Misconceptions of Teenagers

January 3, 2011
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In today’s society teens are judged very harshly in everything they do. For many reasons it is because they do not live up to society’s expectations. Many teens also feel very isolated because adults in society do not understand the way they act and feel. Teens are expected to go to school, do homework, complete the house chores, and in some cases hold a job. Teenagers are not rude, mean, and isolated because they choose to be, they are like this because of the constant stress they go through. Teens exhibit said “symptoms” due to peer pressure, school stress, and nosy parents.
Friends are a means of escape, whether it be from parents, siblings, or school. Friends can also pressure teens into doing things that they might regret later on in life. Many teens today feel that it is okay to smoke, drink and do other drugs, but in reality it is not. Teens also feel that if they do not drink or smoke that their friends will want nothing to do with them so in order to sustain these friendships, teens fall into peer pressure and do the drugs. A teen from Lexington High School recalled that when they were at a party they were offered drugs and refused. When they refused they were ridiculed for a very long time because they were considered to be a “baby”.
Teens are not only pressured into doing illicit substances, but they are also pressured into what to say, what to wear, and in how to act. Teens are considered outcasts if they do not dress, act, and talk like everyone else. “I remember when I first moved here and people kept on saying y’all, and I had no idea what they were saying. Then when I asked them the meaning of “y’all”, I was made fun of because I didn’t know what it meant and because I used “you guys” and “you all” and not y’all,” thirteen year old Damien Hanna said. Teens do not always have the good life as many adults say, teens have to go through peer pressure constantly and sometimes the pressure is not so easy to walk away from.
High School is not just a place for friends to get together and talk about the latest sports or TV shows, it is a place for teens to get an education so they can move forward in life. Lexington High School is one of the thousands of schools in the nation that offer numerous levels of courses. For example, one can take Physics Theory, Physics Honors, IB Physics, or AP Physics. The variety of levels can cause stress amongst the students enrolled in the class. Guidance counselors tell their students that colleges would rather them have a “B or a C” in an honors or AP class than an “A” in a seminar or theory class, because it shows that the student is up for a challenge. This advice causes an increase in enrollment in the classes because many students want to get into the college of their dreams. The work load and test difficulty can also vary depending upon which level is taken by the student. One LHS student stated, “Physics Theory is a 2 on a scale of one to ten based on difficulty, Physics Honors is a 4, IB Physics is a 6, and AP Physics is a 9.” This scale is a rough demonstration of the various levels of Physics and its difficulty. Those enrolled in many honors and AP classes have immense amounts of homework almost every night, causing many to work well past midnight every day completing their homework. Though students chose these classes, this does not mean they are stress free. AP and honors classes look good on college applications, but they cause a rise in teen stress levels and often cause teens to isolate themselves from others in order to complete their tasks.
When teenagers arrive home from school many parents ask a universal question known to everyone: “How was your day at school?” Students have just come home from a long and possibly hard day at school and can be very irritable towards their “nosy mom”. Many teens have busy schedules and do not have time to answer “silly questions like that from their mothers. With all of the peer pressure and school stress that teenagers go through, several parents believe that their teen child is coming across as rude, mean, and isolated, when numerous teens do not mean to come across as such. Parents also perceive their teens to be very lonely at times, when in reality they are not. Teens just want to be alone sometimes and don’t want to go and party every weekend, like some teens do. Not all teens are hateful; countless teens are kind hearted and just crack under their stress and are unknowingly rude to others.
Due to peer pressure, school related stress, and meddling parents teens are misconceived as rude, mean, and isolated from the world. Teenagers are normally fun, and friendly, but when placed under the peer pressure of friends to try drugs, teens show a very deep and dark side of them. The immense amounts of work and studying students do to earn high grades in honors and AP courses cause teens to crack under the stress. Meddling parents, who do not leave their child alone, sometimes only see the bad side to their child, when in actuality their teen is a genuinely kind person. Many have wrong or bad misconceptions of teens and it is imminent that people to stop making quick, harsh judgments and start to get to know their teenage citizens.





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