Youth Diaries: Teens, wellness, and life enjoyment
Youth have many universal desires in common: the desire to succeed, the want for social interaction and acceptance, and the yearning to find life enjoyment. As a future senior at Desert Hills High School, I can attest that students feel internal and external pressures that affect their overall wellness. The health of youth is affected by both the physical and mental stresses that accompany being a teenager. Youth experience the anxieties of academics, the pressures of our peers, and the mania created by media. Students feel additional extrinsic pressures from parents and teachers, along with intrinsic pressure they create for themselves.
As students, youth get the idea that only honorary students and the academically enriched can achieve true success due to the discrimination towards “average” scores. One characteristic that I have seen in healthy, well-rounded students is they find their individual talents and set specific goals based on their own abilities. Despite the negative influences I have felt as a high school student, I have found that hard work leads to satisfactory success and an increase in self-confidence. Similar to the feeling of accomplishment that would come after being accepted to a new job or purchasing a home, youth feel accomplished when they achieve a specific goal they worked hard to complete.
Another major influence on the health and wellness of youth today is the stereotypical social pressures that come with being a high school student. My friends and I discussed that we feel a continual pressure to achieve perfection—which is an unrealistic goal. We feel pressured to compromise our standards with the standards of others, and this creates a constant conflict between the society we live in and our own conscience. One social issue that has positively impacted my life enjoyment and overall wellness is my choice to be involved. By being a part of multiple clubs (Dance Company, student government, and community service projects), I have surrounded myself with people who help me achieve my true potential and this increases my life enjoyment.
In addition to the pressures we feel from attending school, we also feel a great pressure every time we touch our cell phones. Various social platforms, like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, create an environment that pressures youth to develop unhealthy relationships that are founded only upon screen interaction. This creates irrational relationships that act like a ticking time bomb, ready to explode with the simple click of a “share” button. These unhealthy habits are formulated by those who choose to manipulate the power of social media. In addition to unhealthy relationships, social media also pressures youth into, again, achieving unrealistic perfection. What most students do not realize, however, is that people use social media to share only the happy and glamorous aspects of their lives, not the negative. Despite the obvious negative, I see the positive impacts that social media has on my life. If used correctly, it can enhance my life enjoyment by introducing me to new ideas, perspectives, resources, and spreading goodness.
Check out our Southern Utah Health & Wellness Directory at www.stghealth.com.