Then and now: Teens stress remains constant

By J1 reporter: Lauren Shotkoski

Your parents refer to it as the ‘good old days’ but teens feel as if that could not be further from the truth.  High school is hard and those who have experienced it can attest to that, but if your parents could get through it, so can you…. right?

“My schedule is so crazy busy that when I do have a spare moment I feel like it is because I’m forgetting something,” volleyball player, junior Meredith Mueller said.   In return for all their hard work, teens are rewarded with much stress. Sometimes stress is the only consistent thing in their lives. Is this the ‘good old days’ parents of teenagers  refer to?

Though French may be her specialty now, Madame Janet Tuttle was a typical American teenager.  Growing up in the 80s, her morning routine consisted of brushing her teeth, doing her hair, and putting on 10 pounds of eyeshadow (blue specifically).


tuttle 80s cropped
Madame Janet Tuttle (in the middle) with her friends in high school. Photo courtesy of Tuttle.

She went to a co-ed school so her beauty routine was much lengthier than that of a typical Marian girl. Marian school days look pretty standard starting around 8 and ending around 3, but Madame Tuttle was an athlete and after school volleyball kept her at Gross High School late.  One year she played basketball and would have to be at school until and her weekends were just as frantic. Though Tuttle says she did not participate in nearly as many clubs as students do now, she did mention that she was almost never home.

Stress is something that plagues most teens on a day-to-day basis, and Tuttle was no exception.  She would often have two hours of homework a night and balancing her school and sports called for many stressful moments, but she did note that it seemed to not be as intense as teens now.  

“A key role in this could be given to cell phones and technology today,” Tuttle said. Though the marketing on phones makes it seem as if it could help combat anxiety, the reality is that it just creates more of it.  

As much as teens hate to admit it, their lives are not that different from how their parents were. Most of their values and schedules were pretty similar to teens of today, maybe even more hectic. But with the prevalence of technology and social media, there is just more pressure and strain for them to live up to.


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