Teens Become Aware of Expensive High School Years


Deanna Garroutte

Sophomore Jonathan Donovan holds out his shirt. Donovan only wears top brands.

Deanna Garroutte, Staff Writer

  There are many basic things humans need to survive, such as food, water, warmth, shelter etc. But there are certain things that teenagers (specifically) need while growing up in this ever changing world that may be a bit beyond the basic human survival necessities.

  The national cost statistics for raising a teenager in Missouri is over $13,000 according to the  USDA’s Cost of Raising A Child Calculator (http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/calculatorintro.htm).

  “Oh God, I’m expensive; I feel that I need top brand clothes, shoes, hair products, lotion, lots of food, an operating washer and dryer, a computer with Netflix and games, and a T.V with D.V.R so I can record my shows,” sophomore Jonathan Donovan said.

  When a freshman enters high school, things get a little more involved than middle school.

   “The transition from middle school to high school can sometimes be overwhelming for our students. We encourage all students to become involved in extracurricular activities; this includes athletics, band, vocal music, the many clubs and special interest groups. It is tough to juggle school work, extracurricular activities and a healthy social life,” Mathematics teacher Jowell Roellig said.

  If students decide to join a club they are expected to buy the team shirts and go to the clubs’ events. There are often times when students have to come in early or stay after late to catch up on work or for extracurricular activities and this can be a little more costly than sending a child to school on the bus. Some students live more than 40 minutes away from school.

  According to assistant superintendent Tim Thomas, the school buses drive approximately 297,000 miles a year on bus routes and 42,300 miles for extracurricular activities. As stated in Daily Fuel Gauge Report released by AAA (http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/), the nation’s average gas price is $1.698 a gallon. Driving back and  forth can really dig into a wallet.

 “I go clear out by Climax Springs down by YY highway and I go back by Fristoe

Senior Derek Wright rests his hands on the wheel. Wright has spent over $1000 on his vehicle.
Deanna Garroutte
Senior Derek Wright rests his hands on the wheel. Wright has spent over $1000 on his vehicle.

. I drive probably 120 miles a day,” Thomas said.

  “I have to be here 3:30 to 6:00 for wrestling practice Monday through Friday,” freshman Jacob Rider said.

  Teenagers are also known for their social media. According to “Why Self-Consciousness Peaks In Teenage Years” ( www.livescience.com) this obsession is due to the development of abstract thinking. When teenagers begin to think abstractly they start to consider how people look at them and seek the approval of their peers. So keeping in touch and updating Facebook status becomes crucial. This urge for acceptance can bring a couple of extra costs for teens. Now they have to buy phones or have computers that need data or wifi.

  “Overall, I would’ve spent $700-800 on my iPhone 6,” senior Kaitlyn Reed said. Reed is making payments on her iPhone.

  Since teenagers are generally concerned with social status, they will want to spend time with their friends. This can also cost money. Going to the movies, fast food, paint balling, Starbucks, and going to the mall can really add up.

  “It costs a lot of money to go to Starbucks, because you have to pay for gas and then drinks are like $5.00 a piece,” Donovan said.

Another part of adolescence is feeling self conscience. As stated in  “Why Self-Consciousness Peaks In Teenage Years,” (www.livescience.com) teenagers are more likely to feel this way because of changing hormones. The teenage body begins to make more of the oxytocin hormone, which has been linked with feelings of conscientiousness. This is why teenagers are more likely to require expensive clothes and/or beauty products.

  “When I go shopping I spend $150 on average. I only wear top brand clothes like American Eagle or Nike because I feel ugly and wearing top brands make me feel better about myself,” Donovan said.

  “Beauty products are expensive! I’m glad I don’t have to buy them, that’s my parents’ job,” sophomore Naomi Meyers said.

  The senior class has its own specific needs and expenses. At this age, students are about to graduate and have to worry about college, jobs, maintaining vehicles, moving out, and attending school events which have their own costs such as buying dance tickets – not even to mention the expense of class trips, class rings, yearbooks, etc. As they break away from parental support the cost of being a teen may become a bit more obvious.

  Senior Derek Wright reports that he spends at least $180 a month on his phone bill, gas, and insurance for his car that he bought for about $1000.

  “Unless your parents are gonna pay for it, you almost have to have a job of some sort. Having a car at my age is very useful because usually to go to school events you have to rely on your parents, but when you have a vehicle you can be more independent,” Wright said.

  Senior Damian Adams who works at McDonald’s reports that he chooses to sleep more in class because of his job and says he spends most of his earnings on his vehicle.

  “Its very tedious and annoying having to work late every night,” Adams said.


Sophomore Jonathon Donovan shows off his top brand outfit. "Oh god I'm expensive," Donovan said.
Deanna Garroutte
Sophomore Jonathon Donovan shows off his top brand outfit. “Oh god I’m expensive,” Donovan said.