortable in your own skin, whether it's friends or family. Remember that there are always people willing to help you when you are going through a tough time, whether it is feeling insecure about yourself or if it's someone that is making you uncomfortable. Staying true to the real you is very important. People shouldn't decide what you are, or who you are.