You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Today’s teenagers have more stressful lives than previous generations.
Discuss this view and give your own opinion.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Despite a continuing improvement in the standard of living, many people believe that young people suffer more stress than older generations. This essay will discuss the arguments surrounding the issue of teenage stress.
Firstly, teenagers are exposed to more products than earlier generations due to living in a modern consumer society. They see celebrities with expensive jewellery, clothes and cars through films and the media. In addition, youth-oriented advertising gives them an awareness of the latest technology, such as digital music formats and mobile phones. Consequently, teenagers feel pressure to acquire these items. Some might argue that these pressures are not new. However, I believe that such stresses were not so strong during earlier times.
It could also be argued that pressures at school are more robust than before. To achieve the lifestyle they see in the media, teenagers must succeed in their studies to compete for the best jobs. Parental pressure, examinations and homework are all reported as causing increased strain levels.
On the other hand, although it may be true that modern society produces specific stresses, it does not necessarily mean stress was previously absent. In earlier times, hunger and physical discomfort would undoubtedly have caused high levels of anxiety, as would hard physical labour, for example, working down a mine. Any balanced view must take into account these alternative factors.
To sum up, consumerism and academic pressures are potent causes of stress on today’s teenagers. Nevertheless, I believe these stresses are no greater than those experienced by earlier generations of teenagers.