I remember back in my high school days; I worked pretty darn hard, night after night, toiling away to get into a good college. Teenagers, especially those in, or entering into high school, not only face academic hurdles, but also must adapt to the social pressures associated in an increasingly digitalized society.
Reading this recent Huffington Post article, I was shocked to learn that 1 in 10 teenage high school girls could be sexually assaulted. Another 1 in 3 high school girls may make attempts of suicide. What factors beyond school, like social pressure, are they facing that lead up to such?
Teenagers, two-fold, are so susceptible yet aware to the aesthetic molds marketed to them to create an image of “fitting in” amongst school peers. With the endless supply of make-up, trendy clothes, or TikTok trends, there is so much pressure on an individual to strive towards a falsely marketed image of “perfection” that has no relation to the person’s potential or paths of success they can create for themselves while still young. Furthermore, problems in the home may further conflate these issues.
Teenagers should not feel rushed or pressured to get into sexual situations with each other. No one should force another into non-consensual confrontations. As we grow, we define what giving consent means and finding partners where such happens mutually. Being kinder to one another and kinder to yourself could make a difference here. Not everyone comes from ideal home situations and to be understanding and connect better with one’s peers can open doors and broaden horizons.
While trying to be involved in school, balancing friends, and keeping up with home can easily become overwhelming, especially when competing with strong-willed peers, remember to keep involved and updated in topics and activities you are passionate about — while in school or otherwise — will serve you well, as the Huff Post article concurs. It doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with a positive and uplifting support system either!