Struggles of being a teenager
by Hallie Huang
In today’s generation, teens are facing issues that no previous generation has ever faced. With the emergence of technology and its constant advances, it has brought about new issues and has also built upon some of the struggles.
Depression is one of the most common issues that teens face. Studies has shown that 3.1 million adolescents in the United States has had at least one major depressive episode, representing 12.8% of the U.S. population. One of the causes has been technology. When technology started to come into play, teens became more absorbed with their smartphones and social media and spent less time face-to-face. As a result, their psychological well-being started to plummet and also lost connections with those around them. Not only that but social media has set the standards for posts where many would compare themselves to others and feel pressured to uphold perfection. Additionally, high school has also played a major role in teen’s depression. Upon entering high school, students are burdened with the expectations that they must pass their classes and get into college or else they will become jobless. However, the competition for getting into certain colleges has intensified and now in order to have a good chance to get in, one must load up on APs, honors, and extracurriculars. Students must then bear the great deal of pressure which is unfortunately a normal part of the process of being teenager.
Everyday there are teens who are terrified to go to school with the thought that they may be bullied again. Bullying is a major problem in school which involves physical, verbal, emotional, and cyber bullying. When entering school, many students are often bullied because they’re different, whether it may be because of their race, sexuality, religion, disability, weight, height, or intelligence. Thus, many are forced to conform to social norms and give into peer pressure to avoid being bullied while at the same time leaving their sense of individuality and identity. Physical bullying is more common among boys whereas teenage girls often favor verbal and emotional bullying. Now that technology has become such a big part in teen’s lives, it has increased the use of cyber bullying through instant messaging and social media to humiliate and embarrass others.
Drug and alcohol use has also become a rising issue among high schoolers. Many teens start to do drugs due to curiosity, peer pressure, stress, emotional struggles, or a desire to escape. Many teens underestimate how easy it is to develop an addiction and do not understand the risks associated with overdosing. Hence that is how teens become vulnerable to trying it because their curiosity gets the best of them and desire to try something new and risky, so they are more likely to experiment and go beyond their boundaries. Plus, many are faced with the offer to try drugs and alcohol by their peers since it is “cool”, causing them to give into peer pressure. Also, drugs are known to help provide relief from stress. During high school, many students reach a point where they are constantly overwhelmed by stress, so they desire to escape that feeling of stress by taking drugs for a moment of relief.
Thus, being a teenager is a part of life that everyone goes through but while some face it with no problems, others face many difficulties. It is important for parents, guardians and teachers to be aware of what issues teens may be going through so that they can help and try to resolve the problem. As for those teens who are struggling, they should not be afraid to reach out to others for help and they should also realize that while difficult times are a part of life, once they learn how to hope with it, life will get better.