Our names are Marianna and Rosa. We are in the Advanced class of English and recently we have been discussing the problems that effect teenagers; like drugs, stress, dieting and teenage pregnancy. As a result, we decided to do a project based on these topics.
To start our project we made some questions that helped us to discover the differences between the lives of teenagers today and in the past. Then, we chose to interview 6 people of different ages. These respondents were between 18 and 83 years of age.
Some of the questions that we included in our interviews were, for example, “Do you believe that teenagers now have more freedom than you had?” “What are the main problems that effect teenagers today?”
We had a variety of different responses as the people we interviewed were of different ages. But each person told us with passion about their old memories from their teenage years. In addition, they told us about the problems which they think exist for teenagers today and they spoke about the increase of freedom for adolescents today. These interviews were very interesting for us and now we would like to share our results with you.
We have divided our results into different sections of interest, concerning the different areas of teenage life that we learned about.
So what are the problems ?
One of the questions we asked in our interview was what the main problems facing teens today are compared to teens in the past. We got many responses. Here are some:
The problems facing teens today: drugs, alcohol, smoking, AIDS, bad company, the influence of TV, over-consumption, road safety.
The problems that teens faced in the past: smoking, alcohol, poverty, lack of freedom, isolation, lack of education, hard work.
The similarity - smoking and alcohol
Would you like to be a teenager in today’s society? Why/Why not?
YES = 5 Respondents NO = 1 Respondent
YES: curiosity about life as a teen today, re-live teenage years, technology, more freedom
It’s not unexpected that the majority of our respondents answered “yes” to this question.
The idea of being a teen today is very attractive due to the independence that teens have.
In the past: playing outdoor sport, dancing, singing at home, no bars, the cinema, board games.
Nowadays: clubs, dancing, coffee, electronic games, the cinema, TV, computers, board games.
In the past teens exercised outside whereas today teens spend most of their time in front of a screen. The result is an increase in overweight teens. However, TV, magazines, advertising and our peers all tell us that we should look a certain way and take care of our bodies. The emphasis on appearance has led to an increase in eating disorders like Anorexia and Bulimia
The other difference in entertainment is that, nowadays, entertainment like computer games or clubs are expensive. Parents have to provide money for all of these activites. This puts a lot of pressure on parents, especially in Greece where the economy is not strong.
All of our respondants believe that teens today have more freedom. What are the advantages and disadvantage of this freedom?
1. freedom to entertain yourself with your friends.
2. freedom to make choices about your own life.
3. freedom to choose your friends/boyfriends/girlfriends.
4. helps you to become more mature/independent.
1. teens exploit their freedom and get involved in bad situations/or with people they shouldn’t
2. some teens are too immature to deal with freedom
3. teens need direction from their parents
4. teens are still children and they should try to have fun, and have stress-free lives without problems
As teenagers we believe that, living in today’s society, we face a lot of problems, for example: sex, drugs, smoking etc. Being a teenager, in our opinion, is more difficult today because we have to deal with many dangers. In addition, we lead very stressful lives.
The average teenager in Greece attends about 12 hours of private lessons on top of their regular school hours. Homework requires about 3 hours per. night, leaving very little free time.
All students are under pressure to study hard at school and do well in their final exams.
It is expected that we go to university and get a good job. All of this takes its toll on even the most balanced student.
____ So, freedom, independence and youth all come at a high price!