The Life of a 21st Century Teenager


Jada Boddy and Aaliyah Huyser

What does it look like to be a teen today? Society is constantly changing; morals, goals, expectations and emotions are completely different now than they were in the past. Being a young adult welcomes many prejudices and biased assumptions. We spoke with some people from generation “Z” as well as adults from previous generations about the lifestyles from then and now. The differences between generations is obvious and not everyone is understanding of the world we teens live in today.


When we asked sophomore, Bella LeCompte, what she thought about the differences between older generations and ours, she says, “Our parents grew up completely differently and they were raised to be different and they had different expectations than we do today”. She displays how obvious the change has been. We spoke with another student here at Woodland Park High School about the difficulties of being a teen in the 21st century, they say, “…we have an unrealistic set of standards for who we should be and what we should look like, and how we should act…”. The standard that teens are held up to put an extreme amount of pressure for us to succeed. Bella states a list of issues that our generation has encountered, Bella says, “Drugs, suicide, self harm, depression, anxiety, mental illness”. These issues can be an effect of traumatic experiences. During some of the most difficult times in one’s life teens often look to a place where they are able unload the stress.


Many adults notice a large change between teens in the 21st century and when they were teens. The contrasting lives between adults and teens leaves much frustration. We spoke with Mrs. Snook, an instructor here at Woodland Park High School, she says, “Kids don’t know how to be respectful now days, it was demanded back when I was growing up”. It can be apparent that there is tension between generations. Snook says, “I feel like kids are expected to grow up so much faster, be an adult so much faster…but when we were in school, it was okay to be a kid, it was okay to fail…”. She addresses the maturity level of kids now days and kids back when she was growing up. Making mistakes is a big part of what makes us better people. Since teens are unable to make mistakes without tremendous consequences, there is much stress on us to never fall short of perfection; and for some of us, we have stopped caring completely.


Counselors here at Woodland Park High School have a in depth understanding of what teens go through in the 21st century.When speaking with counselor, Mrs. Johnston she stresses the impact technology has had on teens,saying, “I think there is more pressure to grow up faster because of the television shows, the media, and the music…”. Johnston says that the technology is much different then when she was growing up and it’s adding more stress to our lives. Johnston explains that with every generation, expectations, morals, and judgments change. Teens of all generations have and need to learn to adapt and understand that changes with constantly be happening. Being a teen today can mean many things to several different types of people. However, being a teen has always meant growing in many different ways.