Students focus on college entrance

Mikayla Mason

Everyone is obsessed with college.
We work, stress, eat and breathe for
getting into that dream school. But
how can school be worth more than
one’s mental health?
Yes, a quality education at a respectable
university is important, but the
person behind the work, grades, GPA
and class rank is more important. It
is alarming how many students are
forgetting to be teenagers, how many
are consumed with school.
It is not right to have a school system
that supports this harmful obsession
with grades and getting into that
perfect college.
It has not always been like this. It
used to be that taking a few AP classes
and advanced classes was outstanding.
Somehow, at this point it has turned
into all AP classes, every club imaginable,
hours and hours of homework,
through-the-roof SAT scores and
service hours by the dozen. And still
students are constantly feeling like
it is not enough. They are constantly
stressing and worrying and obsessing
with grades and how it will look on
their college applications.
“Society is more about getting into
college and getting good grades then
learning. Especially, in my classes I
cram for a test to do well on it, not
even to learn the subject,” junior
Nicole Bradford explained. Bradford’s
dream school is the University of
Virginia.
Twice as many students feel that
their stress level has increased with in
the last year, according to the American
Psychology Association. And
even with this increase nearly half of
students feel that they are not taking
the actions necessary to cope. How
does this make sense?
Students are more stressed but less
capable of dealing with it. Teenagers
are suffering. More than one third of
teens are fatigued due to stress and
nearly a quarter report skipping a
meal as a result of stress according to
American Psychology Association.
Put this in perspective. There are 41
million teens in the United States
which means that a
third of that, 13 million, are falling
apart getting the
perfect scores, GPA and résumé. 13
million.
Think of each child’s family, think of
each child — this is happening 13 million
times over.
Why is this okay?
This should not be normal. The
pressure to get into the perfect college
should not be to the degree it is now;
something needs to be done. But it
seems that the expectations just keep
getting higher. The meaning of being
a teenager has changed. Students
have such pressure to succeed now
because they feel like their future is
on their shoulders. How well they do
in school, decides what school they
get into, which decides what job opportunities
they have, which determines
how well they can provide for
themselves. All of this is determined
by teenagers. Half the students in high
school can’t drive, most can’t vote and
are not even considered legal adults.
Yet responsibilities are thrown upon
students and life decisions are in their
hands
And in the process people are
losing a balanced life. Many students
feel like they are putting school above
their family and above time to relax
and unwind. They do not have the
time to do all that needs to be done to
get into their dream school.
“I have so much homework from
IB classes and it’s way too much. I
don’t have enough time because I play
sports and I want to have a social life
— that is part of your development as
teenager. So all this work doesn’t allow
you do so many things; I feel like
I am missing out,” junior Alex LePeter
said.
“If everyone else is doing the same
thing that is the normal so if you don’t
do that then you look bad. It’s the
normal. It has lost its power. I think
that teachers and parents enforce
it but it also comes for ourselves,
because they told us this the standard
and what you have to live up to,”
junior Caroline Drumheller said.
“Yes education is important but it
is also important to live your life as
a teenager, because you’re not going
to be a teenager forever. Drumheller
continued.

 

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Author: The Hawk Eye

Hanover High School, Mechanicsville, Virginia The Hawk Eye Student Newspaper thehawkeye@hcps.us

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