The Importance of a Social Life
Teenagers these days have it extremely rough.
We are students, adults, and children all at once. We are expected to be responsible yet innocent, organized yet flexible, willing to persevere yet voices for change. Today’s teenager is conjectured to have a 4.0 GPA and 2400 SAT score, yet still spend countless hours on a plethora of extracurricular activities, volunteer services, and maybe even part-time jobs, all the while maintaining a thriving social life. We are piled with sky-high expectations from parents, relatives, teachers, tutors, coaches, you name it—they’re counting on you to change the world somehow in the five minutes of free time you have a day.
And there are only 24 hours in a day; it is nearly impossible to do everything. So what gets sacrificed first? Besides sleep, a teenager’s social life is often what gets forfeited to make room for schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Teenagers avoid parties, hangouts, and causal outings with friends, saying they “have a class” or “have to study”. But what today’s teenagers don’t realize is that a social life is important. How will you keep a job if you are unable to interact with other people? No textbook in the world can provide a student with the social skills needed to succeed in the real world.
Friends, love interests, and other human beings provide something that SAT Prep booklet cannot—skills in communication, positive interaction, public etiquette, and interpersonal relationships. Because we are humans, after all: we crave connection. I am not saying that teenagers should give up their 4.0 GPA for weeknight parties and daily movie marathons. I am simply stating that social skills are important for a future job and the real world, and that teenagers mustn’t sacrifice their beneficial social life just to take that fifth AP class.
We mustn’t forget what we really need.