Extreme expectations mean extreme stress for the teenagers trying to graduate from California’s elite schools. What’s life like inside a pressure cooker? Just ask the kids who are living it.

Illustrations by Jao San Pedro

Adults have many opinions about teenagers, and for the most part they’re negative. Teenagers are unpredictable and mean, we say, or they’re lazy and entitled, or they’re self-involved, selfie-taking, Snapchat-addicted narcissists who don’t understand how easy they have it.

It’s easy to forget how challenging being a teenager can be, how the world seems ready to foist adult responsibilities onto you without offering any adult freedom in return. And our clichéd view of teenage angst makes it easy to dismiss the struggles that people go through as they move…

Katie MacBride

writer, associate editor of @anxymag. www.katiemacbride.com www.anxymag.com @msmacb

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