Is There Too Much Pressure on Students Today?

Holly Evans, Contributor

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Today, everything is a competition, but where does healthy competition cross the line into mental breakdowns and immense stress? The United States once had some of the highest graduation rates out of any developed country, but now we currently  rank 22nd out of 27 of these countries. The pressure we put on our students today to go to college, take all honors classes, succeed in all areas, while at the same time working, playing sports, and participating in extracurriculars is the reason for this. At some point, we must give youth a break.

In speaking to the students of Monomoy Regional High School, it has become apparent that the latter is the norm. Most students within this school complain and joke about their situations, as well as how negatively it affects their lives and minds. Turn now and ask any of your peers if they have cried, had a breakdown, or felt overwhelming stress since school has started, and the average student would reply with a resounding yes. To alert you to how real this issue is, here are a few quotes from real Monomoy Sophomores (many of whom chose to remain anonymous, and for those who didn’t care I refrained from using last names). “I cry on a regular basis over my grades. I spend my entire afternoon doing homework. School sucks.”- Shannen. “Instead of trying to focus on learning, I am focused on not having mental breakdowns.”- Anonymous. “I am seriously debating dropping out once I’m 16.”- Anonymous. “The amount of meltdowns I have are comparable to a baby, the amount of sleep I get is depressing.”- Anonymous. Lastly, in asking Abbey for a quote she simply expressed, “Honestly, I don’t know. I’m sorry I’m too tired because of homework to write a quote about how tired I am because of homework. Basically, I hate school and think homework should be illegal.” One of the main issues is that teachers don’t realize or don’t choose to accept the fact that students have six other classes besides their own, many with honors as well. This means that we tend to end up with homework in every single class, as well as huge tests sometimes planned on the exact same day as another. This, of course, is a large contributing factor, as well as expectations to do well on an array of tests that go from midterms and finals, to MCAS, all the way to the SAT’s. All of these are planted in our minds to control our futures, especially where we end up for college.

High school isn’t the only imposing stress these days; we kiddos also have to worry about college, too. Take for example my brother, Spencer Evans, who is currently off to Roger Williams University and has never been more stressed in his entire life. It should not have to be this way; however, he is made to take intensive classes completely unrelated to his major. This makes the interest in what he, as well as many other college students, want to do with their lives less exciting. Instead of devoting time to worthwhile learning for their own occupations, they are forced to endure large amounts of work on subjects they never plan to use. “It’s stressful taking classes that have nothing to do with your major, and things you are not skilled at. The reading comprehension is extremely time consuming, stressful, and difficult, ”said Spencer.

We must lessen the work loads for our youth before they are burned out. How do we expect the next labor force to rise strong if we give them minimal sleep, too much responsibility, and immense stress?

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Is There Too Much Pressure on Students Today?