Hawks stress out


Junior Olivia Jarrell works in Mr. Kirchgessner’s Business Education class.

Darah Okosi and Breanna Woods

Throughout history mankind has competed for dominance in every aspect of life. Survival of the fittest is something that is a part of human nature and impacts the great lengths in which people are willing to go to succeed.  In a society that puts heavy emphasis on the importance of education and money-making careers, teens find themselves under extreme pressure to pursue the most favorable outcome on the road to higher education and success. High school students, in particular, work tirelessly to exceed not only their own expectations, but also their role model’s expectations. Students work toward a good GPA, outstanding ACT/SAT scores, and acceptance into a suitable university.

One junior, Kiya Rainey, expressed her personal frustration towards standardized testing and the impressions left by teachers that success is measured by one score.

“After I took the ACT for the first time I was wiped out cause I didn’t get the score I wanted. I just thought I was stupid and crazy and that’s kind of what all teachers had lead me to believe, that your ACT score or your SAT score was like… that was it, like that was going to bring you to college, so I felt like mine wasn’t high enough,” said Rainey.

Another student described their parents’ hopes for them to have a good career in the future when asked if they were pressured to choose the right college.

“My parents definitely bring on a lot of pressure to choose a good college that will get me a good degree so that I can get a good job when I’m older,” said junior Ellie Standish.

The substantial amount of pressure cast on students over the years, for some, has established a crumbling mental state, affecting their ability to perform well academically. In other cases the pressure has greatly impacted the way students socialize and express themselves.

“I think that [the school staff] feels that school should be your only priority and the only thing you should be focused on. They don’t really think you have anything else to do outside of work,” said junior Gabby Davis.

“School just adds on to what people stress out about,” added junior Peyton Payne.

Pressure is not the sole factor of academic and social incompetence. When it comes to students own passion to pursue artistic and athletic endeavors through school funded programs, there is an imbalance of focused attention.

“Our school district does not really value academics over athletics in my opinion. All the things I enjoy, we don’t get enough funding like the fine arts or robotics for example. I love that stuff and it brings me joy,” stated Rainey.

Some believe that the school doesn’t care about their personal well-being.

“I feel as though [the school] expects you to leave all of your problems at the door when you come in and that if you’re getting good grades nothing else really matters…I’ve seen teachers walk past students having breakdowns in the hallways and in classes, and not even acknowledging or asking if they are okay so it’s like they son really care, it’s not all of them but some,” said Davis.

Still even with the cons of today’s societal pressures to do well in school, students have faith in the educational system to make changes where it is needed.

¨I believe that just staying conscious of the problems that people may have, teachers also be more conscious with what they say and how they teach and how much work that they give out, because students have lives outside of school,¨ said junior Olivia Jarrell.

Kiya rainey continued on to conveyed the need for improvement in the guidance of authority figures to students.

“(I) think that teachers should be more lenient with people with mental illness,” Rainey said.

Daniel Edwards, a senior at Hazelwood Central, expressed his belief in improved communication between students and teachers to help kick start and develop a positive and welcoming atmosphere.

“Teachers can start by asking everybody how their day was, most teachers just get right into the lesson, but in actuality if they just take two minutes to ask everybody how their day was if feel like it would make class go by a lot smoother and it makes people open up and feel a lot more comfortable in the class,” stated Edwards.

When it comes to the pressure placed on students to achieve, the only thing one can do is give their absolute best.

Students want people of all ages to be mindful that at the end of the day they are human and can only take so much stress before they break.

“You can only do your best to a certain extent before you get worn out,” said Gabby Davis.