Smith, Emily Esfahani. “Teenagers Are Struggling, and It’s Not Just Lockdown.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 May 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/04/opinion/coronavirus-mental-health-teenagers.html.
Summary: In “Teenagers are struggling, and it’s not just a lockdown,” Emily Esfahani talks about how the pandemic has had a great effect on the mental health of teenagers but that isn’t the only thing that’s taking a toll on their mental health. Dr. Luthar has done some research on teenagers that go to pricey schools and she realized that the kids who go to high-end schools suffer a lot from depression and anxiety. Dr. Luthar claims that this is because they feel pressured to become successful given the fact that their parents are rich and are successful in life. The pandemic has helped this situation because since the school was switched to online, the work given wasn’t as much as before the pandemic started, fewer exams and quizzes, kids who were failing were now passing and the rates of depression and anxiety were going down compared to what it was in 2019. This didn’t last for long though. A study done on high school students showed an increase in stress and anxiety from 2018-to 2020. Fall 2020 was harder on students because it was the beginning of a new school year online. More schoolwork was given, teens were sleeping less and on top of that, they also had to worry about colleges. Many teens are claiming that at first, they felt like the pandemic was a break from school since everyone was still adjusting, but after, even with the coronavirus going around, schools were giving way more homework making teens’ mental health skyrocket in a negative way.
Reflection: I do agree with the information that Emily presents. Many teens have been struggling with mental health even more after the pandemic and she shows this with research and interviews done with them. Throughout this opinionated piece, I have learned that many teens my age or even younger are dealing with the same issues as teens around me, that go to my school, or even family members. “Even though times are tough for everyone…at first, this was just a break from school, but now all I feel is stress, anxiety, and pain.” This quote stood out to me because it summarizes everything I am trying to convey to people. Something I would ask the author is why aren’t there more schools focused on teens’ mental health rather than just a load of school work? Especially now during the pandemic. This also is some information I want to do more research on. This opinionated piece tells me that there are many issues with our society now and the pandemic isn’t making it any better. Having to be isolated from everyone and then on top of that, tons of school work, lack of sleep, and feeling unmotivated isn’t making anything easier for teens.
Rhetorical analysis: Emily used research done on teens and she also got some opinions from them on how they feel about the pandemic with school and how it makes them feel. Emily’s reason for writing this piece was to show the audience that not just a few teenagers’ mental health has skyrockets during the pandemic but many teens have been affected by this, especially also having to worry about school. The genre of this piece is an op-ed (opinion editorial). This genre is effective because you get an opinion of what the author thinks and also facts along with that. This helps because you can also see what point of view the author has. This genre does make sense for what the author wants to accomplish because she gets her point across with credible facts and her opinion. I know this is a credible source because Emily Esfahani is a doctoral student studying clinical psychology.