By MIA DELMONICO & AZRIEL OLMEDO
Children learn at a young age that growing up is part of the journey. While this is true, growing up too fast can be harmful to their growing minds. For many, it feels as if their childhood is taken away or at the least cut short. This pattern is most commonly observed with high school students.
High school students are often overwhelmed by the high standards they have to meet and obtaining good grades in their classes. Stress, anxiety and misery are obstacles that every student experiences on their path towards graduation. At least once, many students find themselves asking, “Why am I here?” or “Why am I doing this?”
Teachers often try to persuade their students to always do better than their best; to keep pushing. They sometimes expect too much from their students without considering what will become of the seemingly endless supply of work and studies they are given. Evidently, if a train were to continue moving at high speeds without rest, it would eventually derail from its path.
Students should strive to focus on their wellbeing over trying to fix that one A- in Calculus in order to enjoy their childhood before it is completely gone. Students should strive to avoid derailment.
The mental strain on growing teenagers in school is different for everyone, but harmful all the same. Over time, continuous strain on the body and mind can cause stress which in some cases can lead to mental illness. Factors that contribute to stress and worry can range from chapter tests or quizzes to state testing and the SAT.
Stress can also be induced outside the classroom. Certain instances where students might find it difficult or unenjoyable to go outside and socialize with others are often caused by bullying, rudeness, an overall sense of isolation. A student can feel isolated when they are tasked with many things all at one time, which can ultimately result in derailment.
The amount of work that students receive on a daily basis is enough to break the spirit and sanity of the student if left unchecked. It seems that high schoolers are constantly occupied with school work. Though this is not the case for all students, the vast majority receive loads of work each week. This hinders their ability to have the opportunity to do other things such as athletics, music, and simple teenage outings.
While in check, this can help young adults learn to balance their time and activities in preparation for adulthood and a career. However, students often become extremely overwhelmed by the overload of school work, practices, jobs, family, and a social scene at this time in their lives.
High school students should still be able to enjoy the remaining years of their childhoods and the immense amount of school work and high expectations makes this difficult. For example, many students spend their weekends doing homework and projects instead of being outdoors and involved with community groups or social circles. While it is definitely important to have responsibilities to tend to, these required tasks can sometime take over the remaining years of a high schooler’s childhood. Students may refrain from partaking in other activities because they are worried and preoccupied with academic endeavours.
Avoiding derailment and improving one’s well being does not justify doing nothing in school. Many students often mistake advice such as “take a break to rest” and reword it as “skip the paper and go out” or “don’t do the homework.” While it doesn’t hurt to do something else from time to time, it is important for students to learn how to manage their time. Simply setting it aside until the last minute does more harm than good. The goal of avoiding derailment is to learn how to find a balance between school and self, and to not allow one side to overwhelm the other.
Though the large amount of work assigned on a daily basis can often contribute to student’s high stress levels and in some cases anxiety, it is important for high school teachers to prepare their students for college. If a student chooses to continue their education at a college or university after being assigned a lot of work on a regular basis, they will most likely be more successful than if they were not exposed to a high level and great amount of work in high school. If this work was not given, students may be shocked and extremely overwhelmed by the sudden growth of expectations. Even though this work load can become too much at times, it is better than not being able to complete or keep up with the amount of time and effort required later in life in order to pursue a career path.
Overall, the high standards and large loads of work expected from high schoolers can be unrealistic and even unbearable. Though such things do contribute to advancing life skills and career adeptness, it is important for high school students to enjoy what little time is left in their childhood.