The exhausting truth of being a teenager

I accustom to write passages that derive from a process of inductive reasoning-this not being an exclusion- in which I mainly reflect on a situation and expulse a general conclusion out of it. However, in this piece, the process of induction has a greater role in the search of a conclusion than as usual, hence, the limelight goes to the process itself, not the conclusion. It is also worthy to emphasize how, given that this text is more self-based, it will be less formal. Now, this being a somewhat, perhaps unnecessary prologue, I begin.

I remember being about seven years old and sleeping as late as 11:00 pm on a school night, which is relatively late for a child of such an age. I also remember, in the first grade, being given about fifteen minutes of resting time after recess, and hating it. I rather saw this “resting-time” as a “wasting-time” for learning opportunities, therefore, as absolutely ridiculous; I still do visualize this in that way, in fact, “resting-time,” for first grade children, is worthless and should be given to high school students rather than first grade.

According to The American Psychological Behavior a teenager’s level of stress is higher than that of an adult. It is of no amusement how each year there is to be expected more of a common youngster than in the past. Competition has increased, millennials have been granted with the gift of being raised with the possession of everlasting knowledge in just one device, advancements in technology have become more brutal in the past twenty years, etc. All these factors and many others have contributed to the creation of greater expectations elevated upon future generations. Nevertheless, though our generation is able to manage a higher level of pressure and work itself, than our peers, the amount of performance is much greater. In other words, the type of performance and the amount of such are two different concepts. Essentially, empathy towards what one should do, as a teenager, is to be craved, and perhaps when such is achieved student’s overall performance can increase. As the antithesis of a mediocre society is not an exploited one.

According to teenmentalhealth.org, in most cases OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) develops in people during their adolescence, though for me it developed during my childhood. OCD is mainly found in individuals that “worry too much,” or leave their anxiety untreated. In my case, I was one that as a child had an extreme amount of anxiety in doing all of my homework and in having my room organized. I used to have an obsession at night with things such as having my room door tightly closed, my bed touching my wall, my water glass in a vertical position, and many others. A therapist once told me that OCD is usually found in very “responsible” personalities. As I grew, my rituals and compulsions faded away, becoming poorly dominant. About three months ago, however, when I started gaining more responsibilities as a student and as a person (including with this blog), I began feeling more anxious. I started to once again close my room door about eight times a night, push my bed into the wall countless of times, etc. This is when I knew I had quite an amount of stress leaning into my stream of consciousness, which perfectly resembled my miniscule psychotic behavior.

In addition, I am a good student; I do try putting an effort in performing exceedingly. Nonetheless, I attempt to do such all the while: I try to maintain a social life, grow as a person, develop my hobbies and exploit them, maintain a good relationship with my family, develop an outstanding college resume, practice for about six hours a week to get a good score on the SATs, and get a “good-night sleep.” Which in other words is basically: the things every teenager does, without an attempt to overachieve. All of these sets of responsibilities are seen as part the social norm of an adolescent of this age, which makes it acceptable for a teenager to undergo this amount of stress, and depending on who you are as a person, you will achieve bestowing upon your standards and on where you place them.

In terms of my academic life, my GPA must never be below a certain level, thus, I compromise a great portion of my daily life to do homework such as every other person with any degree of interest in doing their chores. In no way do I desire to come across as complainer, but to make you empathetic on how teenagers do have a vast amount of commitments, in opposite to what is believed. During the afternoons, for about 6 hours a week, I take SAT preparation, both Math and Language, each with a different professor, and on a weekly basis I try to practice for the exam, while taking various lessons online and in print. As an eleventh grader, as well, lessons are more challenging and projects are placed more often, especially group projects, which I have less time to complete and to perhaps even find a time in my schedule to complete.

The quality of being well-rounded is critical to achieve happiness and overall success. For such reason, I also put weight on developing my social life as well, which in multiple occasions has been compromised due to my academic life. Social events include birthdays, conferences, class reunions, and gatherings. My intention is not to attend all the previous, but to determine myself so I can assist the most significant of these. Have I multiple Fridays stayed home doing homework due that night at 11:59pm? Indeed. But there must not be a need for so. Worldwide known to students as the epitome of weekday heavens, Friday is without a doubt the day were the ratio of stress being relieved per minute increases. Multiple Fridays have I seen them as common days, this which decreases the development of my social life, and makes this vision of becoming well-rounded more delusional.

Since I was in the eighth grade and teachers asked the everlasting year-by-year question, “what is your goal this year?” I always responded with, “to have a balanced life,” yet, this goal has become more distant every time asked. Part of having a balanced life not only involves your social and academic life, but also that of your health, and, in order to manage the previous aspect, I have threatened my hours of sleep, which in a way can be evidenced by my current sleep deprivation. To my eyes, the phrase “good-night sleep” is an illusion, and my sleep-deprivation comes as a result of the exploitation of both of the above aspects of my life. Given my tight schedule as well, seeking for an appropriate time to make a doctor’s appointment has become as perplexing as depicting a map of Ulises’s travels.

The major premise of this all… it is worth it. Or rather, is it really? Did my lack of sleep level out to my achievements in all the aspects of my life? Were my efforts to enter a prestigious school necessary? How can I even evidence the effectiveness of such schools, when in fact, they expect their undergraduates to already be leaders? Controversially, the real good schools are those that can take common citizens and transform them into leaders, which in a way question our status quo.

What is expected of adolescents now a days is further beyond the boundaries of, not capacity, but quantity of one’s time, preventing individuals from developing into well-rounded human beings, which is vital for their success. As I am not in any way motivating averageness, but rather a controlled overachieveness.

 

 

 

 

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