Dec/Jan 2010 home page

  Tired Teens Talk
Zoey Zobell | age 17


Photo Zoey Zobell


With bloodshot eyes, sullen spirits, and an undeniable tinge of teenage sass, high school students today have truly redefined the “all-nighter” in the worst way. Today, the assigned high school workload alone leads students in nearly every district to question their priorities. When the 16-year-old boy seated in the front row of his double block period AP chemistry class is characterized distinctly by his full head of premature gray hair, it is undoubtedly time for the teacher to reevaluate his or her strategies.

Why faculty members continue to indirectly support the scholastic detriment of teenagers is far beyond the average comprehension of a student and his or her parent. However, what seems more and more evident to that same student and parent each year is the race in which they are involuntarily participating to reach a certain pressurized material goal. It is truly sickening that today on a high school campus a student is considered lucky if he or she has contracted and survived some type of fatal illness in their lifespan thus far, fortunate if they have lost a beloved friend or family member in any type of tragic accident, and down right revered if they have experienced any type of drug or alcohol addiction. Why? One word: college. Plain and simple, if a student can intelligently articulate their experiences with hardship they are nearly guaranteed a spot in a university. Unfortunately for the rest us, whose lives are filled almost nearly as tragically with health, stability, and sobriety, college essay topics are seldom found to be as captivating.

As tutors, mentors, and role models, teachers in high schools today should be encouraged to take initiative and steer their subjects towards a more productive path as a skewed student body heads towards tumultuous waters. While the race for proud academic success will more likely than not cease to let up, students should be taught to practice wise study habits inside and outside of the high school classroom as well as in their colligate pursuits. We must take the knowledge we have of this often destructive system as an opportunity to step up and help all college-bound teens recognize that there is more to life than 0.7 lead refills, that education is not a competition, and that there is no underestimating of the power good night sleep.


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