Is it the overwhelming tests? The heavy amounts of homework? The stress you endure knowing that what you do in school determines the rest of your life?
Well, yes to all. As a high school student, it’s not that I hate learning. I love learning and gaining knowledge. When you ask most students about how they feel, they don’t tell you they hate learning. They hate school.
What students don’t appreciate is waking up every day at 6 in the morning, dragging their sleepy selves to a building they are confined to for 7 hours under the implication that they must look good, listen, pass their classes, do classwork, and get ready for the inescapable SAT.
And to top it all off, every nine weeks, students are evaluated on how “smart” they are on a grading scale from A to F: an A meaning success and an F meaning failure.
“We spend most of our lives in school,” said Thalia Rodriguez, a Mater Lakes student. “They deprive us of the ability of spending our time exploring the world and having real-life experiences.”
“It’s also the tests,” her friend, Melody Acebal, added. “It’s like an explosion of tests. It’s either the FCAT or an EOC or an AP test. It never stops. How are those test supposed to prepare us for life? They evaluate how well we retain information. Not how to use it.”
Yet if we ask most our parents, even the ones that went to school outside of America, their days of high school don’t seem to hold the same pressure or weight in comparison to our high school days.
Movies and TV shows constantly distort the reality of high school. We don’t break into a song every time we move to a different class, vampires don’t come to attack us at school, and we aren’t werewolves in high school.
High School Musical, Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars don’t depict both the mental and emotional struggle to maintain good grades. They don’t depict the strain of having four AP tests in one week. All it shows are the “good” times high schoolers are believed to have or how supernatural beings disrupt your learning environment.
“I went to school in both Ecuador and the United States,” said Alfonso Rivera, who graduated six years ago. “There is a difference in standards and what it means to do well in school. It was okay to half try in Ecuador but here it’s difficult to succeed if you don’t give it your all. There are a lot of exams and it was stressful then. I can’t even imagine it now.”