The School Newspaper of Flint Hill School

The View

P.S. Positivity: On College

By Tara Monjazeb, Editor-in-Chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






“Both in thought and in feeling, even though time be real, to realise the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom.” – Bertrand Russell

In 2015, New York University published a study examining the stress levels of 128 eleventh-grade students from two elite high schools on the East Coast. Forty-nine percent of these students reported a “great deal of stress” on a daily basis, the primary reasons being grades, schoolwork, GPA, and standardized testing. These reasons had one thing in common: they all had something to do with university admission. According to these students, the situation is like an escalator: doing schoolwork leads to good grades, good grades lead to a good GPA, a good GPA leads to a “good” university, which in turn leads to success in life in general. The anxiety and the stress comes from the fear that one may slip on a stair, as little as it may be, and the escalator will keep climbing upwards without them. The end goal (a good job, happiness, financial stability, etc etc etc.) seems to be farther and farther away. It is also important to note that 29% of these students reported clinically significant depression, a percentage five times larger than the national average of 6%.

In 1985, UCLA asked incoming college freshmen if they “felt overwhelmed by all [they] had to do” during the previous year. That year, 18% said they did. In 2010, it increased to 30%. In 2016, the number had surged to nearly 50%. Major depression in students has increased 37% over the past 10 years. These numbers, combined with the yearly decrease in acceptance rates at top colleges, lead to overwhelming stress and feelings of hopelessness.

A Princeton Review study done in 2015 reported that, although 90% of students said that succeeding in school is important, less than 10% of those students believed this because of the value of learning. 43% of students, overall, said that their main academic drive is “getting into a good college.”

For these students, it becomes difficult to realise that the climb to success and comfort does not occur on an escalator. It does not keep going once you fall, and you will not end up at the bottom if you slow the pace or take a break. Rather, it occurs on a staircase. The top is always in view. There is time to reach the top. The climb is not faster for people who go to top universities, or slower for people who don’t. More than 30% of students feel “hopeless” at the thought of their futures. That shouldn’t be the case. College needs to be something to look forward to. For high school seniors in particular, it can be difficult to put aside a steady dream of success and “settle” (for lack of a better word) for something more comfortable. However, in environments where heavy amounts of schoolwork pile on top of expectations of getting into difficult universities, the mental strain is not worth it.

There is time. We rush into thinking that the earlier we do things, the better, but refuse to acknowledge that leaving room for the contemplation and realization of what we want to do and where we want to go may be the healthier option. In fact, it may even lead to something better. No matter where we may end up, the “when” is insignificant, for each step taken (no matter how many) leads to that place of comfort and stability.

We need to teach students to shape their futures on dreams, rather than expectation. The approach to college has been skewed in past years, in that it has no longer become a realm of excitement for students to zone in on what they love. It has drifted away from the self and is now fueled by a compilation of external opinion.  In the midst of fostering success, we need to leave room for growth and passion. Those are the seeds.          

                   

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • P.S. Positivity: On College

    Features

    SCA and Honor Council take center stage

  • P.S. Positivity: On College

    Sports

    Husky athletes demonstrate their talents on Homecoming Day

  • P.S. Positivity: On College

    News

    An insight into Flint Hill’s stalwart security

  • P.S. Positivity: On College

    Arts

    Major Minors Mini-Migration for Music

  • P.S. Positivity: On College

    Sports

    Fall Sports Mid-Season Report

  • P.S. Positivity: On College

    News

    A time for kindness, pride, and love: it’s Ally Week

  • P.S. Positivity: On College

    News

    Huskies provide aid for Hurricane Harvey victims

  • P.S. Positivity: On College

    Features

    Spread the Kindness

  • P.S. Positivity: On College

    Features

    Flint Hill Book Exchange (Ex)changes Lives

  • P.S. Positivity: On College

    Features

    Reyhaneh Khaze: A math teacher’s road to success

The School Newspaper of Flint Hill School
P.S. Positivity: On College