Teen Voices: The Stress is Real
One of the common phrases I hear at school is, “Ugh, I’m so stressed out,” so I took a closer look as to why. High school is a difficult bridge between childhood and adulthood, with teen stress stemming from many factors, most notably academic and social concerns.
Academics are rigorous, with challenging curriculums, large amounts of homework and standardized tests. Working to succeed becomes especially difficult when mixed with a multitude of extracurricular commitments, such as clubs, sports, performance groups, jobs and more. It is not uncommon for teens to arrive home at six or seven o’clock and still have two or three hours of homework to complete for the next day. On top of this daily time crunch, many teens are also concerned about the future—whether intended or not, teens feel the pressure to know what career path and/or college they should choose.
In high school, teenagers are also figuring out where they fit in socially. Society has constructed an idea of what normal is, but what if someone doesn’t fall into the “normal” category? Insecurities about personality and body image can decrease teens’ self esteem by making them feel like they have failed to meet what are actually unrealistic expectations. Even little things like a negative comment or a bad hair day can be enough to deplete a teen’s self worth.
However, support and understanding from family members, peers and educators can help teens find their way through these difficult aspects of growing up. When teens know they have someone to turn to, someone to talk to, someone who will listen, someone who accepts them just the way they are, the daily grind of teenage life is just that little bit easier.
Hannah Adamson is a junior in high school. She practices meditation and takes ThetaHealing courses with Reshma Shah in Westfield, New Jersey. May 2018