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Scholastic pressure affects student mindset

TUES.| 04-27-21 | FEATURES

     Another day of staying up late finishing your school work. It seems like you can never get to a stopping point. You just have assignment after assignment and they are all piling up each week. It’s almost as if you were drowning in school work. You took harder classes this year in hopes to bring your GPA up but it is coming at a cost. You feel all this pressure to get everything done so you can get into a good college and make your parents proud. This is a familiar story for many current high school students. 

     “I feel like that is normal for everyone to feel some sort of academic pressure; there will be some times, maybe once or twice a month, when it feels like due dates are piling up on each other,” junior Hayden Humphreys said. “It starts to feel that you are in over your head.” 

     Along with academic pressure, it is typical for high school students to have extracurricular activities. Whether they participate in sports or clubs, play an instrument or work a job. No matter what they choose to participate in, extracurriculars cause students to be faced with further responsibilities.      With these added responsibilities, students have to mount the challenge of reaching a balance between them and school. 

     “I play a bunch of sports for school, swim, beach volleyball, golf and track and I am also in a lot of school clubs, involved in my church choir and youth group,” sophomore Kinsley Tate White said. “I am taking things one thing at a time at this point so I don’t become too overwhelmed by everything that I have on my plate at once, which happens often.”

     While some students feel extra pressure from extracurricular activities, there are also students who feel as though that there was a jump in the level of academics compared to previous grades. Freshman Lenora Jantzen, like many of her peers, feels as though that level increased dramatically for her. 

     “In general, my academic pressure is hard to keep up with because I feel like there was a stretch in my life when I didn’t do a ton of learning, especially during that elementary period when you keep repeating stuff and now all of the sudden the level has been increased dramatically so it is hard to keep up sometimes,” Jantzen said. 

A lot of the time older siblings and parents help students with school. Despite there being many benefits of having the help of a family member, there could also be some added pressure to do well. Whether it be from your parents or siblings success, some students may feel they need to live up to 

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Graphic by Anna McLean Evans

their expectations. 

     “I do have that pressure mindset to live up to my brother’s standards and to try my hardest because bad grades crush me,” White said. “That stuff is pressure I put on myself to do well because I want it so bad.”

White is not the only one feeling this intensity. Many students feel that their peers feel this weight too. It could be from increased competition getting into college, fighting for scholarships or taking similar AP classes. Students feel that if they do not live up to these things, they will fall behind.

     “I feel like right now kids in high school feel way too much pressure because they feel like they need to take the harder classes and just go the extra mile and it ends up impacting a lot of people in a negative way,” White said. 

However, not every student feels like they are being negatively affected by pressure. Some students have been doing very well keeping up with their classes despite some of them being rigorous. 

     “Most of the time I do a fairly good job of getting at least most of my homework done during the school day and if I have to do extra studying I do it outside of school,” Jantzen said. “I can actually practice [singing and chello] between classes if I have time because I am a virtual student right now.”

     Increasing academic pressure is becoming more of a common issue among students today. It can take a toll on students' mental and physical health but, there are some students who like to really engage and take harder classes. These students usually have the balance between schoolwork and their outside life down pat.

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