December 1, 2008
By Sara Counter, Woodbridge, VA

Teenagers of the age 13 to 18 are constantly under pressure from school work, drugs and alcohol, or peer pressure. All this pressure is forcing teens to make decisions that will affect their adult lives and to ruin their health by taking drugs and smoking. Girls are getting pregnant at young ages. Gangs are stealing from and killing people. Many teen girls skip meals to get thinner because the people on TV are skinnier than them. Someone has to stop this now before those teens grow up and become adults and teach their kids to do the same thing they did when they were kids.

During school, some teens in middle school and high school don’t pay attention and slack off. Bad grades and office referrals give these kids attention so they do it over and over again. A lot of a child’s behavior at school comes from their home. If the child doesn’t get a lot of attention at home then they’re going to want some at school. Dating in school can lead to inappropriate hall behavior and passing notes during class. Some teens even use their cell phones to text during class. When these kids get caught, it goes on their permanent record and may affect their college choice selection.

Drugs and alcohol effect teen’s lives in many ways. Health problems often are a result to using drugs like crack and pot. Smoking can cause breathing problems and lung cancer. Alcohol can make teens do things that they wouldn’t do normally. Cutting lines in your wrist is a bad habit and can lead to loss in hand use if you cut one arm too much at once. All of these things are addicting and often influence bad behavior and cloudy thoughts. Many teens think it’s cool to do these things just because they aren’t allowed to do it. Rebelling rules and laws is fun, until you get caught. Many kids do stupid things because of a thing called Peer pressure.

Peer pressure is when a friend influences you to do something you know is wrong. Stealing candy from a gas station because your friend told you to is a great example of peer pressure. Teens need to stand up to these friends because if they want you to something wrong, then they aren’t your true friends. Many kids do things to impress a group or club so they can fit in. Some kids even fail classes because this group requires at least an F on your report card. Most teens do things to impress a boy or girl they like. Girls dress inappropriately and boys sag their pants because it’s cool. Cell phones, myspace, and chat rooms become necessary if kids are going to be cool in school. All of this is distracting to the learning environment.

Why do teens chose to make bad decisions and take drugs? The answer is simple. Pressure inflicted on teenagers is even greater with the influences of TV and what is labeled “cool” by their peers. Help kids make the right decisions. If you have a friend that has a drug addiction or an alcohol problem, tell a responsible adult right away. Even though they might get into trouble, your friend will thank you later on in their life. Don’t make the “cool” decision, make the right decision.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Feb. 1 2009 at 2:42 pm
hi sara, good article. just one point; what you have written is true, but maybe a bit too moralizing. otherwise, good description of each problem.

beijomom said...
on Jan. 29 2009 at 12:26 am
Excellent article, Sara. Very well written ... you definately did your homework on this one. I look forward to your next article.

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