When Did Education Turn Into Unhealthy Competition?
Start writing a post
Sports

When Did Education Turn Into Unhealthy Competition?

There is no need to continuously compare oneself to peers.

598
When Did Education Turn Into Unhealthy Competition?
Teddy Chaffman

I remember when I began to realize that academic achievements, while personal, are still comparative. I was in middle school, where I was not actually given letter grades. Regardless, I could tell if I got more math problems right than my neighbor or if I understood my book better than they did. As much as my school tried to decrease these comparative pressures, I still found a way to do such.

On the EOGs, your percentile rank is based upon how well you did in comparison to the rest of North Carolinians in your same grade. You are ranked against everyone else, not necessarily given a numerical value showing your specific successes.

Then there is the SAT and the ACT. Sure, you think you did well on the standardized college admission test, but when you hear that your best friend got 200 or 2 points higher than you did, your self-confidence begins to waver. College admissions are based 100% on who is better than whom. Comparisons are constantly being made, based on test scores, GPA, class rank or personal essay questions. This has created an educational atmosphere that works to bring others down not raise each other up.

I continuously find myself falling victim to this culture. When I get an A on a paper, it is not enough to be happy with my success, I have to try and compare it to my peers. If everyone else gets an A, then what is mine even worth? For me, it isn't enough to succeed. I have to succeed while others fail. While I can admit that this is a terrible flaw, it is something that isn't uncommon.

Colleges become prestigious by only accepting a small percentage of students. If everyone can make it into Harvard, would it really be Harvard anymore?

But this is a huge underlying issue in modern education. This leads to resentment toward those whom succeed and guilt for those who over achieve. To this day, I find it difficult to be truly proud of a good test when my friend next to me did not do as well. I feel guilty and the need to be vague when people ask how I did on a test because I don't want to share that I did well. I actually feel more comfortable saying I did not do well. There is an underlying feeling that others will constantly resent me for my own success.

In reality, my thoughts, which I am sure are shared by many, have some merit. I find myself annoyed with my peers who are constantly answering questions and doing well because I just see them as show offs. There is this delicate balance that is hard to reach between under and overachiever. But in a world where perfectionism is instilled at a young age, most aren't satisfied with just being average.

It all circles back to the environment that current teens are being put through. Parents these days share that there wasn't nearly as much educational stress on them as there is on us. It seems as though more pressure is added as time progresses. More school systems need to reiterate the importance of being happy with one's best work, even if someone else's best work is "better" in some situations.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

41861
​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

60866
The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

The Six Most Iconic Pitbull Lyrics Of All Time

Mr. Worldwide just wants to see you succeed.

79125
a photo of artist Pitbull

It is no secret that Pitbull is a gifted artist, but many fail to remember that he can be a source of great inspiration as well. The following is a list of iconic Pitbull lyrics that we know and love. Read on to feel empowered — if you think you can handle it.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

11 Essential Expectations for Becoming the Ultimate Cheermeister

Mastering Festive Expectations: Tips to Shine as Your Holiday Cheermeister

110539
Crazy for Christmas

So you’ve elected yourself as this year's Holiday Cheermeister, there’s no shame in that. The holidays are your pride and joy, and you've taken on the responsibility to get everyone in the spirit. With only one week until Christmas, here are some things we expect from you, Cheermeister.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments