Pressures for high school students vary depending on their grade level and gender. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley met with eight students from Lake Shore Central High School in Angola as she brings us another installment of our on-going Cafeteria Chats.
Four high school teenage girls gathered at two round cafeteria tables to discussing their school life.
“I actually had a great four years, but I’m ready to actually leave. I’m ready for college,” Leya Moser, senior at Lake Shore, kicked off our conversation.
Moser is anxious to complete high school and graduate this June. But Moser's generation has a big distraction – on-line living.
“So it’s kind of an issue because that’s all you pay attention to is social media. When you’re in school a lot of people will go on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, so it’s hard to pay attention sometimes. People talk about other people on social media, so that also affects people’s lives in school, which is really hard for them, so I feel bad for that. It’s like a distraction,” Moser described.
Moser tries to avoid ‘girl drama’, but she does witness cyberbullying. She tells us too many students just say “what's on their mind without” thinking about hurting others feelings.
The teen finds completing school work, and homework, preparing for tests and getting along with students and teachers – all a major challenge for students
“Just being able to come to school in the morning. Some people have things going on in their life that you don’t know about so when they come to school in a bad mood you can’t really tell them to stop because you don’t know exactly what’s going on in their life,” responded Moser.
“Trying to grow up, and you’re trying to realize what’s important and you have to focus more on school and getting into colleges now and think about what you have to do with your life,” remarked Dyllon Gartley, junior at Lake Shore.
Gartley described the pressure of being a teenager.
“What about behaviors and student behaviors, does it affect you and your life?” asked Buckley.
“Yeah, I feel like some people have trouble growing up and they can definitely affect other people, and like the atmosphere of being in the classroom, and trying to learn while other people don’t really care about that and it goes along with social media and stuff, everybody’s on it all the time,” explained Gartley.
“There is so much social media. It’s just hooked into your whole lives, isn’t it?” Buckley questioned. “Yeah, I feel like no matter what, everybody is part of it,” replied Gartley.
“Do you see cyberbullying? Been a victim?” Buckley asked Gartley. “Never personally been a victim of it, but yeah, I see it a lot, especially on like, Twitter. Everybody’s doing something to somebody else,” Gartley answered.
For a second year high school student, maintaining friendships is a major challenge. Rebecca Perry tells us balancing her social life, school life and schedule as a student athlete is become very difficult.
“I don’t get home until like 5:30 every night because I run cross-country and track, and so as soon as I get home I try to do my homework and study and everything, but a lot of times I tend to get distracted by my phone, so it’s really difficult. A lot of times I don’t go to bed until around midnight, so I barely get any sleep too,” said Perry.
“What’s happening on your phone, what are you doing, social media?” Buckley asked. “Yeah. Looking at Twitter and Instagram,” Perry responded. “Is it to the point of, you know you should just put the phone down?” Buckley questioned Perry.
“Yeah. Honestly, I’d say I’m not on my phone as much as my friends but I definitely do try to take part it in because everybody like in our school does and I feel like I’m missing out if I’m not,” Perry noted.
“I’ve seen a lot of times people are put down online or people’s appearances are made fun of,” said Mathea Riley, a junior at Lake Shore.
“I fear for their self-esteem because what bullying does to your self-esteem makes it almost-like hard to recover in your life because this is such an important stage of our lives, that when your self-esteem is damaged like that when you’re this age, it can carry on to when you’re an adult,” Riley stated.
“Do you see it as a destructive factor?” asked Buckley. “I see it as definitely very destructive because it’s hard to figure out what you want your purpose to be, professionally and otherwise, when you don’t really know who you are because you’re too busy trying to follow trends or trying to be like someone that you’re not,” replied Riley.
Riley said she tries to stay off social media, taking breaks from her phone. This frees her up to do things she enjoys like writing poetry, short stories and reading. But she’s always dealing with time management.
“It’s pretty hard to deal with time management because it’s getting harder and harder to stand out to colleges because of, you know, so many other accomplishments that are occurring and you really have to pack your schedule and kind of become busy so that colleges will see you as an outstanding student,” Riley described.
Thursday we will return with part II of our Cafeteria Chats where you will get a perspective on the issues from four teenage male students from Lake Shore Central.