Renae is a 16-year-old from Lowell, MI. She is a creative individual who spends a lot of her time reading and learning Japanese because she would like to become a Journalist in Japan.
We wake up, get ready for school, hang out with friends and complete chores along with other daily activities. Seems simple, huh? Only when you’re a parent. Most parents don’t see how stressful their teens lives are. One of the phrases I’ve heard the most out of parents is, “If you think your life is hard now, think of what it will be like living in the real world.” Teenagers are living in the real world and life can still be pretty rough before becoming an adult.
Compare this generation to the older generations. How many choices do kids have to make these days? We have so many more options, especially when it comes to technology. Imagine looking into a teenagers room back in 1950 and then stepping into the room of a teenager living in 2009. You would see a big difference in clothing, technology and unnecessary material possessions. There is so much available to young adults these days that it can sometimes be overwhelming.
School can be one of a teenagers biggest stress factors. Parents are always nagging kids about how important grades are. I’m not saying that’s not true; I completely agree. Instead of just telling teens that school is important, tell them why. I’ve learned why school is a big deal and believe me, I wish I had learned sooner.
As a junior, it is required that teenagers take the ACT test to graduate high school. Colleges have requirements as well as high school. There are certain test scores they will and will not accept and that makes the ACT a serious test. It determines which colleges teens will be accepted into which could affect the rest of their lives.
One of the hardest things about the end of high school is there are so many young adults that have no idea what they would like to do for a career. Parents encourage their kids to enter a certain business field based on the money they will make because the world today is a rough place financially. I do believe parents want what’s best for their kids and that is why they are encouraging them to go to college . They seem to be unaware of the stress they add onto their teenagers plates..
This next example of teenage stress is a hard subject to touch. Although teenagers have been on earth for what seems like a long time, doesn’t mean that they aren’t still new to the world. With all the different types of clothing, music and stereotyping it is hard for kids to define themselves. A lot of teenagers have problems with finding who they are especially with the constant change of examples in the media. When teenagers don’t have parents to look to as role models, they look to their friends and often to the idols on TV, in movies, or on the radio. Do you think teens do this for themselves or do you think they would like to fit in?
Peer pressure is a big issue in most schools. Teenagers try to change themselves to impress others around them. It’s an important subject that parents should be discussing with their kids on more than one occasion. Most parents think that as kids grow into their teen years, bullying isn’t as common. The truth is it can be worse. There are a lot of teenagers out there who don’t know how harmful their words can really be; the affects of bullying and peer pressure can even be fatal.
An experience in my school that I will never forget, happened my freshman year. There was an announcement one morning about the date for the funeral of one of the students I went to school with. At first, I was confused because I hadn’t heard anything about it, and later that day I learned a boy had hung himself in his bedroom. I also learned it was the cause of older students constantly teasing him about the way he looked and his personal interests. That student had so much potential and to think it was wasted because people bullied him and he actually took their words to heart. I’ll say it again, it is so important that parents talk to their kids about being themselves and who they are. The first step of a teenager being comfortable with who they are is when their parents can accept them for who they are.
One thing that can really help kids with stress is just talking to their parents about their lives. Having someone there to listen to them is like being in a dark hole for hours and then walking out into a sunny day. Teenagers have so much going on in their lives that it’s nice to be able to let it all out sometimes. Kids should be able to talk to their parents about anything and most kids are ready talk if parents are ready to listen.