Way Too Much

Emma Robertson ('22) stresses about everything she is taking on.

Noele Lehnhoff

Emma Robertson ('22) stresses about everything she is taking on.

Noele Lehnhoff, Writer

Students deal with so much in their high school career; whether it be related to school or work, their home or social life, or even just problems in their own self, such as mental or physical health issues. One of the things that is rarely discussed is the fact that despite all of this stress, there is still so much more that is expected of these students. Some kids struggle to keep up with what are deemed the “basic” requirements, and yet they are constantly told the need to be doing more. This toxic hassling can lead to a permanent low-self esteem, and the feeling that no matter what they do and how hard they try, they will never be good enough. 

Why is it that students in grade level classes are made to feel as if they are stupid, while students in advanced and AP classes are praised for being smart? Intelligence is not something that can be based off of how someone excels in school, despite popular belief. Someone who struggles with math or history may be prodigious in subjects that are far more useful, yet are not praised by the education system.

“I take advanced classes, but I don’t exactly excel in them. I’m actually really good at reading quickly, but since they don’t really care about that in school it makes me feel like I’m just not as smart or good as everyone else,” Alysa Hand (‘22) said. 

A fact that has somehow yet to be realized by the education system is that, no matter how hard someone works, it is simply impossible to keep up with a ton of extracurricular activities. Depending on when club meetings and practices are scheduled, it may be possible to participate in 2-3 things at once, but even taking on that much would cause anyone to feel overwhelmed.

“I have a job, but that’s about all I have time for. I still get a lot of pressure from my parents and teachers to join more clubs and stuff, but it just kind of makes me uncomfortable because I think I’m fine doing what I’m doing,” Alex Hammock (‘20) said.

In the end, the biggest issue that students deal with is the thing that school systems seem to understand, or possibly care about, the least. Problems such as social and general anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress, issues with self-image, and other physical or mental ailments are rarely discussed. Most adults brush off these issues as simple teenage hormones, but these struggles are very real and can be dangerous. These issues, if left unchecked, can even follow students into adulthood and develop into life-threatening mental illnesses. Children are pushed and pressured into taking on more and more and more when a lot of kids struggle to even get out of bed in the mornings.

“Dealing with school, theatre, and swim, I get so stressed out, and I tend to view myself negatively. It makes me feel like I’m not as good as those around me, and that makes it hard to just wake up and deal with it all,” Kinslee Keatts (‘22) admits.

Even without the hounding of their parents or teachers, seeing others doing more will always make students compare themselves negatively. This can be a dangerous way of thinking, and yet the education system seems to encourage it by praising those who accomplish more and ignoring those who take on less. While a healthy amount of pressuring can be a good thing, it is necessary to recognize how much is too much.

 

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