High School Pressure to be the Best

Do you remember your high school years? Was it something along the lines of friends, football games, awkward school dances and funny lunch stories? Yeah, that’s what I thought my high school experience would be like. But today’s high school experience for students nowadays is completely different.  From freshman year, it gets ingrained into our minds that whatever we do in high school will decide our future. That pressure put by parents, society and peers to excel, is dangerous. It makes us push ourselves to unhealthy and unachievable standards. Pushing ourselves to the breaking point just to achieve the perfect GPA, the perfect SAT score, the most extracurricular activities, the most leadership positions, the perfect grade, the most amount of AP/IB classes, the best class rank, and the list goes on. For example, walk into an AP/IB class (college level), there you will witness these “brilliant” students who think a 90% isn’t good enough, who sleep four hours on an everyday basis to study, who purposely mislead their so-called friends into studying for the wrong topics to get the better grade, who hack into teacher’s laptops to get test questions. These are today’s high schoolers. As teenagers, all we think about is, are my grades good enough, do I have enough extracurricular activities, am I community leader, do I play enough sports etc. to get into X University? This pressure ultimately leads only to our downfall causing anxiety, depression, cheating and lying. But if you look at these students, all you’ll see is them smiling, talking, and laughing. They look perfectly fine on the outside, but I know better that behind that façade is a student who only slept for 5 hours last night, cried about having one B average, is managing 5 college level courses, is retaking the SAT because the 2100 wasn’t good enough, is applying for the president of a community service group, practiced 4 hours for an upcoming piano competition, and yet still don’t think they’re good enough. And the girl sitting next to her, her best friend, another one of the school’s smartest she just gave her friend the wrong notes to screw her over in the next test. This is high school.

-S.G.

 

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