The System of Pressure

Our Everly Mag Writing Leaders were asked the question, what do you think is the biggest pressure teens your age are facing today?  We wanted to know what different types of pressure different teens might face and how we can all help each other with relieving some of this pressure. 

This article was written by our writing leader Isabelle.  Get to know our Summer 2018 Leaders here!

As a current student, my biggest pressure is school. Heaped on with exams and work, there is constant pressure and stress for me. I’m not even at the end of my school career and I’m already facing exams which will change my future with predictions which go to university. Everyone who controls exams will disagree, but school is a competition against your peers. It’s a constant battle and pressure to be the best. It’s a system that hasn’t changed in 150 years.

The problem is that school isn’t made for everyone. For some people it’s like making a fish climb a tree and these people aren’t accommodated within the system. The system is set up to keep everyone uniform and mark them based on each other by ignoring the individuality of everyone. This is one of the biggest sources of pressure for teens. They are marked against people they aren’t comparable to – and then have their life determined by this.  

Image: Fischer Twins via Unsplash

As a high school student, I’ve faced incredible stress from day one. From the first year to now, we’ve had exams at the end of the year that determine the set we get put in for the next year, ranking us from 1-5 within our year. It’s a hidden system to compare students to each other. This pressure to be put in the top set should not exist as it’s teaching kids to compete against each other on the same level when every child is different. Coming up to our first “real” set of exams, I faced problems with anxiety. This is because the results would go to the university we wanted to apply to in 2 years and would be a restriction for the future. The problem with the system is that at the age 16, your future is restricted by a bunch of exams put on you and it’s a restriction that’s almost impossible to break.

School needs to be changed into a system which does not ignore the individuality, contrasting skills and personalities of students and instead accommodates them. The system shouldn’t restrict a students’ future from the age of 16 when they are only 15% of the way through their life. School needs to change from 150 years ago and evolve with time as we become aware of the individualities of different people.

Image: Sean Kong via Unsplash

It’s hard to say how to avoid pressure from school as unfortunately it’s unavoidable. After my experience with taking one set of exams and coming up to another, I’d say to prepare to your best ability and take exams as an unfortunate part of life. To reduce exam stress, I’d work as hard as you can and, after or during, just accept it’s the best you can do and be happy with it. To come to terms with it, you can recognise that exams aren’t made for everyone and try not to compare yourself against everyone because you are not comparable as you are individual.

How do you deal with exam stress? Comment below!  

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