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The High School Pressure Cooker

Imagine this as your daily life: At precisely 7:45 a.m., almost every day, you arrive at school. You immediately get busy with some assignment you must wrap your head around. You finally stop and receive other instructions for the next hour before heading down to play a sport (the best part). Heaving up the stairs, you try to make it to the class before the bell rings, signalling the start of a break.

Just before 11 a.m., you stop again, waiting for a teacher to enter the class to start a new task. Your next hour is spent calculating, applying math to problems, and trying to apply it to your boring life. And then you change subjects and repeat the entire process.

Each of these hour-long periods leaves you with work to do outside the school. Your workday technically ends at 3 p.m., but most days you have some tuition filling the rest of your day. You want to stay fit and toned, but you spend most of your days like a couch potato. You walk less than 5,000 steps daily. It's your lifestyle now.

We are married to a technique that has not been appropriately reviewed for the 21st-century "Gen-Z." On weekends, you end up finishing leftover assignments. The supervisors who manage your responsibilities fail to communicate internally, each just looking out for their own. A student's life has become a big, messy mound of disappointment. Unfortunately, this is high school.

After getting reviews from students all around the world, I'd like to convey some universally accepted thoughts (the ones we can't say out loud):

  1. One of the biggest flaws in the education system is the amount of pressure that students have on them to do good in school so that they can get into a well-reputed college. Because students have this kind of pressure on them, they purely focus on getting a 90%+ rather than actually learning and taking something valuable away from what they are being taught.

  2. I stay up after midnight every night working on homework because it is insanely difficult to balance school life, social life, and extracurriculars while making time for family traditions. While I don’t feel like making school easier is the true solution to the stress students are placed under, I do feel like a transition to the gruesome schedule would be a step in the right direction. That way, teachers won’t be pressured into stuffing a large amount of content into a small amount of time, and students won’t feel pressured to keep up with ungodly pacing.

3. Learning needs to be more interesting. Not many people like to study from their textbooks because there’s not much to interact with. I think that instead of studying from textbooks, more interactive activities should be used instead. Videos, websites, games, whatever might interest students more. A combination of both textbooks and technology would make concepts much easier to grasp.

4. We cannot expect our grades to improve when we give teachers a handicap with poor wages and low supplies. It doesn’t allow teachers to unleash their full potential for educating students. Alas, our government makes teachers work with their hands tied. No wonder so many teachers are quitting their jobs for better careers. Teachers will shape their students’ lives. But as of now, they can only do the bare minimum.

Students today feel voiceless because they are punished when they criticize the school system, and this is a problem because it allows the school to block out positive criticism and leaves no room for growth. I hope that soon, students can voice their opinions and change the school system for the better.

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