Challenges of the High School System

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High School System Challenges

“Colleges tell you, "Just be yourself." That is great advice, as long as yourself has nine extracurriculars, six leadership positions, three varsity sports, and killer SAT scores. Then by all means, be yourself!”

These were the words of Suzy Lee, a senior in Pennsylvania, in controversial op-ed of the Wall Street Journal. And although many thought that Weiss’s work was a whiny-one woman pity party, it embodied the state of society when cruelty was inflicted upon the single most important person in society today; me. Someone who comforted my position when two projects and three test forced to miss an episode of the walking dead for the first time.

But I am only an underclassmen and looking around my school I realized that the injustice inflicted upon me was common to my junior and seniors in my school.

Some of them had never seen the walking dead in their lives. But my story is only one of many.

Across America millions of students are putting their minds and body over the limit by taking the most rigorous classes and time consuming extracurriculars in what people are calling a rat race to get into the most prestigious colleges. And while some students may see their efforts worthwhile when they finally get their “cheese” in their choice of college, the damage done in the process is immense and unquestionable.

The result of this corrosive system: kids are over stressed, unhealthy, and unprepared for the uncharted road ahead. Some might say “if students hate this rat race so much, why don’t they just drop out of it?”. But what these people fail to realize is that we aren’t dealing with imaginary rats but real teenagers with some real ambitions and dreams. And so these teens often face the u...

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...n to comparisons they feel will motivate success such as “ Tim took 15 A.P.s, got a 4.5 GPA, was captain of the swimming team, did a 1,000 hours of community service, and got into Harvard. You can go too.”

The attitude has come to a point where students feel like they are a disappointment if they don’t fulfil requirements to get into such colleges.

If our education system is going to improve, we must first rethink what it means for students to be successful.

Regardless of the overwhelming evidence and simple alternatives, there will always people who shy change.

And they probably won’t be pressured to alter their viewpoint as the current school system would continue to create educated young adults for years to come.

But it does so at the risk of student’s health, character, and lives.

And we have to ask ourselves “is that a risk we’re willing to take?”
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