Are grades worth my sleep?

Stephanie Starks

Chronicle Reporter

In regards of high school as a high school-er:

High school is a place where children finally cross that bridge from a child to a young adult. New stress and new things to worry about, marked by the transition of care-free attitudes to a sudden worry for strict societal norms, are placed upon plate after plate as we finally get a taste of this new thing that adults label “life”.

High school is where us young adults finally gain the experience and the knowledge on the basic world and the common sense to live smartly, but not enough to where we can say we have “lived” yet. Underestimating the difficulty and the insistent stress placed upon our very underdeveloped brains, adults tend to compare our failures to their successes, i.e. their ability to buy a house with only an undergraduate education back when 25 cents used to be a lot of money.

That is where this misunderstanding is branched off to a bunch of other misunderstandings that are backed up only by, you guessed it, more misunderstandings. The last thing high school is going to do is prepare me for the “real world”. I guess if, in the real world of course,  someone is going to blindfold me and shove me into a dark room and force me to fix a car without the manual and any other knowledge except an engineering course I took three years prior, then by all means, yes, continue giving 16 year old kids 2-day long college level calculus tests without any notes, but until then, the only thing high school is preparing me for is how to think straight and have basic motor skills when I’m running on 3 hours of sleep.

I am a junior. Throughout my 3 years of high school I have learned how to do three things; multitask, to remain cognizant, and to pretend. Without these three basic things, I’m sure that any other teenager afraid of the future would agree, no one would survive. Once you become ‘aware’  and hit a certain peak of stress and lethargy, a sense of existentialism comes and you start to think.

I’ve started to think.

The education system is based on memorization, not what we really know. I mean, essentially, all things are based off memorization, the ABCs, how to count etc. But there is a difference between implanting a concept in your mind and memorizing something just for when it is necessary. A girl could learn the quadratic formula by heart for a test, but if you were to ask her a week later, there is a big chance she would not know. This realization hit me when numerous times someone would ask me for help simply for the things that were on the quiz so they could pass, and not  so they could understand the entire concept as a whole.

To reach a conclusion, Grades, at this point in time, are more important than learning. If you don’t have the grades you don’t graduate, you don’t get into a good college, and you don’t get blind folded and thrown in a room to engineer a car by memory. I have found myself worrying about my GPA more often than worrying about if I actually understand the material that is being shoved into my head ( a question I refuse to answer on record) and once you start to think about it, it is actually somewhat sad and an impediment to the advancement of our nations rep with education.

Rather than worry about whether we are learning or not, we’re worried about percentages and grade point averages and whether or not this B would make us go down or go up and it should not, really, be something we should stress over.


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