I am in high school, and I am busy. I have five honors classes, an internship, two minimum-wage jobs, and I volunteer frequently. I’m a straight-A student, heading to college in the fall.
And to be honest, I love it. I don’t feel pressured to fill up my resume or feel like I’m forced to overachieve. I’m excited to be a part of the activities I’ve chosen. When I am engaged and focused, I am happy.
But my high school experience is rare.
In a study done in 2015 by New York University, 49 percent of high school juniors said they feel overwhelming and crippling amounts of stress on a daily basis.
So what is wrong? Is it simply the students? Or the system itself?
Our current education system was created for children in the 1800s during the Industrial Revolution. This was a time when the assembly line was a popular model in order to produce materials in the most efficient way possible. New technology provided ways to maximize the use of machinery.
But we aren’t machines.
Learning can’t be forced. It has to come from curiosity, and when students are stressed, they can’t find it in themselves to be interested. There isn’t any room in the brain to be overwhelmed and engaged. We aren’t capable of multitasking, especially under pressure.