High school: then vs. now

Who had it harder?


Photo Courtesy to VeryWellMind via Creative Commons


It is no question that the education system has changed from when today’s parents were in school to the current children and teens who are currently in school. If we just compare the types of classes, then one could see how kids nowadays have a much more wide variety of options to choose from.Whether it was harder then or now is up for debate. 

The high school life for a teen in the 70s-80s has its similarities and differences, but more differences definitely outweigh the similarities. Along with the difference in the types of classes offered to these two groups of people, teens nowadays are generally more involved with their schools and other extracurriculars. For example, an average school athlete practices from about three to five, and then right after they have their own practices for their teams non-related to the school. By the time they return home to do their loads of homework, it is already 9:30 so they are then up extremely late trying to complete their work for the next day. High schoolers in the 70s-80s did not have to manage their time as diligently as high schoolers now do. According to junior Meghan Yancy, “My mom said ‘I don’t recall ever having as much homework as you guys do however you guys dance every night, all night so it’s a lot harder for you guys to get things done’”. Although teens now have to manage a great deal of homework and extracurriculars, it does help improve their time management which proves to be helpful when they get to college. 

Another major difference between teens in the 70s-80s and teens now is the presence of social media. Social media’s creation was a blessing and a curse. It helped make connections with people who thought they would never see each other again, but it also brought about this sudden urge to have everyone accept you, yet hide behind a screen name. Teens back then never had to deal with the stress of an embarrassing picture being posted of them for the whole school to see. Sure teens back then had to deal with the everyday gossip, but they never had to even fathom the thought of cyber bullying. Senior Maggie Kiernan said, “Yes, I think it is harder being a teenager now because kids nowadays have way more stress due to social media and school.” If social media were to have been created when the 80s kids were in high school, then it would be safe to say that they would have been a little more stressed than they were. 

According to a Stanford University survey, “Overtired, over stressed teenagers spend all day in classes to come home and spend, on average, more than three hours a night on homework.” Overall, teens nowadays have a lot more on their plate than teens back then did. Indeed they did also have rigorous classes, but they did not have Advanced Placement courses or Dual Enrollment courses.