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Forget Superman, it’s all about Today’s Superkid!

Superkid Stamp of ApprovalAdults, you aren’t the only ones stressed. Between the fun-filled days of childhood and the freedom from our parents that youth spend 18 years imagining, is a dark time called the teen years. It is filled with impossibly high expectations, peer pressure, and learning self-identity through and despite all of this.

As I write this, my phone is going off every five minutes with reminders for the three articles I still need to do, the two tests I need to study for, the advertising campaign for the Roc City Skate Park I really need to get going on (I wonder if that link counts as a start?), and the web site I still need to design for class. Also, on my schedule: two eleven hour work shifts for the weekend and a quick hour with my mom to reconnect. Just chalk me up with the other 85% of young people who feel stressed, according to a recent survey done by the Associated Press and MTV. It is just simply becoming harder for teens to juggle the expectations being forced upon them.

“I see students everyday who are stressed,” said Jamie Salatino, Guidance Counselor at School Without Walls Commencement Academy. She lists time management, a sense of being overwhelmed by school/personal responsibilities,  a fear of what comes after high school, and general relationship problems with friends, families and significant others as the more prevalent stressors. Tack onto it dealing with impoverished homes, broken homes/families, and even health issues for some and one should quickly begin to wonder just how students are able to manage carrying such a heavy weight on our shoulders- and just how is the rest of the world able to pretend as if it isn’t there?

I hate to break it to the adults, but sometimes we do as much, if not more, than they do.  We are also dealing with that rocky job market, when we are seeking part-time employment or when we are changing our plans of study in college to better our chances of employment when graduate. Sometimes we raise children, and sometimes they’re not even ours. They are our brothers and sisters who needed help with homework or a comforting word, or in worst case scenarios, depended on us for dinner that night.

When Celine Anderson, 18, was 13 years old her mother became sick and had to be hospitalized for three months, Anderson had to help take care of her 9-year-old sister. She didn’t get a chance to truly worry over her mother because she had to be strong for her and her sister. However, her grades dropped. Now, Anderson is in college studying Journalism, working part-time to supplement her tuition, and working for The Reporter, the campus’ newspaper. However, her grades have dropped again as she made the transition from high school to college.

“I’ve been through a lot worse,” she told me. It’s how she keeps herself going. Youth are now juggling: friends, family, significant others, school, work/employment, extracurricular activities, and a very heavy increase of social pressures, while also walking across a tightrope that hovers over the pit of failure many of our own friends and family have fallen into. For all of the youth reading this, that probably just made it worse, huh? But it’s nice to put things in perspective and go from there…at least that’s what my adult mother said (emphasis on the adult part.)

Jamie Salatino’s suggestion to stressed students: “Keep people who have known you for a long time around because they can remind you that you had a similar stress/event and made it through.”

I agree wholeheartedly and I’d like to add: keep being amazing, every single one of you. Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”

My name is Tianna and this message is Superkid approved.

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Categories: Editorial

Author:TiannaManon

I absolutely love to write! I am a Journalism and Political-Science Dual-Degree at Rochester Institute of Technology. I hope to inspire all of my readers to better their own lives and to be proactive in their communities. There is nothing more important, or more rewarding, than giving back!

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4 Comments on “Forget Superman, it’s all about Today’s Superkid!”

  1. Jon Solow
    April 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    I know how this girl feels with family problems and low grades from it. My dad needed surgery and I had to help my mom with the jobs that my dad would’ve done. This really inspired me and comforted me.

  2. Ryan jefferson
    April 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    I would agrre 1000%.this article was packed with so much exiting information that fills with ideas. Being a teen sometimes can be so hard sometimes because you get respect but sometimes not enough. p.s. thanks for the roc city skate park advertisement

  3. Morgan V.
    April 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Nowadays, I see kids doing the opposite. Not every kid is stressed out; the population of stressed kids verses non-stressed is pretty equal. You have kids from polar opposites in the same class: some kids struggling just to stay awake in school because of their 8 hour shifts the night before, and kids struggling to stay awake because they were out partying until 2AM. Sure, kids are stressed out for different reasons, but rather than reduce the stress, the answer is to get your priorities in order and manage time more wisely.

    • April 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

      This is true. How would you suggest kids get their priorities in order?

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