Essay about The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids

Essay about The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids

Length: 894 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Every fall millions of American adolescents gear up to apply for the thousands of colleges and universities across the nation. For many students this process is a simple-natural progression through a linear educational track in which no extra preparation, beyond a paper application, is required. However, for many students college preparation can begin as early as conception. Alexandria Robbins follows the stories of nine students from Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland. Whitman is known for and could be summarized by a simple term in which Robbins’ book is also titled: Overachievers. The author explores the hectic nature of helicopter parenting, bureaucratic admission processes, the culture of Ivy (a term describing the upper echelon of academic institutions), unrelenting and unrealistic expectations, and the cyclonic degradation of innocent and carefree adolescent development.
In The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids, Robbins explores the correlation between perfectionism and academic prowess. Over the course of one year she follows the lives of AP Frank, Julie, C.J., Sam, Stealth, Audrey and others as they transition through high school and into college. These students, as Robbins showcases, epitomize what is wrong with America’s Educational System. Robbins explores the impact of the intricacies produced by America’s scholastic whirlwind on students as expressed by her research participants. Robbins masterfully crafts an informative and emotional roadmap that intertwines topics such as No Child Left Behind, College Board’s SAT, College Rankings, Ultra Competitive Parents, Cheating and Emotional and Medical Distress from a student’s perspective. The author presents each issue by presenting occurrences f...


... middle of paper ...


...story of AP Frank, Julie, Audrey, Sam and the others can be any number of students they may know. More importantly the book offers readers a chance to also evaluate their own experiences in high school. It is recommended that potential readers of Robbins’ expose’ recall or identify a student in the community or within themselves who are goal driven or preoccupied with success as they read. Perhaps from this perspective the reader may gain an insider perspective to the true culture of academia around them.



Works Cited

Lewinsohn, P.M., Hops, H., Roberts, R.E., Seeley, J.R. & Andrews, J.A. (1993). Adolescent psychopathology: I. Prevalence and incident of depression and other dsm-iii-r disorders in high school students. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 102(1), 133-144.
Robbins, A. (2007). The Overachievers: The secret life of driven kids. New York: Hyperion.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Overachievers, by Alexandra Robbins Essay

- The Overachievers by Alexandra Robbins is a non- fiction book that follows the lives of nine high school/ college overachieving students. On the outside they look healthy, happy, and perfect, but upon closer look the reader realizes just how manic their lives and the lives of many other high scholars are. It is no secret that high school and college has become more competitive, but the public doesn’t realize just out of control this world is. “Overachieverism” has become a way of life, a social norm....   [tags: Book Review, Standardized Testing]

Better Essays
2330 words (6.7 pages)

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty Essay

- “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” as written by James Thurber is an interesting short story. Walter Mitty, the protagonist of the story, is in a constant battle with his wife, the antagonist of the story. Mr. Mitty is, simply put, a daydreamer with a creative mind. His wife does not appreciate this aspect of Mr. Mitty and is constantly nagging him and bringing him back to reality. Mr. Mitty’s character is flat, as he is never portrayed as a deep and unknown character with some type of third dimension to his personaility....   [tags: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Fiction]

Better Essays
1098 words (3.1 pages)

Driven to Improvement: The Automobile Essays

- Around the world, we live in today, there are various international commodities. Commodities are a raw material or primary agricultural product that can be bought, sold, or traded across the globe. One major commodity that we often over look is the automobile. From the beginning of time to present day, the need for transportation and travel has grown dramatically. From carrying goods, to being traded, to being sold in car lots for personal use, the automobile is a huge part of our history and present day lives....   [tags: transportation, history, lives]

Better Essays
648 words (1.9 pages)

The Secret Life Of Bees Essay

- Do you ever feel like you are holding someone back if they always have to worry about you. You may feel ashamed or you may not care if they worry for you. In the story, The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd indicates that the character, May, feels like she is holding everyone back. April’s death is a blow to May who starts acting like an immature child. The rest of her sisters, August and June, lived with May in the pink house due to their worry of her sensitivity and empathy towards others in pain....   [tags: The Secret Life of Bees, Secret Life]

Better Essays
1016 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about The Secret Lives of The Brain

- PART I. Incognito: The Secret Lives of The Brain, was very straight forward and extremely intriguing. As David Eagleman, a neuroscientist, elaborates on the American criminal justice system, he brings out important factors that I believe everyone should be focusing on in this country. He states that our actions are not only made up by our unconscious mind, but the way we perceive things is controlled by our unconscious ability to even realize we are controlling it. The conscious mind not only represents only a small part of our brain activity and function, but it also perceives certain behaviors differently when constructed with drugs or damage The process of the unconscious brain activit...   [tags: criminal justice, psychology, anatomy]

Better Essays
1392 words (4 pages)

The Secret Life Of Bees By Sue Monk Kidd Essay

- “What’s wrong in living in a dream world?” (121). In Sue Monk Kidd’s novel, The Secret Life of Bees, the protagonist character named Lily Owens is a girl who is confused. She is pulled in many directions in her life. Some conflicts Lily runs into are the people around her and herself. In Lily’s life, she lives in a world that is unrealistic. She tries to avoid life and the problems that come with it. Sooner or later, Lily faces life straight into its eyes and takes it all at once. In the beginning of the novel, Kidd shows the tension that Lily encounters with her father....   [tags: The Secret Life of Bees, Secret Life]

Better Essays
803 words (2.3 pages)

The Power in Chanda’s Secret and The Lottery Essay

- On the surface, Chanda’s Secret, by Allan Stratton, is a mind-altering story about the tough life of a girl who lives in a world of disease and death. However, under the surface, is a story about a power struggle within Chanda’s life. “The Lottery” is a story that appears innocent as the town holds its annual lottery to ensure successful agriculture. However, the book soon takes a deep turn as the reader slowly realizes that the “winner” of the lottery is stoned to death in the end. Chanda’s Secrets and “The Lottery” have similar examples of power because a governmental power starts a huge problem, social power keeps it going, and social power prevents it from being resolved....   [tags: Chanda’s Secret Essays]

Better Essays
1063 words (3 pages)

Essay about The Power of Alberto Moravia's Secret

- The Power of Alberto Moravia's Secret   It is often considered a great feat when an author is successful in capturing the reader's attention through a character's personality. Alberto Moravia, the pseudonym of Alberto Pincherle, was one such author, since he was widely known for pulling his readers' attention and interest into his stories, ultimately captivating their entire being His lively way with words, his vivid descriptions, as well as his colorful imagination all contributed to his amazing writings....   [tags: Alberto Moravia Secret Essays]

Better Essays
973 words (2.8 pages)

John Pilger's film The Secret Country Essay

- John Pilger's film The Secret Country 1. Australia was regarded as empty land by the British because when the Europeans came to Australia they believed that because Aborigines didn't cultivate the land and were not seen to use the land in a normal, proprietarial sense and also because the Aborigines believed that they didn't own the land and they belonged to the land, the land therefore regarded as void. The law also states that Aboriginals didn't exist in 1788 and therefore no treaties could exist because the Aboriginals didn't exist....   [tags: Secret Country Movie Film]

Free Essays
817 words (2.3 pages)

The US Secret Service Essay

- Although the original mission of the United States Secret Services was to control and prevent counterfeit money in the United States after the Civil War in 1865, by 1930 the role of the Secret Service had greatly expanded. Many events occurred during that period that led the Secret Service to expand to enforce the laws whether it includes protecting money, protecting the President, or investigating on the frauds and groups that are dangerous to the people of America. Driving forces and trends impacted Secret Service mission and support operations over the many years....   [tags: US Government Secret Service SS]

Better Essays
1144 words (3.3 pages)