Pressures to be succeed are far greater for teens today than they were for past generations


Photo courtesy of Google Images

Daria Gershkovitch - Staff Writer

The millennial generation, those born around year 2000 exemplifies and is characterized by two seemingly opposite qualities: laid-back, hippie-era values and extreme stress levels. 

“You just don’t get it!” said every teenager ever.  For generations, people have complained about teenagers and their irrational values, but the change in culture has altered far too much for the back-in-my-day speech from our elders.  Parents and teachers are blissfully unaware of the stress that accompanies the daily lives of teens.  Students know that college is an important step in the path to success, but the competition is fiercer now than ever before.  People who find themselves constantly logged onto their social media accounts are associated with stress.  Also, teenagers are undeniably strained because of their unknown futures.

Students are stressing out more than ever over their education.  The competition to get into college has significantly intensified over the years.  Students will put themselves through countless hours of extra-curricular activities and studying for Advanced Placement and honors classes to ensure a jumpstart for their futures.  According to Center on the Developing Child, stress and sleep-deprivation disrupt the development of the brain and cause cognitive impairment, which will ultimately impact adulthood.

“I think high school students today are more stressed than ever before,” said counselor Lauren Freedman.  “All because of the competitive factors between students and the difficulties of getting accepted into universities.”

Social media networks have opened doors people never could have imagined.  Unfortunately, teenagers and social networking have a complicated relationship.  According to The Pew Foundation, social network users are 14 percent more likely to characterize their lives as “somewhat stressful”.  The worst part of this generation’s technology addiction is that those who choose to log off are essentially ending their social lives.  Actions like sending nude pictures and participating in online bullying will result in social anxiety, depression, weight issues and suicide.  Many students fall to the pressures of their social reputations.

This generation must rise to the occasion and create a better life for everyone.  The unknown future puts unbearable pressure on this generation’s shoulders.  Society is dependent on children obtaining a career, but even those that live in financially comfortable situations today are concerned they will be unable to achieve such a lifestyle in adulthood.  Today’s youth lives well currently, but these teens doubt they can continue in the same lifestyle.

Stress can be one’s motivator or one’s downfall, leading an individual’s self-destruction.  Past generations often forget to understand that people of today’s generation have a great deal of pressure riding on their shoulders all due to the academic, social and future expectations bestowed upon them.