Pressure on high school students


Kate McCartney

LHS freshmen are hard at work in Mr. Stacy’s Algebra I class.

Madyson Lawson, Staff writer

Being a teenager is supposed to be the time in your life where you don’t have to worry about anything except having fun, but that seems unreachable. Most adults now reminisce on their younger days as the time of their lives, but forget that being a teen was just as stressful.

Teens are held up to such high standards and are expected to excel in everything they do. Some even experience punishments when not achieving what their parents or peers think is their highest potential. The pressure teens face can be very overwhelming on young developing minds, causing a direct effect on their mood, mental health, low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. 

“So, is it any surprise that studies show almost 1 in 4 young people will experience depression before they’re 19 years old? Unfortunately, growing numbers of young people are harming themselves as a way of coping with feelings of depression and anxiety,” said CABA in  Understanding the pressures children and teenagers face

Many children feel pressured to do well at school by their parents’ standards. For some, the eight hour school day plus the two hours of homework on top of any school, sports or community activities they’re a part of can feel overwhelming and cause them to feel stressed or upset. Alongside daily homework, there’s tests and exams to study for as well. 

When starting a new school year, job or activity most kids first thought is to make friends, and for those who don’t make friends easily, it can  feel isolating. Teens may also end up making bad choices that make them uncomfortable, solely for the acceptance of their peers.
Another big thing in one’s life is their parents and family; changes or disagreements between family members can be a big stresser on teens. They might feel the need to be the peacemaker and take on the task of sorting things out, causing immense stress on themselves. 

When all of these things build up it can be very overwhelming and stressful for these teens, possibly causing them to break mentaly. Teens should not be but under this much stress or held to such high standards, since their minds are still developing and vulnerable. This in turn could lead to various mental or physical problems.

“When peer pressure demands that they act in ways with which they are not comfortable, it can cause teens to suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety and depression,” said Sage Day in Peer Pressure and Depression in teenagers. 

If you’re concerned about any teenagers in your life, there are plenty of ways to help such as making sure they take breaks from their workload. Getting time away from school and other activities for a few hours could be really beneficial for their mental health. Having a few hours away from stressers to do what makes them happy will have great benefits for their mind, stopping it from going into overload. You can also make sure they’re eating and sleeping enough; part of keeping one’s mind happy is keeping their body happy. After all this, if you think your child may be depressed or have any sort of mental health issues, it’s in their best interest to reach out to a doctor and set up an appointment. 

It might be time to be more understanding with the teenagers in your life because you never know what they are dealing with.