The Effect that School Pressure Has on Kids
Many look back on their childhood days as some of the best times of their lives. They were young, fearless, and did not have a single care in the world. No worries at all, except for maybe the little homework their teachers gave them. Kids of my generation may not look back with such fondness because of the pressure that schools put on them. Schools should not put so much stress on grades because it takes away a student’s social life, prompts students to cheat, and causes students to lose sleep. Some argue that pressure will motivate students to work harder; however, this pressure can backfire because it can cause students to self-destruct.
When teachers hand out hours of homework, they are not accounting for the fact that it is limiting a student’s free time. Many say technology makes kids of our generation less sociable and communicative, but schoolwork is much worse. High Schoolers spend up to 17.5 hours a week on homework; considering the fact that there are about 35 school hours a week, students will often be left with little to no time to relax at the end of the day. Even though I am in eighth grade, I already have problems handling all the schoolwork I receive from my teachers. I can recall a time at the end of my 8th grade first semester.
It was a stressful period of time because final projects were starting to be turned in and everyone was studying for the final tests. There was a half school day that week. (Half days were especially rare and only happened every couple of months.) Instead of hanging out with friends or just taking time off from school, I spent my half day working on school projects and studying. The overall purpose of half days were to let students relax and I had no choice but to do the exact opposite of that. The pressure that school can put on a student can prompt them to cheat.
Neil Degrasse Tyson tweeted a message that read, “When students cheat on exams, it is because our school system values grades more than students value learning.” I believe this to be entirely true. Schools have come to value a letter on the alphabet more than they value a student’s progress and students in turn, will follow in that example. With the rising difficulty of school each year, I believe it will soon break through the threshold of how much pressure students can actually take. Students will begin to fall behind in school and be forced to cheat on their exams.
Schools are against cheating, but it is absolutely ludicrous to me, with their ridiculous school system how little options schools have left for its students. Finally, school work has a major effect on kids and the amount of sleep they get. Studies have shown that young teens should always sleep around 8-10 hours a day. Otherwise, it can affect their health, performance, and those around them. Students are staying up late to study for tests or work on school projects and it is negatively affecting their lives. I am no stranger to having to work late past my bedtime.
I am applying for boarding schools in the United States next year and anyone with any experience with boarding schools or applying for a higher education knows the amount of work that has to be put in. Five paragraph essays, interviews, and good grades are all key to being accepted to a top school. Along with the surplus of school work I was assigned, I no longer looked forwards to the weekends because it only meant more work and staying up late. It has been proven time and time again that having a certain amount of pressure in any environment produces a positive effect because it promotes competition and rewards those who are hard working. However, too much pressure can lead to unhealthy consequences.
A major growing problem is student suicides. Seventeen percent of high schoolers have seriously considered suicide while 8% have attempted it. I hope I will not be part of that 8%. I hope that this terrible thought will not be one that I will ever consider. I hope that this terrible thought will not be a thought that anybody will have to consider. But no guarantees can be made in this cruel system that is practiced among schools all across the globe.
It has been proven that putting pressure on students gives them the incentive to work harder. However, if schools are pushing students to the point that it is causing them to self destruct, then the fact that putting pressure on students is not an idea we should consider. Today, schools are putting immense pressure on its students which takes away a student’s free time, pressures students into cheating, and is not healthy for students. Gone were the times where a person would miss their childhood days where they could enjoy the comforts of being young. The problem with the school system is not just happening among the top schools, but all over the world.
Our focus on grades is slowly but surely converting the brightest students of our generation into mindless beings whose only aim is to get an “A,”