English Writing 421
18 December 2014
Too Little, Too Late Stress is a word used everyday by many people; but many do not understand what stress truly is. Stress is an inevitable feeling that eventually everyone will have to face. Some may say it is for the best; it pushes people to achieve, especially in adolescents. However, that opinion is not based on facts. In today’s society, teenagers are often dealing with the weight of the world on their unprepared shoulders. With academics, extracurricular activities, and social lives on their minds, it is all becoming too much to handle. They are beginning to crack under the pressure of the workload that they must manage. With the changing times, expectations have heightened, making stress a constant in the lives of the young population. Any positives outcomes are destroyed by the proof that stress has a negative effect on today’s youth. Little has been done about this pressing issue facing the up and comers of the world. The time to take action and solve this growing epidemic has arrived. Starting off, to better understand stress itself, the elements that trigger it must be understood as well. There are a number of triggers that can set off stress in teens, and one of the largest stressors is, to no surprise, academics. A study was conducted in 2010, in the US regarding the academic stress amongst adolescents, and the numbers were simply shocking. Seventy percent of the students polled stated that they always feel stressed about their schoolwork, and fifty-six percent said that they always worry about their grades and are always exhausted (Conner, Galloway and Pope). Some even admitted to taking stimulants, caffeine or over the counter medication, to remain cognizant in order to get extra schoolwork completed. Another astounding act that was admitted to be happening was cheating on various tests and quizzes (Conner, Galloway and Pope). These statistics and confessions coming from students should be an eye opener to all; stress has taken over the lives of youth and drives them to make morally questionable decisions. They are petrified of the idea of failing, which means that they will do misguided things that are will be regretted in the near future. Youth feel pressured when faced with harsh deadlines in school, whether it is for homework, assignments, projects or tests (“Stress and Youth”). Once a time is set, teenagers feel as though they will not accomplish the task at hand or they will not have enough to time to study for an important test, which leads to another trigger, time pressure. With courses, practices, lessons, and social activities floating around time pressure is an immense problem (“Stress and Youth”). Adolescents packed schedules for the day from the time the sun rises to the time it sets, and even if one second is missed the schedule is ruined and no time can be made up. With academics being such a problematic matter on a stressed teenagers mind, it is no wonder that plans for the future would be an even bigger burden (“Stress and Youth”). College applications, scholarship challenges, decisions on what school to attend, and the soul thought of the nearing future is enough to make any teen lose the ability to sleep at night. The thing that matters the most if how carefully this stage of life is handled, and at this point it is not being handled well.
Another huge stressor may be problems within the personal lives of teenagers. During this critical period, a number of things are happening and changing. More responsibility is given, both at home and school, which leads to higher expectation from oneself and others. Relationships are developing in all aspects of life, such as family, friends, as well as in the romantic field. A lot of stress originates from familial issues and hardships, such as separation and divorce (“Stress and Youth”). When seeing a family changing in a negative manner it will most likely result in the