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The Aquilian

Societal pressures on teens

Courtesy of Paul Thompson / UCLA School Of Medicine and taken from
Courtesy of Paul Thompson / UCLA School Of Medicine and taken from

Many people think that most teens have relatively easy lives with minimum responsibilities. While this may show some truth, the pressures of being young can be pretty unbearable. 

First and foremost, social outlets cause a false idea of what happiness can look like. Most young people and even adults get caught up looking at their phones for hours during the day. We usually see “flashy” lifestyles and think people have peak happiness, but many of those people really feel empty.

While young people like me think we know what we want, there’s still much-needed guidance from adults. 

According to the article “Deciphering the Teenage Brain” by Scott Edwards from Harvard Medical School, “A teen’s brain is only 80% developed.”

At large, young people are being overestimated in society, which makes them believe they’re greater than themselves. I can certainly relate to this when I think about the transition from being a kid to a young adult. Recently I’ve needed to rely on myself, but when I was a child, I had help for everything I did.

Although everyone disregards us for wanting to be “cool”, it comes from needing to fit our whole lives. Many parents push their kids to fill expectations and norms from a young age. They’ve been vastly feeding into this fake reality by doing the same thing as us. 

 According to Pew Research Center,“Sixty-one percent of teens feel pressure to get good grades and 21% feel pressured to play sports.”

The bottom line is parents need to lead by example and show it’s okay to be different from the rest. They can start by becoming aware of this issue and supporting their children or young loved ones. 

Being young is all about finding yourself, but it becomes challenging when you’re pulled away from what you want. Going in the same direction by choosing what’s popular usually slows young people from finding their passion.

We teens can begin to discover our passions by actively trying new activities, regardless of judgment from our peers. Finding a passion is one of the most important things we can do in this life to create goals. Teens and adults need to work together to create a loving environment for everybody. We must also go down our own paths, and it starts with not caring about what others think. 

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    Carol CorganFeb 24, 2023 at 11:48 am

    Well said, Tommy!