Stress and numbers

Stress and numbers

Photo by: Chloe Crawford

 

The battle for the best grade point average (GPA) amongst high school students leaves them feeling reduced to a series of numbers for their college applications. This can lead to increased stress on students. The pressure put on high school students has reached a crucial point. High schools expect too much from students claiming that they want to get students ready for college. Both have unrealistic expectations and need to lower their requirements to allow students to lead their best possible life.

Many students admit to having copious amounts of stress pertaining to their GPA. GPA works by taking numerical grades and converting them to a points system based on course level and letter grade. For example, an A in an upper level class counts for seven points,  while an A in an on level class only counts for six. Many students take as many upper level classes as they can, but the extra GPA point often comes with a lot of extra work. The extra work has the potential to impose even more stress upon students by making it impossible to get a full night’s sleep and cuts relaxation and social time.

A high score on the SAT marks student readiness for success in college. There exist countless numbers of practice books, online readiness programs, and practice tests for students trying to attain a better score. A good SAT score can mean the difference between no scholarship and a full scholarship it makes no sense to put such a ridiculous amount of pressure on a test that only totals up to 4 or 5 hours.

Colleges want more than good test scores and grades. They want volunteer hours to prove students actively participate in bettering their community. They want charity work, social organizations and clubs. However, students can not find time for all this. A typical student goes to school from 7:20 in the morning to 2:40 in the afternoon, which totals to 8 hours and 20 minutes. Health professionals recommend  that adults get 8 hours of sleep per night and work out for an hour a day, so students have 7 hours left in their day. This seems reasonable until the club meetings and the homework and the volunteer hours and the jobs and the after school practices all come into the picture. The expectations thrust upon students can not remain. They have no time for themselves, only time for playing the numbers game.

Colleges should cut back their entrance and scholarship requirements to allow students a chance to enjoy their teenage years, because students go beyond the numbers they put onto their college applications. Maybe it is time colleges started to see that.