AP: Advanced Pain
When did high school stop being high school and start being prep school?
When did summers stop being time to play out in the sun, free of school, to time for summer boot camps in stuffy classrooms?
When did Northwood students stop being high school students?
Many students tend to center their high school lives around the concept of college admissions. Rather than enjoying the experience high school is meant to be, high school becomes a whirlwind of standardized testing and stressing over achieving a perfect GPA.
Late nights become commonplace, and caffeine becomes a student’s closest companion. It is not uncommon to identify the college-obsessed by the dark marks that gradually appear under their eyes.
Why do they do it? Why do these poor students subject themselves to such physical and mental misery? Some students claim they have their own futures in mind, and that by undergoing such suffering now, they save themselves from a lifetime of hardship. But does an Ivy League graduate really lead a happier life than a graduate from another college?
According to a Gallup-Purdue survey of 30,000 college graduates nationwide, the answer is no. In fact, the survey indicates that a more important factor in graduate happiness is the amount of student debt acquired, and unfortunately, there is an undeniable correlation between tuition and prestige in the realm of colleges.
So is it worth it to continue on the academic “fast-track?” It depends on your perspective. If you enjoy the academic challenge, then go for it. Don’t let others put you down for your efforts.
Or maybe school just isn’t for you. If that’s the case, follow your interests. If they make you happy, then you’ll find success in your own way.
We should all re-evaluate our motives for our pursuit of academic perfection. At the end of the day, your actions should be based on your own values, not on someone else’s “recipe for success.”