Although the teenage years are filled with so many happy moments and memories, there also is a massive amount of pressure on teenagers to succeed in school, work, sports, extracurriculars, and so forth.
What is all this pressure for? While so many teenagers will quickly say college, I believe there is a much deeper answer to this.
Teenagers are always trying to outdo and compare themselves to their peers. They want to live up to the high expectations their parents and peers have put on them from an early age.
Living up to parents’ expectations can be especially difficult when the stress compounds: When you have to do schoolwork but you also have an away game at the same time; when you put off an assignment to do on a day where you were supposed to have off but your manager asks you to work an extra shift; when you have multiple tests in the same day and you do not have time to prepare for both.
There also has been a lot of talk regarding if millennials understand the amount of pressure teenagers have on them.
Summer Roberts, another member of our talented Teen Takes panel and a senior at Bordentown Regional High School, said, “Struggle is a subjective experience. Adults have long been removed from the pressures teenagers find themselves in, and in most cases, have not experienced similar struggles, most of which are impacted by modern technology and social media.”
While I most certainly agree with this, I also feel as though many millennials do not try to understand the pressures teenagers face because they have not experienced similar struggles.
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In addition, there has been a popular debate as to whether there is more pressure on teenagers nowadays compared to years in the past. While I feel like life is more stressful than the world our parents grew up in, Roberts feels it is the opposite.
“Our generation is saddled with the zoomer/doomer disposition, in which aggressive politics have colored our perception on how things ‘normally operated,’” she said. “While this all sounds more stressful than the age of ‘conventional politics’ that our parents grew up in, it’s usually depicted to be more freeing than anything. I can make it whatever I please, and disorder is something to be embraced.”
What I want people to take from this is to stop judging other people for their struggles because you may not understand their struggles as much as you think you do. You really should not make assumptions about what you do not know.
I also recommend finding a simple pleasure or hobby that you can pursue to help you cope with the stress or pressures you face.
Simple pleasures have the power to radiate happiness and positivity from something small and attainable. Some of my favorite simple pleasures are attending concerts, seeing the sunrise, listening to music, surfing, and creative writing.
Julie Hicks is a junior at Archbishop Ryan High School. Her hobbies include surfing, dancing, reading, playing tennis, theater, hanging out with friends and family, watching One Tree Hill and listening to Taylor Swift.