Teenagers Should Not Be Treated Like Adults
Close to 35% of all high school students have committed suicide due to stress. As teenagers, we have become much more desensitized compared to teenagers in previous generations. Because today’s society has such a vast amount of technology that gives us so much information, we are taking on these rigorous, adult responsibilities and it is far too overwhelming for us to manage on our own. Teenagers should not be treated as adults. A percentage too large for comfort is given to teenagers who have committed suicide due to stressful situation and decisions.
The difficulty of stress is very high, but the difficulty of finding and sticking with a method to cope is even higher. 46% of teens are content with the way they deal with stress, however 50% struggle to do the same. Teens with a high amount of stress are more likely to smoke, drink, and do illegal drugs compared to teens experiencing low rates of stress. 52% of people between the ages of twelve and seventeen are at a greater risk of substance abuse because of frequent boredom, high amounts of stress, and/or too much spending money. This is probably because unlike adults, our brains are a lot more responsive to their surroundings.
Forcing adult situations onto teenagers applies too much pressure on them. We are already pressured to do more purposeful things than when we were younger, but we are still too young to act in just any kind of way. The lane for acceptable behavior is really narrow for us. Not only do we teenagers have to act a certain way, but we are still competing for beneficial things such as college and the feeling to excel in sports, volunteer work, academics, extra curricular courses, and many other activities. Many of these things play an immense role in influencing risky behaviour and possibly substance abuse. The responsibilities of both teenage and adult lives can cause unhealthy amounts of stress.
The school year throws a lot at one teen. The majority even claim to be more stressed than normal. Normal teenage stress levels, on a scale of one to ten, is 3.1: reported teenage stress levelsjump to as high as 5.8.
Our rate of stress is even higher than the rate of stress for adults. Although adults feel fatigued and irritable after a long day of work, we often come home dealing with the same mental and physical feeling as them. Not only does this stress cause fatigue and irritability, but it also causes a lack of appetite. A distinct 67% of teens have experienced this, and 25% of these teens say that they rarely have time to eat. Barely getting enough sleep and lying awake at night restlessly has become the norm for 35% of us. 42% feel like their stress is getting worse throughout the year.
Not only are we expected to grow up and excel in school, but we also have to deal with these horrendous hormones! Each hormone in our body intensely affects our emotions. Most of our lives we have been dependent of others and haven’t had the opportunity to go through tough, real life situations. Parents hold a strong influence, both good and bad, on the children they’re raising. Although some of us might be older and have been around a bit more, compared to adults, the part of the brain called the frontal lobe is not completely developed . Simply put, we just aren’t fully connected. Because of this we do not yet hold the ability to naturally think about how our actions will affect ourselves and others around us.
In fact, journalist Reno Gazette spoke on how, “Teenage brains are largely responsible for the self-centered, irrational, moody, rebellious behaviour now associated with adolescence.” Even if we are tried as adults it wouldn’t have any beneficial outcomes: so why bother? If we teens were treated like adults then we would have to do time like adults. Researcher Jeff Fagan discovered teenagers tried in adults courts were incarcerated unlike teens in juvenile courts. How could someone put a poor 13 year old through something like that? Not only is incarcerating a little 13 year old cruel, but two major studies show that it is less effective than a juvenile system treatment and will actually allow the juvenile to make the same decisions. Social scientists Eric Jensen and Linda metsger have discovered that even teens in Idaho are tried as adults, the rate of crime hasn’t decreased. What would be the point of charging innocent adolescents with such harsh punishments if no progress is being made? About 20 years ago a simple, nine year old boy named Cameron Kocher shot a rifle out of the window of his kitchen, unknowingly shooting and killing another person riding a snowmobile.
Like any other kid who gets in trouble he first lied about shooting the gun, then told the truth. Aparently lying and a lack of remorse, which people consider an action entitled only to adults, was the reason little Cameron was tried in Adult court. Head of juvenile law center, Robert Schwartz clearly explains, “Cameron had also dozed during pretrial motions, which showed a “lack of remorse.” Cameron stayed home on bail. Why would anyone put a nine year old boy on trial for an action he didn’t intend on making? Some people might think that if teenagers didn’t want to be treated as adults then they shouldn’t take on so many responsibilities.
Whereas in reality, we take on so many responsibilities to prepare ourselves for adulthood. We are often pressured by our teachers and our parents to get into a good college and to also do well in life. We tend to behave in the manner in which we were raised, some more free ranged than others. This may play a key role in how pressured each of us actually are, but our intentions are all the same. Teenagers should not be treated as adults. This is because we have far too many responsibilities of our own to deal with.
It is just too hard. With this, we can easily lower the 35% suicide rate to zero.