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posted: 6/2/2014 5:01 AM

Irony, contradictions in pressures on teens

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The education system we have set up today puts our students at such a disadvantage. As students, we are asked to take as many advanced classes as possible (and get good grades), take on as many extracurriculars as we can, get a good night's rest, eat a healthy breakfast, have a well-rounded social circle and play a sport.

And here is the catch: you're 16, there are only 24 hours in a day, and society keeps telling you to be different when everyone at school looks at you funny if you don't wear the "right" clothes. What society doesn't realize is that as teenagers, we are forced to spend eight hours a day with people who judge us after every decision we make and are loaded down with another four hours of homework after that.

Four hours seems doable, until you add an hour of band rehearsal, two hours of sports and time for dinner and family.

And after you throw in any socialization problems you might have, being a teenager and wanting somewhat of a social life, you can finally relax and enjoy the two hours you have to sleep before you have to wake up and do it all over again.

But wait, there is more. We've reached that time in our lives where we need to apply for college and decide what we're going to do for the rest of our time here on Earth. Society says we're not "mature" enough to act like adults and do adultlike things, but here we are expected to decide what we're going to be as adults.

Call me crazy, but I'm impressed that our students haven't had more mental breakdowns. Being a teenager might look like all fun and games from the outside, but it's not even close to easy after you uncover the truth.

Rachel Robb

Hawthorn Woods

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