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Feature

Teen insecurities on the rise as pressure builds

Grace Zhang | Staff Editor

Depression Infographic- Chronicle

Statistics from stageoflife.com. Infographic by the Chronicle Graphic Designer Ryan D’Souza.

Selfies are taking over the world. But do these pictures accurately portray how a person feels?

Nearly 95 percent of all teens have felt inferior at some point in their lives, usually due to intelligence, ability to perform well in a certain area, and appearance, according to Stage of Life’s website.

Eighth grader Anwesa Basa said that this type of insecurity is related to the pressure put on individuals to belong to one group.

“Insecurity comes from the moment you realize that you should fit a certain stereotype society lays out for you,” Basa said.

Stereotypes, once enforced, can create a barrier between doing what you want to do and doing what others think you should do, according to Everyday Sociology. This is commonly known as peer pressure.

Eighth grader Alekhya Kondragunta said peer pressure is only one of the many forms of pressure facing teenagers today.

“Ultimately, I think insecurity comes from many forms of pressure,” Kondragunta said.It could be peer pressure, or pressure from trying to be as good as an older sibling or family member, or being compared to something or someone else.”

This high pressure can lead to constant disappointment from failing to achieve expectations that are already very high in the first place.

Many self awareness projects have been established in the 2015-16 Mason Middle School year, such as You Matter. Students learned that they could make a difference by helping others through their talents.

Despite all the campaigns on improving self-esteem, some teens just aren’t getting it.

Eighth grader Emily Yu said phrases like ‘I have no friends’ or ‘I suck at everything’ are spreading like wildfire.

“Most people think that having 10 friends qualifies as having ‘no friends’,” Yu said. “10 friends who are really close to you is better than having 30 friends who (aren’t).”

These seemingly harmless “jokes” affect everyone differently, from bringing down students self esteem level to eventually believing the jokes.

“I think teens joke about these issues because they want to seem like they are on top of everything,” Kondragunta said. “That by being sarcastic, they don’t have insecurity. Or they try to make themselves feel superior or above someone else that maybe does feel insecure.”

Having self-confidence does not mean that you never rely on others, according to Uncommon Knowledge. Even some of the most secure people have insecure moments.

Sophomore Jonathan Fan said the constant judging and watchfulness from his peers made him uncomfortable in school.

“One of the most vivid things I still remember about middle school was that everyone was judging everyone, all the time, about everything,” Fan said. “It made me feel uncomfortable because I could never do anything without being evaluated.”

Now a sophomore in high school taking courses such as AP Calculus and arts electives, Fan said he has greatly improved his self-esteem. However, there are still some moments of insecurity in his life.

“That’s okay though,” Fan says. “Those moments are what helps us grow in life.”

Not caring what other people think about you and just being yourself are two important aspects of self esteem, according to Community Counseling Services.

“Sometimes it is better to listen to what others have to say,” Basa said. “But at other times it is better for you to do what you think is right.”

Most people eventually get over their insecurity, according to Psych Alive.

“You just have to move on, accept yourself, and be alright for something you’re not and allow yourself to be proud of something you already are,” Yu said.

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