Stress within Teens


Kat Jayne

Times of Stress

Daniela Cardona, Staff Reporter

A current study shows there are 61% of teenagers from the ages of 13 to 17 have reported feeling pressured to get good grades. Teenagers lives may be viewed as “easy” but the truth is there is so much pressure in society to be successful, and this can often be overwhelming when teens have their own responsibilities aside from school. This all affects every individual differently but there’s no doubt, just by looking at the percentages, this can take a toll on teens’ mental health.

What can cause Teens to Stress?

When asked about her schooling experience, Senior Monserrat Matias claimed, “The thought of getting good grades and what I will do in the future does get me very overwhelmed. It makes me feel anxious all the time just thinking about what I will do if I don’t get the grades that I need because I want to do my best in life. My grades now fully depend on how my future will form so it is very important to have good grades and it’s just something that will always be on the back of my mind.”

These are “young adults” who are trying to move forward in life. Teens worry about their future.  Being so close to entering the real world, they often struggle with wondering if they have truly been informed adequately to take that next step into independence. For some teens, this can be getting the best grades they can to be accepted into their college choice.

 “I think families could cause teens to be stressed because they want to be the best they can for their parents,” expressed Christian Lopez (12). That push to be better can quickly change into something so unbearable for many young people. 

Especially in that stage in life where teens are not necessarily considered “kids” but also have not reached adulthood, they tend to still show their youthful and inexperienced side in some areas, for example, friendships and romantic relationships. Teens tend to let conflicts within their personal relationships get the best of them since their social life is a major part of their lives.  

Everyone has different situations going on. Some students have sports practices to make it to, or have younger siblings to take care of and others might accumulate much more responsibilities. In the end it doesn’t matter how much more tasks a person has to contribute to in a day that determines one’s mental health, but how each student handles it. Everyone is different and teens should learn to take care of themselves and situations.  This is a learning tool for them.

How parents can help

Receiving support from a trusted adult, parent/guardian or even a friend can make a significant impact for those who find it difficult to handle what goes on in their life. There is no need to make your child feel insecure over things that are trivial. This can be things such as their appearance, their hobbies and their life goals. Avoiding these topics and other negative things that can be harmful to teens is a big help. It makes all the difference for teens to know they are being supported and that they are in a positive and safe environment.

 “There are so many ways that parents can help their own kids. Not putting so much pressure on them or setting unrealistic goals for them can be helpful for them and also avoiding bringing us in on problems that shouldn’t involve us can help reduce our anxiety,” explained Matias.

Household issues do occur, but the outcomes of it are usually not considered. It is a matter of acknowledging how this can become an issue when it comes to teens and how to handle it.

Advice for Teens

Teens are often in a situation where they do not know what to do to feel better. Often, creating small goals for the week or the month can help with motivation and a feeling of success. Understanding that progress takes time is important. Small steps to the larger goal is better for many young people.  Constantly focusing on the big picture and then experiencing disappointed on how long the process is to accomplish the task is not the way to go.  Progress takes time and effort. So focused on the small steps one at a time and learn to appreciate every step that pushes you closer to a goal. Learn to relax and never forget to have time for yourself.

Ms. Katherine Reeves, Los Banos High’s mental health counselor shared her own piece of advice by saying, “Be kind to yourself! You are doing the best you can with what you know right now. Handling life and stress is a never ending journey and you are bound to have hiccups and bad days along the way – IT’S OK! We all do!”

She also added, “Remember to pause and breathe – negative self-talk gets you nowhere. The next time you start beating yourself up, ask yourself if you would say those things to your best friend. Chances are it’s a no. So try to replace it with what you think they would tell you, and just remind yourself “’I am doing the best I can.””

So as a teen, if you feel pressure about something or you are not feeling great about life, remember to be good to yourself and relax.  Take a step back and reevaluate the situation and make a plan to help you feel good again.