Sometimes teens will lash out or misbehave 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, making this a very scary and stressful time for them. When students get stressed, they sometimes take out their anger on the most accessible people and take it out on their families.
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 many 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
Many students give in to peer pressure as seniors in high school. This can mean participating in the senior prank, ditch day, or experimenting with more risky behaviors. Many teens feel pressure to fit in and 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 often compare their college acceptances to those around them. They tend to think that where they get into school determines their value. That’s why it’s important to remind your child that you are proud of them no matter which college they attend or their post-high school plans.
Just because their friend is going to an Ivy League school and they are not, does not mean they are less valuable or worthy. Think of college rejections as redirection rather than rejection. Remind your child that where they end up at school doesn’t matter as much as what they do with their degree in the long run.
5. Their high school experience was not a normal one
Many Class of 2023 seniors have not had the typical high school experience. They missed many social milestones over the last two years and may not feel 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 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 an exciting new phase of life, many 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 your life is about to change radically as a kid. 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, many teens struggle with letting go and missing their families once they go to college. Teens worry about life 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 highly 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 focusing on school. Sometimes teens need to let go and get a break. Many seniors are experiencing senioritis or burnout from how hard they have worked 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 they enjoy themselves before heading to college and starting 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.