Are You a Stereotypical Teenager in Fairfield?
December 5, 2018
FAIRFIELD, CT– Teenagers in Fairfield County have increasing amounts of stress, due to the expectations they think they have to live up to.
In Fairfield, CT, you can typically spot at least 10 jeeps with teenage girls blaring music, drinking iced coffees, wearing their fluffy jackets, and snapchatting on their iPhones while driving downtown. This teen is commonly known as the “typical Fairfield County girl.”
Fairfield Ludlowe High School senior, Bridget Paulmann, expanded on the idea of these stereotypes, saying that “they are exaggerated a bit about Fairfield because of the opportunities we have. We are a privileged population, but a lot of people don’t understand the disadvantages of having money: drug overdoses, addiction, and eating disorders.”
Stereotypes lead many teenagers to think of “the perfect girl” –a good body, a perfect Instagram feed, whereas the “the perfect guy” has to play sports and be popular.
When teens strive for perfection, or what they deem to be perfect in the eyes of others, some will go to any means to achieve that perfection.
Recent studies have shown that 95% of those with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25, according to The Healthy Teen Project, and among high school students, 44% of females and 15% of males attempt to lose weight.
Another factor that creates stress for the typical Fairfield student is over- scheduling, which produces a lack of sleep. You would be surprised how little sleep teenagers get when they are striving to achieve such high academic and athletic standards.
Lack of sleep has been linked to increased health issues. Some nearby schools are looking to address this issue with later start times for high school students.
Adults blame social media and phones for the lack of sleep. Even though this is a cause, the lack of sleep primarily has to do with over-scheduling as teenagers perceive a need to take multiple advanced classes, volunteer, work, and be involved in multiple school activities.
Those who are exposed to more expensive and different opportunities than others, often put pressure on their children to be the best in any circumstance, whether that be from sports, the arts, or school. However this creates a “false sense of security and pressure to be overachievers,” states Paulmann.
Another common stereotype Fairfield has obtained is the “race to nowhere,” where we have one path, which is that everyone needs to get good grades and go to college. This “race” only results in an unhealthy lifestyle and a “homogeneous culture,” says Paulmann.
When alumni recently came back to visit Ludlowe, Meredith Reynolds a freshman at UConn, said that whenever she says she’s from Fairfield, people respond with, “Oh wow, that’s a very nice town.” Her classmates immediately perceive her to have privileges that may or may not be true.
Teenagers already have enough stress from homework and extracurricular activities, that they don’t need the extra pressure to “fit in” and be the perfect image that everyone thinks of when the words “Fairfield teenager” are said.