Essay, Pages 5 (1026 words)
High school students today deal with overloaded schedules, hours of homework, and heightened academic and extracurricular expectations. These demands leave students overstressed and with no time to themselves to relax or reflect. A typical day can find a student waking up at 6:30 to rush to school for a club meeting, followed by a typical school day, sports practice until 6:30, SAT prep class until 8:30, then home to eat dinner, shower, do homework, and finally fall into bed exhausted.
High school students feel too much pressure to be overachievers and be involved in every extracurricular so that it will “look good” on their transcript.
Trying to balance participation in extracurricular activities while preparing for SAT’s and college admissions decreases the time that students need to develop their own specific interests and mature. Thus, American high school students are less and less ready for adulthood. Students are expected by parents, teachers, future colleges, and themselves to do everything possible to make themselves the perfect candidate for college; however, the effort students exert to live up to these expectations leaves them stressed, tired, and overworked.
Extra curricular activities are meant to provide an opportunity for students to be involved in activities that will help them explore their interests and interact with peers who have similar interests. The current trend however, is for high school students to just take as many extracurricular activities as possible so that it will look good on their transcripts, and many students find themselves participating in activities for which they have no passion.
High school students are focused solely on getting into college rather than on just enjoying the high school experience. Trying to participate in all of these activities leaves students with very little down time in their day, and this has led to high levels of stress among students. In a 2002 poll by the International Child and Youth Care Network, over 70% of teens said they are stressed out (Bradley). Another cause of stress is the difficult course loads that many students in schools across the U. S. are encouraged to take, again in an attempt to impress college admissions. It is becoming the norm for students to take all APs even in subjects they have no interest in just to boost their GPA, or to add extra periods into their days to fit all their classes in. All of these activities have students under too much pressure and they are suffering adverse effects. The National Sleep Foundation’s 2006 poll found that more than one quarter of high school students fall asleep in class (Gavin).
Sleep deprivation, stress, and a lack of free time are all negative effects that come about from students trying to take on too much with classes and extracurricular activities in an attempt to improve their transcripts. SAT prep is another area to which students devote much time, and is another main cause of stress among students. The SAT weighs heavily on admissions decisions to colleges so students spend months extensively preparing for the tests, trying to fit studying in among all other activities and often going to late night review classes.
The SAT was originally designed to predict the achievement of students in their freshman year of college, which explains the test’s importance in determining admissions. However, the test has been proven to be inaccurate at measuring how students will do freshman year, and additionally it has been proven to be very “coachable,” meaning that with enough studying almost anyone can get a good score regardless of intelligence (Elert). Since the SAT is “coachable,” many students stress themselves out and spend all available time preparing because with enough effort they know they can get a good score.
The SAT’s cause extreme amounts of stress and students devote much time to them even though the results have been proven to be essentially meaningless. Students who have been cast into the overachiever mold and are involved in everything possible also face the dilemma of not being able to focus specifically on their passions and subjects that interest them. Because these students are so focused on trying to make themselves into the “perfect” candidate for college they are left with inadequate time to get to know themselves, which creates indecisiveness when it comes time to choose a major or even a career.
Up to half of students in the arts and the sciences switch their majors by sophomore year because they still hadn’t decided what they wanted to do when they were accepted into college (Ciavarri). Although these students put huge amounts of time and effort into being involved with different activities throughout high school, they still emerge without knowledge about who they are or what they want to pursue.
Currently, the high school system is flawed and rather than preparing students for the future it is just years of needless stress. To fix the current errors the huge role the SAT plays in determining college admissions should be reexamined, and other alternatives to measure intelligence and predict college achievement developed. Additionally, high school students should be encouraged to focus on activities that develop their passions, and not just participate in an activity for the sake of saying they participated in it.
The number of APs a student can take in one year should be limited, and extended period days should be banned because both of these leave students over worked and stressed out. Colleges should change their perspectives and realize that admitting students who have done fewer activities, but focused on ones that develop their interests is more desirable than “overachievers,” because students who have developed their interests are more focused and know what they want to do.
The high school years are supposed to be a time when students mature and figure out who they are, what their interests are, and what they want to do with their future. Right now the high school system in America is not fulfilling this purpose and is instead placing a great amount of unnecessary stress on students. However, with proper reform, the schools can begin to fulfill their purpose and prepare students for the rest of their adult life.
Cite this essay
Overstressed Students. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/overstressed-students-new-essay