Academic pressure taken too far?


Gianna Graffeo-Seda-Seda

Students stressing out about a based grade on a test.

Gianna Graffeo-Seda, Fall Editor

The academic pressure of achieving “good grades” has exponentially grown in recent years, impacting the mental and physical health of students. When many consider a “bad grade anything under an A-.” 

At only eleven years old a young girl committed suicide jumping off a eleven story building. Claiming the cause of this horrific incident was caused after a row with her parents over not doing homework. There are more accidents like this that occur and something needs to be done about it.

Parents can play a pivotal role in how well students do in school, pushing their child to work hard, but sometimes not realizing they are hurting their child in the process. Eighth grader, Gabby, views her home life situation by saying, “My mom and dad are split so they have different views.” With her dad considering that “grades don’t determine your self worth and says do you want to go to a college that only looks at your grades and bettering them and not you as a person.” 

Her mom, on the other hand, is “very strict on it and right now I am in trouble because I am not doing good in math.” 

Middle school teacher Mr.Malmstrom has had his own experiences saying that the “majority of [his] life [he has] had very good grades.” Until in High school when Mr.Malmstrom started to feel like his grades didn’t matter, creating a “rift” between the bond with his parents, but then explained he got his grades back on track in college. He then elaborated, “I think that part of the problem is that there is a lot of pressure on students. But on the flip side, how do you measure someone’s success in school?”  

Mr.Malmstrom then went on to talk about the mental health side, how it can “100%” affects someone’s mental health. Some of his friends in high school broke down due to getting a B,  and parents also affect this academic pressure. He continued to explain that “so much pressure can be unhealthy.” 

 “But sometimes it’s the student because some are perfectionists But you can’t be perfect with grades and I think they can potentially hurt themselves trying to reach perfection,” Mr.Malmstrom explained.  He then went on to say how there should be programs to help people that experience this.

When looking at the results of a conducted survey of Woodbridge Middle School, students consider this a “problem worth discussing in school.” With 80% having based their self-worth on grades and feeling that grades can definitely diminish one’s mental health. Another student stated, “Schools don’t talk about how grades aren’t everything because they are talking maybe getting into college.”

A letter grade can definitely bring someone’s spirits down or can bring them to work harder. The real predicament is getting help for the people who can’t cope with bad grades and to talk about it. Schools should offer programs and talk during assemblies. 

I understand that schools want students to try; I think everyone should try their best too, but individuals costing their mental and physical health to get good grades something we should condone and instead talk about.u We have to let kids know it’s okay to struggle.