Students claim more school, more stress than parents
Students claim more school, more stress than parents (Thinkstock)
Students claim more school, more stress than parents
Lexile: 810L

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Today's high school seniors aren't partying and socializing as much as their parents' generation. They're too busy trying to get into college. And when they get there, some don't feel good about themselves. That's according to a survey.

It's an annual survey of college freshmen. It was done by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute. UCLA is the University of California, Los Angeles. Incoming students at four-year colleges and universities last fall were surveyed. They said they devoted half as many hours to hanging out with friends during their final year of high school as students who entered college in 1987. That is when the institute first asked respondents about their hobnobbing habits.

The findings rang true to Isabella Galeazi, age 18. She is juggling a job at McDonald's and a musical production internship. She also has a full-time course load at California State University, Fullerton. Balancing her professional and academic responsibilities with a thriving social life has proven a challenge. Sometimes she said she feels snowed under.

"My parents are always saying, 'When they were in school, when they were in school,' But I can show them my math homework and they have no clue how to do it," she said. "The work load is a lot heavier and the work is a lot harder. There is so much pressure to do well in high school."

The results are consistent with other trends. Those indicate millennials face greater pressure to succeed academically. And they have less time to have fun. That's according to Kevin Eagan, the institute's managing director. He is an assistant professor at UCLA.

In the survey, nearly 39 percent said they spent five hours or less each week socializing. That's compared to the 18 percent who mingled with others that much in 1987.

When asked to rank their emotional health in comparison with their peers, half put themselves in the above-average category. Nearly 12 percent rated their emotional well-being as below average. That figure stood at 3.5 percent in 1985.

Jack Foley, age 18, is a freshman at the University of California, Davis. He advised parents not to read too much into the survey. He said today's older teenagers may spend less time chilling out with friends. But they do connect with others. They do it through social media, clubs and extra-curricular activities. Young people have been primed to participate in them since toddlerhood, Foley said.

Foley says teens are stressed. But it's also a way to measure up with peers.

"In some ways" he said, "talking about how stressed you feel is a way to quantify how well you are doing. And how hard you are working."

Dr. Gina Fleming is the medical director of the University of California's student health insurance program. She said that over the last three years, there has been a 20 percent increase in students seeking help. They complain of anxiety or depression. Many also suffer from stomach aches, headaches and insomnia. Those problems are likely stress-induced.

"There is a greater expectation that they need to succeed and do extremely well from the get-go," she said.

Critical thinking challenge: What might students do to connect with others more during the course of their school work and jobs?

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Assigned 47 times

  • AlaylaH-Phe
    2/25/2015 - 08:44 a.m.

    Now that I have actually read this well it started when I was looking through this and thought I would want to read it and I thought I could connect to it and I could because these kids are just like me and I feel the same way they do because school is HARD!!!! but I learned to get over it and like it was in the story they sat the work in front of there parents and I did too but I did it with my sister and my parents and they couldn't figure it out either just like me... I also liked the part about when it said that school work is harder than real work...Ex: McDonald's, Taco Bell , and etc.

    A'Layla Hope Hopkins

  • DrewG-Bru
    2/27/2015 - 03:32 p.m.

    I'm not sure about this article like we need more smart people in this country.So if the work is more difficult then that means we try harder to get stuff done.Granted I know how it feels when you don't have a lot of free time.Sometimes I feel like the Person in the fourth paragraph which says"My parents are all ways saying back in my days and stuff like that.Now a days I can show them a math problem and they have no clue what to do.The work load is a lot harder from are time and there time there is a lot more pressure to do in high school." Now I don't know if this is true or not mainly because i'm not in high school but i'm on the students side. In conclusion there ups and down to each side get more work you can get a better job and be stressed or get less difficult work and be more chill.

  • Hannahh-Cla
    3/02/2015 - 07:17 p.m.

    Ms.Clarkson, I agree with this article school is hard. I also agree with Isabella my parents don't know how to do all my sister's homework.

  • Erica8302
    3/10/2015 - 06:01 p.m.

    This article about the fact that school work for the generation of today has been a lot harder and more vigorous versus the generation before us, seems very true to me. I feel that I have so much more homework and a lot more tests than my parents did. Even though I am only in 7th grade, I feel the same way as some of these college students. I mean yeah I talk to my friends a lot on social media, but it is not the same as talking face to face with my friends. I really hope the teachers of my generation notice the hassle in trying to get work done on time and the stress and anxiety 4 or 5 tests in a day can do to 7th graders. I know I will always have more homework than my parents' generation, but I really wish I didn't have to.

  • MadisonSh-Phe
    3/11/2015 - 10:40 a.m.

    This is totally true, I mean, sometimes I get stressed out over school work and I really don't get to do much anymore because some of the stuff we do Is really hard.

  • annabel1226-yyca
    5/05/2015 - 09:49 p.m.

    I know school stress us a lot. Our parents always said work hard or else you will not go to college and live your life miserable and you will have to work for your friends. So I always work hard to make my mom and dad proud and to later on they could have a better life. Also next is my final test so I have to study and this is making me stress. If I do not do the final well then my grade will go down.

    Critical thinking challenge: What might students do to connect with others more during the course of their school work a jobs?
    Answer: While their teachers are teaching they will text their friends.

  • Tiffany0307-yyca
    5/14/2015 - 09:24 p.m.

    I agree that I have stress more than my parents. I think my parents are very free, well, except for their jobs anyway. But they still get to have a lot of fun. It's like they don't study anything anymore, and they don't know anything anymore and just gave up for nothing. I think that it is plainly unfair that children have to do a lot more work than their parents. It's not like parents study at home for a test or something like that. At home, while I study for my spelling words and their definitions, my mom just stares at her laptop, looking at jewelry that looks interesting to her, and which one she favors the best. She looks at Tiffany and Co. to look at the all the jewelry and everything. I think that parents should study with their kids or either on their own instead of just staying there on the chair doing nothing or just playing a game or texting. Well, I'm not saying this for some adults that study for driver license tests and study for a job's test. It's about the adults who just stay there( mom) either looking at something, napping, or just doing nothing. That is why I think that our parents should work and do some studying or reading a book to study language or something like that, because we always work and work and some adults just don't do anything.

  • John0724-YYCA
    6/18/2015 - 01:36 p.m.

    I do think that students have more stress than there parents because the parents have already passed school and they are now adults which means they are free from school work except for their jobs but the jobs are better than school work and these days the works got even more harder so most of the time I ask my mom about a homework problem she doesn't even know how to answer the question. I think that parents should be happy that there are free and students are getting mad over school work.

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