Balance school with personal growth

Students watch Pinnacle like it’s their favorite TV show, waiting for their next grades to come out. This hyperfocusing on grades and planning out the future can take a toll on mental health. 

High school can be an overwhelming time. While preparing for the “real world” and trying to get into the best college they can, teenagers are also still learning about their own individuality. It can leave someone suffocating under all the pressure.

“We as students are expected to have good grades in all of our classes no matter what,” junior Andres Bonilla said, “but the system forgets that a lot of us are athletes and have [jobs].”

Homework also adds an extra task to some busy schedules. Students question the effectiveness of it, citing decreased learning value when “getting it done” is the only goal. 

“We have other important things to do outside of school,” junior Salua Daniela said, “It’s not always necessary to leave homework.”

Balancing outside activities, jobs, and school work isn’t easy, but there’s always ways to work on it. Some students may feel more comfortable getting help from people they’re closer to, like Bonilla and junior Michelle Soto, who formed study groups.

“I’ve gotten help from my friends,” Bonilla said.

Khan Academy is also a really good way to understand the material. Students can learn at their own pace and choose what subject they want to emphasize. It’s especially good with helping for the SAT, as it provides practice tests and customized exercises. 

Experts also emphasize the importance of  focusing on one’s mental health. Although college does lead to career opportunities, it isn’t the only option. Whether it’s joining the military or going to a technical school, there are other options after high school. Some students have a mindset that success is impossible without a 4.0+ GPA or an Ivy League university. Obsessing over an uncertain future can lead students in a constant state of worry.

“I think college is not necessary in this era,” junior Roger Lanza said. “It all depends on what you wanna do. I think entrepreneurship is pretty cool.”

School is important, but it’s not all there is to life. In high school, everyone is still growing, and future success is not necessarily determined by one rough semester as a teenager. It’s good to look around every once in a while and take it step by step.

“I wish other students knew that it’s okay to not be the best at maintaining high grades,” Lanza said. “A “D” in chemistry isn’t the end of the world. It doesn’t mean you won’t be successful.”

School is a priority, but it shouldn’t be the only priority. Unproductively stressing over a ninth grade math class will only make things harder. It’s important to find which studying methods work best to stop school from being such an obstacle.