Sometimes teens will lash out or behave badly during their second semester of high school senior year. But why is this? This should be one of the most exciting times in your child’s life.
Ten reasons some teens “spoil the nest”
1. They are scared about the future
One of the main reasons kids lash out at their parents is because they are nervous about the future. As second-semester seniors, these students are so close to graduating high school and moving out on their own for the first time which makes this a very scary and stressful time for them. When students get stressed out, they sometimes take out their anger on the easiest people to take it out on their family.
2. They are stressed about what college they will end up at
Another reason many teenagers misbehave is that they are worried about where they will end up next year. For a lot of kids who have had stability their whole lives, not knowing exactly where they’ll be in six to nine months can create anxiety. Their lives are about to change completely.
3. They sometimes gave in to peer pressure
A lot of students give in to peer pressure as seniors in high school. This can mean participating in the senior prank, senior ditch day, or experimenting with more risky behaviors. Many teens feel pressure to fit in and to enjoy their senior year. They do this by seeing what other kids their age are doing and imitating others’ sometimes questionable behavior.
4. They are comparing themselves to their peers
With social media, many young people are comparing themselves to others. As seniors in high school, students will often compare their college acceptances to those around them. They tend to think that where they get into school determines their value as a person. That’s why it’s important to remind your child that you are proud of them no matter which college they attend or no matter what their post-high school plans are.
Just because their friend is going to an Ivy League school and they are not, does not mean they are a less valuable or worthy person. Think of college rejections as redirection rather than rejection. Remind your child that in the long run, where they end up at school doesn’t matter as much as what they do with their degree.
5. Their high school experience was not a normal one
A lot of Class of 2022 seniors have not had the typical high school experience. They missed out on many social milestones over the last two years and may not feel completely ready to go. Remind them that everyone is in the same boat, with their high school experience disrupted.
6. Becoming an adult feels weird
When kids turn 18, many go through a period of an identity crisis or feel very weird that they are not considered children anymore. It is a strange transition period where they are so young but considered adults for some purposes. Even though they know 18 is still young and it is an exciting new phase of life, a lot of 18-year-olds feel like they might have wasted their childhood or not enjoyed it enough.
7. It can be hard to let go of their family
Everyone talks about how hard it is for parents when their children go off to college, but no one talks about how as a kid, your life is about to change radically. You most likely will be living in a new town for the first time and not knowing many people in this new town. Even though they never really show it, a lot of teens struggle with letting go and missing their family once they go off to college. Teens worry about what life will be like when they are on their own and have to cook and clean and do basically everything for themselves without their parent’s help.
8. School is overwhelming
Although most people assume that second-semester senior year will be a walk in the park, the reality is that many students who are taking AP or IB classes will be extremely stressed out and worried about maintaining a good GPA and preparing for the AP or IB exams this spring. Senior year is still a very difficult and stressful year of high school.
9. They have worked so hard for so long and are letting off steam
Many teens have been working extremely hard throughout high school gaining leadership experience, on sports teams, working jobs, and focused on school. Sometimes teens just need to let go and get a break. A lot of seniors are experiencing senioritis or burnout from how hard they have been working their entire lives to get into a good college.
10. They know they will have to work very hard in college
From a high schooler’s perspective, high school is the last time in their life to enjoy themselves before they head off to college and start their career. This is their last time really having fun and just being a kid before they get into the real world as adults. They want to make the most of their final months at home, and this sometimes means hanging out with friends or doing things that could be risky.