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Why high school students forget to build up their identities

no picture High School Student
Anushka Thorat
Member since December 27, 2017
  • 2 Posts
  • Age 16

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

A survey from USA Today reported that high schoolers tended to feel three key emotions- tiredness, boredom, and stress. With tiredness being most common, followed closely by boredom and stress, this survey is one among numerous that highlight the problems in education systems today.

To put it simply, the constant monotony leads to boredom, while the pressure put on achieving outstandingly through that monotony leads to stress which is alleviated from long nights, ie. the tiredness.

As a high school student, I can positively say that this cycle is all too familiar, but one of the more looked over effects of it are loss of identity, or rather, a lack of finding one. Teen years are often crucial in shaping identity, but when students identify more with their GPAs than with their interests, these years seep through the cracks in a whirlwind of homework, tests and numb lectures.

I am the first to admit that my life absolutely revolves around school. I try to maximize the number of AP classes I take without considering ones I actually like and spend almost all of my time after school in preparation for the next day. Assignments, online quizzes and labs are more than enough to keep me from thinking about anything else but school, let alone myself.

This is the case for almost every other high schooler. If it’s not AP classes, it's an IB curriculum or “enriched” classes. All of us working toward college and a better life and education; stuck in a race we don't even want to be running and yet always seeming to be losing.

So, is this just a tiring lament about the struggles of today’s average overachieving teenager?

Partially, yes.

But it's also a gentle reminder to the all too stressed out to breathe.

We as a society need to stop glorifying burning ourselves out for half a percentage and start encouraging students to take the time to stop and smell the roses. Our lives aren’t meant to be lived goal to goal without ever taking the time to know ourselves as people.

One of the few things we know to be true is that we are creators. Our environment and surroundings are all built in the pursuit of creation and creativity, with our most important creations being ourselves.

So to my fellow high school overachiever: take the time to building yourself up. Carefully pick and choose, because the time you have, especially now is extremely important for growth. It’s easy to discard yourself and focus on tangible goals to keep cracking yourself open for, but it’s actually more difficult to consciously choose to take the time to create yourself.

You are the most important thing you will ever work on, so don’t lose sight of yourself for some physics quiz.

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