This I Believe

Amanda - Buda, Texas
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Too Much Stress for Teenagers

I believe that teenagers like myself, have become over pressured with the responsibilities of school life and expectations to achieve higher goals.

I am now a junior in high school and just like millions of other teenagers I’m stressed out. In middle school years ago, the TAKS test wasn’t as excessive as it is today. Students are pressured to do well on the TAKS test so school districts can get good ratings. Not only that, students must take and pass the TAKS test to graduate.

Now, the stakes are even higher. Teacher’s jobs now depend on how well their students do. Every teacher in Texas gets evaluated on their students TAKS test scores. If the students do well, the teachers get evaluated well, but if the students do poorly the teachers get evaluated poorly.

So these days, on top of all the basic work for classes, students now have to take time to prepare and go over material for the TAKS test.

When I lived in California, we took a test called CAT-6. The teachers went over some standards throughout the year, but they had no practice test. The only at most, had to recite the standards aloud. The CAT-6 brought on no extra stress, and no one pulled out their eyelashes over a test that colleges don’t even look at!

In California, my older friends would say, “junior year is the best!” In Texas, my older friends say, “junior year is the hardest.” I thought high school would give me more freedom and challenge me. It definitely does challenge me, more than I ever wanted it to. Because of the TAKS test, I don’t get as much freedom and its another thing in the back of my mind when we take a practice test.

I believe that instead of challenging me and other students just like me, stress is taking away the motivation to not give up. It’s lowering self esteem, and making goals harder to reach than ever before. Life is too short to be burnt out before school is over because that’s when it starts.