Hoofprints » Teen Interest

Teen Interest

If you are a teen, or know one, you will find these stories of interest to you! 
Clip art cartoon image of various teenagers

Generation Z is the generation that we feel will change the world, the most-open minded generation, and the generation that are still teenagers but deals with adult problems. Arthur Evans, the CEO of the American Psychological Association (APA) says of Gen Z, “The pressures facing Generation Z are different from those that faced older generations at the same age.” 

 

In today’s world, it seems that the youth of this day are more aware of our problems as society; we are more concerned about the future and are involved in making positive changes in the community, but are not we stressed enough? Yes, most of the times teenagers have to deal with big level of stressAccording to the APA, 91 percent of Gen Zs between ages 18 and 21 say they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom due to stress in the past month compared to 74 percent of adults overall." One of the main reasons of stress among youth is pressure, pressure to fit in, pressure to go to college, pressure to change the world, and fix what Gen Zs perceive other generations to have ruine. Peer pressure and pressure to do well in school, as well as pressure to be an example to the younger kids also affects Gen Zs. 

 

Almost every teenager feels pressure to fit in; fitting does not only means to have the latest iPhone, or wearing the coolest outfit, it means to be accepted and appreciated by those around us. Ibecomes quite hard when the standards in our society are so hard to meet, especially when social media makes this even harder by setting unrealistic standards of what we should lookact and be like. According to CNN, "45% said they feel judged on the social platforms, and 38% reported feeling bad about themselves due to the use of social media." 

 

Most of the students feel pressure to do good in school and be successful. Most of the time that pressure comes from our parents and community; if we fail one class we are downgraded to dumb and not responsible enough. This is not just in middle school and Clip art with three students weighed down by the word "Stress" in all capital lettershigh school, we also feel pressure to go to college and have a career, and we are expected to have goals and future planned before even becoming an adult.  Globalization and an increasingly competitive job market and the use of artificial intelligence being imminent are causing big level of stress and pressure; we find ourselves worrying about our future constantly. 

 

The youth of today feels the responsibility of fixing what others generations have contributed to ruin. For example, the earth. Gen Zs feel the pressure to stop global warming and pollution, and to leave a better world for the future generations. 

 

In conclusion, the amount of pressure us teenagers have to deal with, is causing big level of stress, anxiety and even depression. Should not  this be a concerning topic for the rest of the society? Other generations may not have felt this type of pressure. This might be because they deal with stressful situations in different ways. The positive outcome of this is issue is that we can make a difference because we are more aware of what is going on around us and in our society than any other generation, but the consequences of so much pressure is that it is affecting our mental health. I believe that looking for ways  to handle stress, channel tension or other negative feelings could be productive and helpful to reduce stress and feelings of pressure. 

 

 

Students around the world deal with some forms of stress because of school. Kids must learn how to balance a personal life, social life, family time, schoolwork, studying and more. Many young adults deal with anxiety and depression which have proven to be direct causes of stress in their lives. This idea for mental health days has become a very important and serious topic. Bringing awareness to the subject of mental health can be very significant and something that everyone deals with. Time off from school can provide many benefits with their grades, test scores, and the happiness of students.

 

In some states there are opportunities for mental health days where students can miss school as an unexcused absence to focus on themselves. To help students cope with their stress, lawmakers in some states have recently recognized the importance of the mental health of their students by allowing them to take sick days solely for having a day off from the stress and worry of school. Mental health days have shown big improvements in students like it has in Oregon and Florida schools. Applying mental health days to Mainland could have great benefits including improved moods and better test grades.  

 

Although everyone deals with their own forms of mental health issues, students have the most difficulty with managing it. School work is not the only thing that causes stress. There are social and personal aspects that are also cause worry and anxiety. Teens must cope with social pressures every day. They must worry about fitting in and, at the same time, must worry about discovering themselves. Kids are still learning how to manage their time, balance activities and sports as well as added stress from schoolwork which is putting them over the edge. Students say they struggle with managing their personal and school life because they have so many things to worry about. A day off from school can make a huge difference in a student's life.  

 

The hesitation with implementing a system like this is that the privilege will be abused and taken for granted. Schools focusing on mental health is important as well. Mental health is something that affects everyone even though it is not addressed or taken very seriously. Some studies cited that the mental health of teens and young adults has dropped dramatically in the past decade for numerous reasons. Teenagers nowadays are involved with social media which has been identified as another key component to causing stress because everyone is trying to fit in to the standards established by influencers online. Getting into colleges, social pressures, and personal changes all have an influence on how much stress teens deal with.  

 

All these examples of the negative impacts of stress prove that something needs to be done about the mental health of students.  A day off just to focus on one's mental health and well-being is one of the actions taken to acknowledge that mental health is very important and should be taken seriously. The benefits of time off from school have shown to be successful and are worth trying here at Mainland.  

 

 

 

 

 

Editor's Note

Statistics were sourced from the following: 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/12/learning/students-mental-health-days.html 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/schools-now-letting-youths-stay-home-sick-for-mental-health-days/2019/10/21/15df339a-e93b-11e9-85c0-85a098e47b37_story.html 

 

 

 

The Dangers and Treatments of Obesity in Pets 

 

Obesity in pets runs rapidly in the United Stated. In 2018, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention said that approximately, 59.5 percent of cats are obese, and 55.8 percent of dogs are obese. This really shows how widespread the problem is, more than half of all cats and dogs are overweight and obese. Most pet owners and veterinarians are lacking knowledge on nutritional plans and need to offer more treatment plans then exercise more and feed less. This is an effective treatment plan but there are more that require less work for the owner and the pet. 

You can also prevent your pets from becoming obese in the first place. Make sure to check your dog's weight and compare it to a healthy weight. Depending on how your pet compares to a healthy weight you can decide whether you should try to prevent obesity in your pet or need to treat it. There is only one way to prevent obesity in your animals is to exercise them and make sure not to over feed them. When treating obesity, you cannot feed your pet table scraps and you should get a diet plan from your veterinarian. 

 

Overweight cartoon dog on a scale

 

Obesity also has some adverse health effects. It can accelerate arthritis and cause your pet to have a hard time getting around and can cause unnecessary pain when moving. Obesity can cause Raspatory compression which causes difficulty breathing. Heart disease is another serious health effect which is very serious. Exercise Intolerance is another which might make your dog's morning walk difficult.  Those are only a handful of things that obesity can do to your pet all from just a few pounds. 

There are many ways a pet can become obese. One is genetics, just like anything genetics have a lot to do with the weight of your pet. Your pets diet also has a lot to do with it, try to keep your pet away from the dinner table and do not feed them table scraps. Try to get a healthy food with good ingredients even in it’s a few dollars more. Exercise habits can have a huge part in your pet's health. Make sure to take your pet on walks as often as possible. There are countless reasons of why you pet could be obese, but these are the biggest reasons of why your pet could be obese. It could also be a combination of two or even all three of these things. 

I think we can all conclude that obesity is a terrible disease. It can be prevented though and overall the best way to treat it is to prevent it from happening in the first place. If it's too late for that make sure to ask your vet what you should feed your pet and begin to take your pet on frequent walks and don’t feed them anything from the table. Obesity is very easily prevented but when not treated it can cause unnecessary suffering.

 

Editor’s Note—Statistics were sourced from the following: 

https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_multi_long_term_effects_of_obesity_on_pets 

 

 

Bullying is still something that schools have to deal with, even after so much education has been given about it. All parents and students should be able to know that bullying is not something anyone will have to deal with in today's world. The most important thing should be getting an education and not worrying about any negative behaviors going on at school. All students should have fun at school while learning and hopefully not feel threatened by getting bullied.

When going to school you should feel welcomed. Students need to know that they can talk to their parents or teachers if something happens at school that makes them feel bullied or ashamed of themselves. When students do get bullied, their education can suffer because that is all that they think about. Some students sadly consider hurting themselves when the bullying gets too bad. This is why parents and teachers should encourage students to talk  to them when they feel like things are too much.  

People should realize that bullying could be a big issue it causes people to have bad mental health. Students, please be aware that there are a lot of people in school here to help you if you are feeling bad. You can talk to a counselor, a teacher, your parents, or a friend. You should not go through this alone. Kids should speak up when they see other students getting bullied and make sure that it stops immediately. If you are a bully or have bullied someone in the past, you should stop right now because you may not realize just how much you are making someone feel bad.

Even though we all should know how bad bullying is, it still happens sometimes. If you get bullied you should talk to someone right away and if you are a bully, you need to stop right now.

The word "Bullying" with a circle and line through it

 

     Should schools across America have a later start timeSome argue that a later start time has not only academic benefits but health related benefits as well. According to Harri Daniel, “Various studies say that delaying the starting times of most schools by only 30 minutes may really benefit the students.” Starting school later in fact does have has its pros and cons. 

      For example, if schools were to start later some benefits would beimprovement on academic performance, more safety in communities, and allowing adolescents to get more sleep (which has many other benefits involved with teenager's health).  Harri Daniel states, “When school starts later, students are much more in sync with the current class events and are therefore ready to learn. With enhanced alertness in the classroom, the academic performances will also improve.” This proves that when schools have a later start time more students are alert and know what is going around them, instead of just being in class and not paying attention as well as they should be. This could not only better scores but allow the students to be involved and know what they are learning about instead of just listening and not really knowing what is going on. Another way starting school later would benefit students is there have been studies Clip art alarm clockthat communities would have better safety. For example, Daniel states, “Many students get back home earlier than their parents. Police reports indicate that during this particular time, the rates of crimes are very high. By starting school later, this means it will also end later and this reduces the time children spend home alone.” This tells the readers that if schools did start later, the dismissal would be later too which means the students would have less alone time at home. For some families, leaving their teen home is no problem at all, but for others they dread it. Another problem that could come with leaving them home alone is not that you don’t trust them, but if someone was planning to break in or anything like that, they could do it easier with just the student home rather than the family. 

     While of course there is always another side to a debate there is one to this as well. For those who disagree that school should start later they believe the start time should remain the same. School beginning later would mean a later dismissal which could interfere with family's home time. For example, the students who are involved in sports or after school activities would already have to stay later on top of the later dismissal. This could be a problem because while getting home later they still have homework to do, shower, eat dinner, and whatever else may be in their schedule. This could leave students overwhelmed and way too stressed out, which is unnecessary because the test scores and doing better in school would begin to decrease without students having enough time. Another reason why schools should not start later is that it is the students responsibility to make sure they’re getting enough sleep while balancing a busy schedule. If school was to start later it is just going to make the students lazy; since in adult life you have a job which also starts early in the morning for most people.  

     Throughout the pros and good reasons why schools should push back their start time , there is also the reasons why not to which makes this topic so  tough to decide on while remaining on that one side. Some strongly agree that school most definitely should get to a later start in the morning and have their reasons, while that idea sounds ridiculous to others. Which side do you stand on?