The stress-filled lives of teens

20 August 2019 | Columns

Leia Boulogne

In today’s society, teenagers are prone to experiencing more stress than the average teenager should.

A main factor of this stress is schoolwork. Each year academic systems change, bringing in higher levels of education for each grade, which causes younger individuals to start doing higher level work, and not starting with the basics at a younger age. They end up drowning in the huge amount of work and knowledge. Individuals are pressured into getting good grades from a young age. They are taught to get good grades, in order to get a good job. They are taught that if they do not get a good job, they will not make enough money and create a better future for themselves. What they do not realise is that, in order to create a better future for themselves, they need to do what they enjoy doing.

Instead of enjoying the high school experience, individuals get pressured into deciding what they need to become in the future. Some teenagers do not even know what they want to do yet, because they try to actually enjoy their own high school experience. If learners get too pressured, they end up not caring about their work and grades, and consequently, they have to redo their current grade, or in a worst case scenario, they drop out of school. After they drop out, they do not end up becoming independent and they struggle to get a job. In other cases, individuals end up taking a gap year, to take a break from any sort of school activities, and to sort out their financial situations, before embarking on their college journey, if they do choose to study further.

Furthermore, once a learner steps into high school, they are constantly reminded of having to decide what they want to do in their future. They receive aptitude tests, left and right, and they have to do every sort of task in order to choose a career path. For example, they have to work during their vacation time doing different jobs, in order to get insight into a job they would like to do. For some individuals, this might seem like a great idea, but in other cases, some would like to spend their vacation time relaxing and staying away from any hard work or labour.

Most individuals are rooted in their sport. It is what drives them and it is what they see themselves doing in their future. It may be the only thing they would want to do. But, with the overwhelming amount of schoolwork, which the teachers provide, they end up not being able to maintain their priorities. They start slacking in their homework and in class they do not care to listen. Their main focus is on their sport, but if they do not start to succeed in their schoolwork, they may have to leave their sport. All of this leads to an imbalance in their priorities. If they do not pay attention to one thing, the other one will not succeed. This causes the students to become stressed. They end up not knowing what they have to do and that leads to more stress.

As a result, individuals start living unhealthy lives and struggle mentally and physically. This can be the main cause of anxiety and depression. They do not know how to live their lives creatively and on their own terms, without the stress of school and homework looming over their heads.

Consequently, all of these factors lead to an unhealthy relationship with friends and family. While they are consumed by the stress of completing an assignment or learning for an important test, they are not able to spend time with their friends and family, and that leads to unbalanced relationships.

In conclusion, if a student would like to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce their stress levels, they need to know how to manage the imbalance between school and their personal lifestyles. Teachers need to take it slow in terms of forcing students to choose their career paths. They should let them think about it in their own time, without any pressure, because with the constant pressure of having to choose the right career, they might end up choosing the wrong one. Let teenagers enjoy their school journey, and let them live in a stress-free environment, and they will most likely succeed.

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