High school students feel the need to succeed

Hayley Gorman, Editor-in-Chief

Students are expected to do well in school. The goal for students is after they have completed high school is to go to college. College can be in the form of community college, a four university, etc.

At McClintock, students are expected to have 23 credits to graduate. Some of them include 4 credits in English, 4 credits of Math, 3 credits of Science, 3 credits of Social Studies, and more. When it comes to these academic classes students can take regular classes, honors classes, or gifted classes at the Peggy Payne Academy.

At graduation in May, students are recognized for their accomplishments and completing the 23 credits that they needed to graduate. At graduation the valedictorian speaks and the Peggy Payne Academy speaker speaks.

“Every student receives rank points for each letter grade, very similarly how we calculate GPA. If you are in honor classes, you get extra points. Each semester the computer calculates students rank points and whoever has the most rank points that year is the valedictorian,” Assistant Principal to Student Services Bill Hazel said.

Some student in particular, feel pressured to perform well in school so they can go to a good college. Many students who are enrolled in school have to juggle the SAT, college applications if they are a senior, and numerous other activities.

“I believe that I have several valuable abilities that enrich my life. But every day, I am reminded that I am not perfect. I set foot outside and am greeted by a whole world of people who are better than me at something,” senior Julia Weiss said. “No one person is the best at everything, but what they do excel at defines them. At least to me. I can easily distinguish the admirable qualities in the people around me, and it often makes me jealous. These people, flaunting the outstanding traits they were fortunate enough to acquire, unintentionally pressure me. I desire to be like them, to figure out just how to get the perfect combination of her beauty, his athleticism, her intelligence. It is disheartening and even exhausting to focus simply on my envy of others. From a very young age, I have thought that I had to master everything I attempted. I have to be the best. And that has nothing to do with the pressure others place on me. I place this pressure on myself. But why? I’ve been trying to figure that out for 17 years, and I still don’t know the answer. I guess it comes down to discovering what truly gives you satisfaction in life.”

Some parents expect you to do well so that you can go to four-year university. Students fear what their parents will think if they get a grade that’s not “A” or don’t go to the best four year university.

In research finding from Harvard Family Research Project’s (HFRP) Family Involvement Research Digests, they found that “The further in school parents believed their adolescents would go, the clearer the adolescents’ perception of such expectations, the more time they spent on homework, the higher their academic achievement.”

Teachers expect students to do well no matter what the class is. Teachers who teach AP classes expect more from their students.

“When you start overachieving, people expect things from you. You know, the world, teachers, parents, other kids, it’s not all internal. Don’t get me wrong; I like the way I’m wired. It’s what’s going to get me into a good school. It’s what makes me who I am,” Alex Dunphy from Modern Family episode Under Pressure said.

Colleges want the “perfect” student. Colleges look for someone who is well rounded. They look for students who completed rigorous courses, maintained a high GPA, a high SAT score, volunteer hours, and leadership.

“Starting college applications seems so simple, daunting but comprehensible with a system. Find a program you like, a location, whatever it is attracts you to a college,” senior Mira Theilmann said. “Then you start to realize that college is not really just a school, it’s fulfilling expectations, planning where you live, what career path you try to follow for the rest of your life, the list is endless. Personally I feel as if I can never choose the right college because I can never know every single program and see exactly what major I want to do. That unfortunately is the truth, all of us are going into college blind, at different levels of course, but none of us really know what the result will be at the end of those 4 years. Besides the fact none of us really know who we are now, we’re all sitting here writing college essays with the most interesting information about us, without really understanding who we are as a person.”

High school is a place where teenagers prepare for their future. After graduating from high school, students are thrown into the real world.