The “Try Hard” Label is Detrimental to Teenage Development

“Try hard” – a label that is given to those who strive for greatness within aspects of their lives they are passionate about, but are brought down due to it. Whether this be academic performance, sporting achievement or even hobbies outside of school, this label is assigned to teenagers everywhere for simply trying hard. When really considering the reality of the label, it is somewhat humorous to think effort is something one might be to be mocked for. Within a society full of high achieving teenagers, the stigma around striving to one’s full potential in life is quite literally detrimental to the development of teenagers within. This raises questions about who is labeling people this way and why, and more fundamentally:  is trying hard really such a bad thing? 

For each individual, trying hard at its core means working hard to be successful at something that is important.  For athletes, this may be putting in the extra effort and practice to become that next level athlete, or to graduate from practice player to a starter. Highly academically motivated students may put in the extra hours of studying each night to ace an exam, or stay after for that extra help crucial for the success of their future. But for artists, this could mean something completely different, maybe staying up all night perfecting a piece to feel proud of their achievements.  Effort comes within different aspects of life.

With all this being said, there is a clear stigma around those who do try hard, which is where the label “try hard” originates. There is a need for teenagers  to feel and act “cool” around others, rather than care. There is immense peer and social pressures that surround this fact, and is the leading factor of why people often use this label. The pressures to conform leads teenagers to stop trying and participating in activities they are passionate about. Ultimately, the lack of effort ends up restraining teenagers from reaching their full potential which affects their high school and future careers as individuals.   

Essentially, trying hard comes down to the effort a person puts into their goals. By this, everyone is a “try hard”  at something. Going through life with no passion or effort put into  anything, would simply not be living, one would just be alive. As teenagers, labels are everywhere and seemingly inevitable. It is critical for teenagers to understand that being called a “try hard” is actually a compliment. One should not have to change their lifestyle and priorities to fit in with others standards of what trying “too much” looks like. In the end, effort is cool, and this is something that does not require a label to be justified.