Individuals from every generation will always face issues exclusive to their time, develop new perspectives, attempt to forge their own unique identities, and make a mark in this world. High school teenagers, especially, experience challenges and circumstances that set the tone for the rest of their lives.
In current times, that event is no different. This is how high school is changing for teens today:
The internet, social media, and technology will forever be a part of their lives
Starting with the Millennial generation, the internet, social media, and technology will forever be a part of a teenager’s life. While these elements are fantastic innovations to society – i.e. internet giving a person access to a plethora of information, social media allowing people to communicate from across the globe, and technology helping make task accomplishment easier and more efficient – they come with their disadvantages.
First, internet and technology yield instant gratification, which can consequently make teenagers translate that concept into everything else in their lives, such as relationships and work. This can nurture an unhealthy mindset that shortcuts can be taken to accomplish goals.
Social media, on the other hand, can cause them to develop unrealistic expectations about the world and quality of their life. Everything on social media today is meant to look perfect, which can make a teen feel their lives do not compare to those of the influencers on their feed. This is a catalyst for the development of neurological disorders, like depression and anxiety. In extreme cases, it can lead to substance abuse and self-harm which should only be treated by professionals or resource centers. To combat this, it’s imperative that they remind themselves that social media never represents the truth or reality, and perhaps it’s time to take a social media cleanse
They demonstrate concerning statistics of poor mental health
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 6.3 million teens have suffered an anxiety disorder, and dishearteningly, experts believe that this statistic should be much higher since teens do not commonly seek treatment or help for their mental health issues. Furthermore, suicide is the third leading cause of death in the United States for 15 – 24-olds, with 90% of the deaths due to depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.
Pressure to perform academically is skyrocketing
To be accepted into college today, a student cannot simply have good grades; they must illustrate superior academic achievement, be involved in extra-curricular activities, and demonstrate their unique contributions to an organization, group, or cause. This makes getting into college more challenging than it’s ever been, and makes a student feel they must prioritize academics over everything else, in their lives. Realistically, not every student is able to multitask while still keeping their grades up and practicing self-care. As a result, it drives them to be hyper-competitive in order to be eligible for enrollment at a prestigious college. But unfortunately, acceptance isn’t even guaranteed despite sending in an application that should be a shoe-in.
Accepting others’ differences and culture is expected
Over the years, generations have become more accepting of differences between themselves and their peers, such as race, culture, social expression, and sexuality. This encourages open-mindedness which will contribute to improving the attitudes of future generations and promote the favorable treatment and empathy towards others, rather than hatred and resistance.
High school, along with society itself, is constantly changing for teens. While each generation will experience their own special circumstances and challenges, each one will grow up with their accomplishments that will go down in history.