First off, when you're a kid, you don't really get to make the schedule. Your parents always telling you to do this, do that, go here, go there, blah blah blah. Now I can actually be trusted to prioretize. And trying to find a summer job when you're a teenager? NIGHTMARE!
To go along with that, it's much harder to do things when you A) Don't have a car and B) Don't even have a license. It was harder to get together with friends and, even if you DO find a summer job/want to stay after school for a club/whatever, you have to coordinate to get rides places. So annoying. It's much easier now.
Strangely enough, I had more money problems then than I do now. Maybe that's not too strange since I work a full time job, but I've got loans and bills and whatnot, things I didn't have as a kid. But when I was a kid, I couldn't really splurge on anything. I couldn't save up for anything because I didn't have that much money. If DVDs came out when I was in high school, I'd have a lot less now because I'd probably only get them for my birthday or Christmas. With so much income now, even WITH paying off my enormous loans, I can still afford to go crazy every now and then. And I'm budgetting. I don't even feel bad about buying things. When I had an allowance, it wasn't my money. I've been working a job I feel so-so about, so I consider my income hard earned! If I have a little extra money one week, I'll buy that trade paperback I've been thinking about buying.
And lastly, I have more free time now than I did when I was a kid. I think it's funny that Brad thinks I'm slow in watching my DVDs because I don't have time to. I do since I get home around 5/5:30 and pretty much have no obligations over the weekend. Sure, I got home earlier in high school and I don't get any days off or vacations outside of the occational long weekend, but hey, no homework! And homework is REALLY time consuming! Maybe I'm thinking more about college than high school, but it seems like during the school year I didn't have a whole lot of free time. Now I can actually do the kinds of things I enjoy doing.
I realize this is just because I'm a temp who doesn't have a particularly challenging job. No work to take home, and I'm not even allowed to work overtime. So all that stuff I was scared of back when I was in high school wasn't a whole lot. And it's not that I'm not a hard worker, I am, my junior year of college I worked two jobs, I just expected with all the fear that teachers and parents put in me, this would actually be hard. And unfun. I don't even feel like I need long vacations since weekends give me a LOT of free time. I'm going to go to grad school in another couple years, and I will be ready to bust my hump, but right now, things just aren't that hard. Being a teenager? That's HARD. Heck, I didn't even talk about having raging hormones. I get moody every now and then, but the way I felt when I was a teenager SUCKED.
So basically, I think where I am in life now is a lot less difficult than going through high school and college. So leave all those teenagers alone (provided they're not slackers).