Bookworm Teen Panel.events page

Each panel was interesting and meaningful. Sometimes they were tear-filled. Sometimes they were hilarious. Often, they were charged with feeling. None of this translated well on the videos I made. Yet I learned a great deal. Here’s a summary:

  • Teens around the nation feel intense pressure to perform academically, in sports, and/or socially.
  • Teens of all ilks seem smarter and more savvy than I remember myself and my friends being.
  • Teens who want to attend college feel driven to take and perform well in AP classes or on standardized tests, yet they also feel a frustration with the system. Teens that are not pursuing this feel a sense of failure.
  • Teens over all are not optimistic about the future of humanity. They are optimistic about their own futures, however.
  • Teens are busier than ever before. Many feel they are too busy and that college will actually be less busy.
  • Many teens are too busy for boyfriends or girlfriends, often even for ordinary friendships.
  • Many teens focused on college do not feel they can take a class in school simply because they are interested in it. Their greater concern is how that class might look on a transcript.
  • Most teens I spoke with plan to attend college in some form.
  • Books and reading are as popular as ever, yet many teens do not have time to read books outside of those required by school.
  • Most teens feel that portrayals of teens in books is predominately unrealistic, especially when school settings are delineated into cliques that are unfriendly to one another. They felt the worst offenders were the books that dealt with realistic problems and settings.
  • Some teens preferred protagonists they could identify with, some preferred protagonists that were vastly different from them. Variety seemed most important, and all teens seemed tired of books that followed formulas and conveyed angst.
  • Over all, teens move on from YA literature around sophomore to junior year, growing weary of the formulaic plots and problems. They seek books that address more of the world and its complexity.
  • All teens felt that nineteen rather than twenty meant the conceptual end of being a teenager.