Stress during Junior year of High School

Molly - Palo Cedro, California
Entered on June 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

I believe Junior year in high school is the worst year in my entire school career. Junior year is full of unhealthy competition; the whole game is who is beating whom. There is the constant buzz of who has the higher class ranking and which colleges your peers are applying to.

High school has long been covered in popular culture as a time of classes, sports and over exaggerated adolescent drama. However, these days junior year is the worst year in high school for many ambitious students aiming for increasingly selective colleges. These days many students drop an activity or hobby that they really enjoyed because their schoolwork took too much time. The average time it takes students to do homework during their junior year averages from four to five and a half hours of homework a night. There is not a lot of sleep going on. Sometimes you don’t know whether you are doing things because you enjoy them or because it looks good on your college applications. The thing that some people so not realize is that the pressure students face today is not only from teachers and parents but mostly from colleges. The things colleges make students do to be accepted is outrageous. One major cause of all the pressure is the SAT and the ACT.

Many students fear that their SAT or ACT scores are not going to be good enough to get into certain colleges. I believe that colleges should not look at the SAT or ACT any more. Some colleges are in fact dropping the SAT/ACT requirement. There are many bright intelligent students out there who get all A’s and take advanced placement courses and do extra curricular activities but do not excel in their SAT or ACT scores and colleges look right over them to the student who does not do as well and barely gets by in school but they get brilliant SAT/ACT scores. The constant pressure of being better than the student next to you is overwhelming and colleges create that type of atmosphere to see which student will be able to lie and cheat their way to the top. I don’t believe that there is a single student out there who does good honest work to achieve their goals and get into a good college, someone always cheats or lies about something. Colleges look for the most absurd things in a student when they apply. Students make up or exaggerate an extra curricular activity just to make themselves look better than the next student. In today’s society I believe that parents, teachers, and colleges put to much pressure on students during their junior year.

Society needs to lighten up and let students excel at things they are good at and improve in areas where needed. Each student offers something special and unique. It is not healthy for students to lie and cheat in school just to win the game of who is better, and who can get into the best Ivy League college possible. There are many bright students out there who do not get accepted to many colleges because the student next to them out-lied or exaggerated more than they did.