Our Everly Mag Writing Leaders were asked the question, what do you think is the biggest pressure teens your age are facing today? We wanted to know what different types of pressure different teens might face and how we can all help each other with relieving some of this pressure.
This article was written by our writing leader Kathryn. Get to know our Summer 2018 Leaders here!
“Calm down.” But I can’t.
“Don’t worry about it.” But I do.
“It doesn’t matter.” But it does.
“You’re a teenager, life is easy.” But it isn’t.
The number of pressures teens are under is infinite. Stress is like a hydra; if one pressure dissipates, two more take its place. One pressure that hits really close to home for me is the pressure to fit in the lines that other people draw for me. Whether that means being the straight-A student your parents want, the popular princess your peers want you to be, or the extracurricular queen that colleges want, everyone is trying to fit another person’s standards.
Sometimes, fitting these standards is almost as easy as spelling your own name. Being in a club you like isn’t difficult, is it? Just sign up, participate, and you’re golden! However, other times it seems more challenging than climbing Mt. Everest. Getting straight-As isn’t as easy as just turning in your work, there’s more to it. You have to study, turn in quality work, and care about what you’re studying. There are times, whether the task be easy or difficult, you just can’t do it. You’ve tried and tried, but it just isn’t working. You’re forced to ask yourself:
What happens now?
Can you pick yourself up and find a solution? Is it just too late? Will people be accepting of your mistake? Will everything crumble down? Maybe you can, maybe you can’t. Either way, that’s okay. The thing is, it doesn’t feel like it. Once you’ve dropped the ball on something, it can feel like the sky is falling.
As someone who has had this problem, let me assure you: your sky is not going to fall. It may feel like it is, but the sky is still up, and it will stay there. It’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, it can be helpful to make mistakes because they can teach you a lesson. If you accidentally forget to study for a test and you end up getting a bad grade, you can learn to write down dates in a specific spot, and manage your time better. Sometimes, mistakes are reverse-able. A wild concept, right? Think of it this way: if an artist makes a mistake on their painting, they can wait for it to dry and paint over it to make something new! Actually, a lot of really life-changing things were made by accident. Don’t believe me? Check this article out!
Whether you win or lose, there are times that you need to de-stress. What does that mean? Well, what we see on TV is people taking bubble baths or shopping. Those are both ways to de-stress that work for some people, but everyone is different. Each person gets stressed out over different things, so it makes sense that they also de-stress by doing different things. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this year has been that it really is important to manage your stress. If you have a big exam next week and you’re super stressed, take a moment to breathe and de-stress. Find what works for you, and do that. It won’t make everything disappear, but it can help with other things such as thinking clearly, problem solving, and attitude. One of my go-to stress relievers is to talk to some of my best friends. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about what’s stressing me out, or if we’re discussing the most obscure things ever. In fact, sometimes it’s nice to talk about the origins of “band is butter” or “‘football should be called hand-egg’” rather than talking about stressors. Here are a few more of my favorite ways to de-stress.
- Color in a coloring book
- Journal about what’s happening
- Make a list of what I need to do, and plan when I’m going to do it
- Read a chapter of my favorite book (I like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak)
- Take a stretch break
- Play with my dog
- Take a walk
- Plug in my diffuser with lavender oil
- Have a dance party in my room
- Read the Bible (Jeremiah 29:11, Colossians 3:17, Psalm 121)
I think that as important as it is for teenagers to handle stress, it is also very important to realize the amount of pressure teenagers are under, and understand what that means. Recognizing when someone is under stress helps you know how to handle the situation. If you’re a teenager listening to your friend vent about their stress at lunch, try to be patient and let them vent, because they have just as much stress as you. If you’re the student working on an essay and it just won’t be possible to get it done on time, make sure to communicate with your teacher, and tell them what’s happening. Maybe you’re the teacher that needed their essay to grade that weekend, and they couldn’t get to it. Try to be understanding, and let them turn it in on Monday. If you’re a parent, reassure your children when something less-than-ideal happens. It is important for teenagers to know that while they should always strive to do well with everything they do, it’s okay to mess up if you’ve done all you can.
Have you ever felt like the sky was falling? Comment below!
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