Band three days a week, on a slow week, cheer five days a week, homework every day, and I have to balance my social life with school and responsibilities.
These things drive me insane. It’s the price I pay for wanting to go to a four year college. I must learn responsibility and hard work for when I enter the real world. The need for me time and being a kid is being drowned out by the nagging voice in my head saying ‘get on the ball, now,’ while learning to be more disciplined with my work. Exhausting!
Everyone dreams of growing up, getting an amazing job and making a family. Teenagers live their teen years based on what they hope their future will hold. They stay up late doing homework, stay at school for thirteen hours just for extracurricular activities, and even spending their weekends and holidays with tons of homework and practice. But the innocent aspects of growing up are not the only aspects our youth is dabbling in. Does this show that kids are finally maturing? Or is this proof that our youth is growing up too fast?
Businesses would agree, sex sells very well and because sex sells so easily, the targeted customer’s age keeps dropping lower and lower. Tweens ages 8 to 12 were being sold a push up bikini bra top from Abercrombie and Fitch. Because of complaints, the brand changed the name to Ashley Pushup Triangle. In 2002, Abercrombie and Fitch removed a line for thong underwear made for girls between the ages of 10 to 16 that can also fit smaller girls.
Teens also dip into the issue of drinking. According to the NIAAA, by the time teens are high school seniors, 80% of the students have used alcohol and 62% of them have been drunk. The pressure to drink not only comes from peers. 56% of students between grades 5 through 12 say that alcohol commercials encourage them to drink. Even movies such as the Hangover can support the idea that growing up involves drinking by making such a serious problem into a joke, making people laugh at the stupidity that comes from being under the influence.
Sex also plays a big part in growing up. Why do kids feel the need to experience something that is usually reserved for “the one?” Psychology Today states that one in three boys ages 15-17 feel pressure to have sex by their peers and only 23% of girls felt the same pressure from peers. 63% of teens believe that waiting to have sex is a good idea, but not all do. By the age of 19, seven out of ten teens will have had sexual intercourse according to Guttmacher Institute.
Growing up should not be a teens top priority. We need to experience our youth as youth. Go to malls, sports games, dances and sleepovers. Hang out with friends and have innocent fun. Be a teen! It’s worth the wait to grow up.
Above Image: Growing up takes time (Image By Sheng Lor)