There’s pressure nearly everywhere you look in our schooling system. Pressure to do well in school, pressure to be a good person, pressure to get into a good college, pressure to take part in extracurriculars, and so much more. Everywhere I look, there are examples of pressure put on people at such a young age. It’s a major factor in the decisions you make, the classes you take, and the way you live your life. The life of a high school student often revolves around the pressure placed on them by peers, parents, and more. It’s important to find a balance in good and bad pressure, but where does that line stand?
Starting at around age 14, your grades are actually going to affect your future. They affect the college you get into, influencing your career and your future self. That’s at only 14 years old, an age where most people aren’t even close to knowing what they want to do in life. There’s the constant expectation of high school students to know what they want to do in their future, the way I’ve seen it. At such a young age, you’re still very much becoming the person you will be later in life, and these teenage years will bring some of the most change in your attitude and person. While this pressure can motivate and push you to do better in school, too much prevents students from working to their fullest potential.
Having pressure put on students can negatively affect them by adding additional stress, but not all is bad. It can serve as motivation to improve and maintain good grades, participate in extracurriculars, and to focus more on self-improvement. If a balance is struck, this pressure can help out high school students in many ways. Some may see it is a challenge, or something they’d like to work to achieve, but this doesn’t work for everyone. Having expectations to meet is a way for some students to do better in school, but it might not be the most effective. A bit of pressure can absolutely be helpful every once in awhile, but nobody’s perfect and high school students can’t be expected to be. Unnecessary pressure to be the “perfect” student can only be detrimental to schooling.
It’s simply not fair to expect high school students to spend all of their time outside of school studying, or to know what college they want to go to. It’s okay to have a bit of uncertainty in life, and not everyone has to be a perfect student. Pressure can be both helpful and harmful, and too much of it will hinder someone’s ability to do exactly what they’re pressured to. You don’t have to take all of those AP classes if you’re doubting your ability to do well in them. Flunking an AP class will never be better than getting an A or A- in a regular class, and nobody wants to deal with switching out of a class if it is not necessary to be in that class to begin with. There’s no need for this pressure to add additional stress to a schedule already consisting of weeks filled with hard work. Being a student is hard enough, and it’s not necessary to have more pressure put on us.