Local High School Student Discusses the Pressures Endured by the Education System

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The world we live in today evolves children from the day they are born to strive for excellence and ensure they conform to the “norm”, which in the end hinders their own creative abilities. A child is born with the ability to achieve anything, strive for the biggest goals and use their infinite creativity to succeed.

The minds of the youth are precious and sacred, and each should be treated as so. As these children have grown into workers in the U.S. economy it’s been found that there is a decrease in their ability to find innovative ways to solve problems and focus on creating new ways to grow and develop.

This directly correlates to how these workers were educated and brought up by a failed education system. Creativity can and will be hindered at a very young age, if society continues to press the importance of knowledge over creativity more.

Current education and social systems most definitely have not encouraged the growth of my creativity, closing off any possibility to conform into a freer and open-minded person.

Being wrong never had frightened me as much as it does now than when I was younger. I was a bright, energetic and sassy student, constantly wanting to talk and be engaged in class, finding myself always being so happy about being in school. I was focused and poised, never was I sad or worried that I would be in trouble for accidentally drawing outside of the lines. I created tons of friendships through laughter and just doing what a kid does, but I find myself now, stuck to find the right words to say to a potential roommate in college, scared of how they’d judge me based on those words.

Ken Robinson in a TedTalk made a great point in saying something along the lines of, “if you’re afraid to be wrong you won’t come up with anything creative, and as people get older we get sacred of being wrong and no longer are creative.” I can directly associate not only myself, but many of my peers to this message.

Why should I be scared of who I am and the fact that I THINK I am not normal enough for the pretty and atheistic girl on Instagram?

If the education system could only grasp young children’s ability to disregard the fear of being wrong, maybe we wouldn’t have the issue of conformity. I sit in class, hands down in my lap the whole period, aching to get home, only to find myself missing out on so much once I lay my head down on my pillow.

I’m no longer sassy because I was told that’s not normal or okay, I am no longer energetic because I am told to calm down, and I’m also no longer any different or unique from the rest of my class. I want to see a world where human imagination is hope for a brighter future, not focusing on the job that will make me the most money, but the happiest you’ve have ever been.

Our education system is rigged to plague students with mental health issues and stress, there’s proof. In a survey taken at Irvington high school in Fremont, California, 80% of students showed symptoms of anxiety and 54% experience depression.

That is just one out of thousands of high schools across the states, and if you still don’t believe in mental health issues, these statics have been discovered due to high levels of stress imposed on students because AP courses, homework and being told that you MUST succeed. Society has its own definition of succeeding, making so much money, but getting there dealing with undiagnosed and ignored mental health issues.

The burden and competition put onto us through the education system is increasingly getting worse and in a matter of time, mentally we will be doomed. Not all suffer from mental health issues because those live by different societal standards and personal regards. Class rank, GPA, AP classes are the causes of destruction and problems in student’s lives.

Not everything is about being the best, the smartest and the most likely to succeed, and we most certainly can’t let children flourish into who they really want to be when we as society implement that only the smartest in STEM and dedicated to taking only AP will succeed.

We should not think this way, there are many examples like, Steve Jobs and the man who created the light bulb, who dropped out of high school succeeding more than those who went through years of higher education and money.

Let’s say goodbye to AP courses, standardized test scores deciding your fate and the idealistic mentality that only those display high interest and intelligence in STEM careers are the only people who are doing life, “right”.

The creativity I once had as a child is still somewhere inside of me, but hiding behind the fear of diverting away from what’s cool and what is considered as normal. There must be change implemented on how we teach kids, as early as kindergarten. Children now are learning math skills that once were first introduced to first and second graders, at an even faster more complex agenda.

No good comes from forcing addition and subtraction into young children, when they should be learning how to expand their creativity, becoming the best person they can be. No more writing, rewriting, explaining the equation in words and drawing out number trees, instead more creative solutions to drawing, made up stories and focus on the arts, rather than STEM. Let’s focus on the well-being of our future, starting with changing the way we not only teach kindergarten, but the pressures endured by middle and high school students.

Lynn M. Uchalid

Lynn is a student at Regional School District #10 serving the towns of Burlington and Harwinton Connecticut.

The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments below or on social media are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of The Central CT Roundup.

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