Виталий Лобанов




Write about the following topic: Today's teenagers have more stressful lives than previous generations. Discuss this view and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your  own knowledge or experience. Write at least 250 words.

Model answer
Despite a continuing improvement in standard of living, many people believe that young people suffer more stress than older generations. In this essay, the arguments surrounding the issue of teenage stress will be discussed.
Firstly, teenagers are exposed to more products than earlier generations as a result of living in a modern consumer society. Through films and the media, they see celebrities with expensive jewellery, clothes and cars. In addition, youth-oriented advertising gives them an awareness of the latest technology such as digital music formats and mobile phones. Consequently, teenagers feel pressure to acquire these items. Some might argue that these pressures are not new. However, I believe that such stresses were not so strong during earlier times.
It could also be argued that pressures at school are stronger than before. In order to achieve the lifestyle they see in the media, teenagers must succeed in their studies so they can compete for the best jobs. Parental pressure, examinations and homework are all reported as causing increased levels of strain.
On the other hand, although it may be true to say that modern society produces certain stresses it does not necessarily mean that stress was previously absent. In earlier times, hunger and physical discomfort would undoubtedly have caused high levels of anxiety, as would hard physical labour, for example, working down a mine. Any balanced view must take into account these alternative factors.
To sum up, consumerism and academic pressures are powerful causes of stress on today's teenagers. Nevertheless, it is my view that these stresses are no greater than those experienced by earlier generations of teenagers.
(267 words)

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