The psychology behind teen pressures



Marisa Fidone, Staff Writer

In today’s world, teenagers are expected to know what they want to do, what schools they want to attend and what profession they wish to pursue, now, earlier than ever before. Whether it is the new and more advanced environment that we live in, which is fast-paced, there are varying pressures including the pressure to be successful, the pressure to fit in, and more.

Specific contexts inevitably make being a teenager more stressful. For example, recently, teenagers as young as in elementary school are put on “success” tracks that organize their interests in correlation to their future ideal career. 

Debatably, systems such as “success” tracks are helpful, however, teachers and school districts distributing “success tracks” assume every student plans to attend college. In bias, teachers express the importance of obtaining a lengthly educational background before adulthood. Additionally, teachers believe today’s youth must get into the most prestigious colleges if they want to “succeed” in today’s competitive job demand. 

“Most of the time I get very stressed because I am held at such high standards. I am expected to hold a strong GPA of 4.2 and I spent some of the summer working on SAT prep. Although it pays off, I want a break because I may not even be doing it for myself, but rather for my parents’ satisfaction,” said Jojo Mcpherson (21’).

While parents deny placing strenuous expectations on their teenagers, the youth’s perception is that they are expected to be successful, and perfect at everything. Whether it is from parents, teachers, coaches, and friends it appears there is a great risk to fail. 

Unfortunately, instead of failure being sought as a learning opportunity, agreeably in today’s society, it is seen as a step back or other times seen as utterly unacceptable. 

“If I mess up one test, it is seen as the end of the world. Most of the time, I make it harder on myself, my parents are forgiving with mistakes, but when I mess up I need to work one-hundred times harder the next time,” said Jojo Mcpherson (21’).

Work is especially stressful for teens because it takes time away from extracurricular activities, academics, volunteering, and simply the enjoyment of being young. 

“Although the whole point of school is academics, social interaction is the majority of high school. I miss hanging out with my friends because I am always working hard,” said Jojo Mcpherson (21’).

Overwhelmingly, it is no surprise that teens are held at unrealistic expectations. Unboutingly entertainment and advertising have a big influence when it comes to body image.

Likewise, these pressures inflict stress physically and emotionally. Thankfully, the solution to stressful expectations is for society to recognize and appreciate how different their adulthood is from teens’ interests. 

Additionally, it is essential to praise special talents and nurture the youth’s latest interests instead of deeming them as different. Growing up is stressful, however, everybody is unique.

Often, the latest generations are looked down upon or viewed as immature; but today, career interest and media image are always changing and although it is not easy growing up, it does get better.