The Pressures of youth today

Jason Van Gordon
Essay #1
English 111, Section VIII

The Pressures of Today¹s Youth

Many young people in this day and age are tying to look act, and overall seem older. Youths face many dilemmas in their trek to adulthood yet, they still try to obtain adulthood earlier by going through the ³proper² rites of passage. These rites create dilemmas which can help or hinder lifetime goals. Two of the dilemmas that young people face today are peer pressure, and adult pressure. Two essayists have given their thoughts on these subjects They are Mark Gerzon ( "Manhood... The Elusive Goal ") and Joan Didion ( On
Self-respect"). ³Manhood The elusive goal² is an enigmatic journey of a young male into adult hood. He encounters some of the many rites of passage (dilemmas) in the modern society;smoking, drinking, and violence. The author refers to these as part of the "masculine code of conduct" an item every male must follow verbatim.
"On Self-respect " faces the every day pressures of adolescent life . The main premise of this essay
is that you must respect yourself for anyone to respect you. Both essay¹s rely on self respect to relate to the rites of passage in today¹s society.
Peer pressure is a very major dilemma in that friends or peers try to get a person to do what they, the majority, like and not what the individual likes. Peers create some of the so-called rites, then when one follows more start to follow, then it becomes the scenario of the lemmings following their leader off of the face of a cliff. Some teens think that drinking is a passage into adulthood because the law states you must be 21 to drink . The logic of some teens then indicates that if you drink you are considered an adult. Therefore if one teen tries it he/she is supposedly accepted as a more mature person, so more people will follow.
Many adolescents fear their peers because of the fact that the peer group may have set certain ideals yet the individual may or may not have the resources to obtain the ideals. If there is a lack of resources then the individual may have a very low level of self esteem. Many individuals do not care for the ideals yet they allow themselves to be converted to the majority and this can also create a problem with ones self-esteem.
Another kind of pressure is adult pressure ,adult create many dilemmas in a teens life. Adults tell teens what and what not to do . They make things harder in that adults pressure teens into colleges, jobs, careers, and life over all. Adults also create self-esteem problems in teens by not respecting choices or decisions made by teens.
Adults pressure teens into not doing things also . Drugs, Sex, and alcohol are some of the many things peers and adults disagree upon. The style of clothes one wears is also a big disagreement among the two groups.
In a way adult pressure is worse than peer pressure. Adults control teens lives until they are eighteen years old or older. Adults may force a son or daughter to go to a certain college that the teen does not want to attend, or obtain a career that the teen does not want.
In conclusion the two pressures of peers, and adults are often conflicting. Sometimes neither are good, and other times both are good. Adult pressure is by far the worst creating many problems with youths today. peer pressure may also create problems yet they are easier to deal with. The best thing to do is to respect one own decision for ones self and no one else¹s.

Category: English