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Teens discuss the pressures of balancing home and school

Work piles up, responsibility begins to grow, and the stress for success gets stronger. Teens often struggle with the idea of failure and fearing they won’t be able to achieve their goals. 

Paige Provost

The expectation to be perfect results in pressure from parents, teachers, peers and students themselves.

Finding a balance between adulthood and childhood is a constant struggle for teens, in addition to the normal changes they face growing to maturity. Teens often rely on others’ opinions instead of investigating the situation themselves or are unaware of the issue altogether. Some teens try to use their parents’ beliefs to sound politically correct. 

Ben Carr, registered Associate Marriage and Family therapist at The Well Community Church, attended Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary to gain his master degree. Using his experience with young adults, adults, and couples, Carr hopes to motivate people to find and understand their personal strengths.

“In my work with teens, I see consistent concerns regarding self-esteem and personal identity,” Carr said. “Teens are often pressured to identify what they want for their future, whether it’s an education, career, or relationship. They have to balance this while simultaneously attempting to figure out who they are as individuals. There’s a lot that’s expected of them, and it’s difficult to avoid comparing yourself to others to see how well you’re doing in your life.”

According to The Brain Flux, the fear of failure causes students to use whatever methods possible to succeed. Because success is seen as a form of validation, students may cheat, perform poorly, or not absorb the information they are learning. This develops unhealthy habits that carry into other areas of students’ lives.

Freshmen Helena Palsgaard strives to keep up with homework and not let anyone down. She deals with the stress of failure by exercising and preoccupying her mind on different things.  

“I would say a top struggle is just keeping up with studies,” Palsgaard said. “Just school in general and dealing with all the social lives and people. Trying your best not to let people down and doing well in school can be one of the biggest fears for teens ”

Helena Palsgaard speaks about the fear of failure and how some of those fears effect teens today.

Sophomore Seth Yancy worries most about juggling sports and academics. The struggle of trying to reach the top both academically and athletically always presents an opportunity for failure, Yancy believes. 

“I would say a top teen struggle is staying focused in everything we do,” Yancy said. “We have so much stuff going on in school, sports, and homework. So just keeping your priorities straight everyday doing what needs to be done. “

While teens face more social elements, adults face pressure from their jobs and earning enough money to support their family. Men often have a natural strive to become successful in the eyes of their peers, while women can be more relationally focused.

Paige Provost

The fear of failure leads students to think poorly of themselves and become burdened by stress.

Trent Wilson, ’22, came across the struggles of failure in the summer of 2018 while working at Dutch Bros Coffee. Wilson learned how to deal with his fear by talking to people, reading the Bible, and studying his favorite scriptures.

“It was this past summer,” Wilson said. “I was stressing out on working at Dutch Bros Coffee in the stands. I honestly thought that I was going to make a mess, make the wrong drink, and so much more. I just had to tell myself that we all make mistakes and we do fail at certain things. When we do, mess-up or fail, we have to forget what happen and move on.”

The natural developmental of teens faces them with the need to be significant or even perfect. This often results in pressure from their parents, teachers, peers and themselves. Sense of worth is often measured during times of achievement or success.

Youth for Christ discusses habits and tendencies that set teens up for failure.

Visit the Youth for Christ website to learn more about their mission and their heart for teens and students.

Megan Grimmius, ‘21, believes spending time with friends and family could help relieve stress. One of the biggest teenage struggles Grimmius has seen is the fear of what others think about you. 

Self love is an issue for most teenagers because people are constantly comparing themselves to others,” Grimmius said. “When they do that, their self esteem and confidence lowers. I’ve personally struggled with this as well.”

Teens who feel burdened by the fear of failure can become crippled by depression, anxiety, and stress. To overcome this fear of defeat, set realistic goals, visualize the outcomes, and talk to people who have gone before you. These strategies not only cause positive thinking, but lead to solutions for the fear of failing.

For another article on teen struggles, read Let’s Talk: Depression. For another article, read Camp Fire destroys City of Paradise, community rallies in support.

Kyler Garza can be reached via email.

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