How College Stress Undermines Students High School Years

The stress on high school students these days is unimaginable to me. The pressure to make high grades in order to get into the “right” college is over the top. The goal has become getting into the right school and not necessarily getting the best education.

This pressure has all sorts of negative consequences. Deterioration in physical and emotional health are two of the worst. There is also an increase in cheating in high schools. “The ends justifies the means” has become the battle cry in many high schools. Real values get turned upside down. There is no time to smell the roses or have a normal high school experience.

My wife was a counselor in a private high school. Everything that happens in a public high school is multiplied many times in a private school. As a counselor, my wife really wasn’t expected to counsel the kids, something she loves to do. She was really just a glorified cop. When a student got a B- in a class they were sent to counseling. The job of the counselor was to send the student to detention or possibly recommend a tutor. I would have killed for a B- when I was in high school.

The emotional problems of some of these kids were quite serious. There was lying, stealing, and worse. There were severe emotional problems sometimes bordering on suicide. The parents had only one goal and that was to get their kid in a specific school. The hours of homework were unreal. Nobody seemed to be interested in what the student wanted. They were there just to fulfill their parents’ needs and dreams.

I’m afraid today’s high schools are going to be turning out a lot of basket cases and getting into the right college isn’t going to do anything to change that.