Last week I watched the independent film Race to Nowhere that has won numerous awards for its strong messages about our broken educational system. Through interviews with students, parents, teachers, and others, the movie illustrates the dark side of being a kid in school.
The Race to Nowhere for students is paved with an over-scheduling of activities, too much homework, too little sleep, and increased stress that is resulting in health problems, drug abuse, eating disorders, and suicide.
Qualities of a Good Education
What is even more troubling, is that for all the effort kids are putting into their school work and extracurricular activities, many are being churned out of our educational system lacking some of the most important qualities of a good education, including:
- Ability to reflect deeply on topics
- Handle difficult emotions in the face of stress
- Successfully engage in a wide range of healthy relationships
The film points the finger at numerous perpetrators, but in the end, fails to hit home that no one individual person or group is to blame, but rather it is the entire educational system that we must examine more carefully if we are to find the truth behind the worrisome outcomes. When I think about the fact that over 80% of those who end up struggling with addiction begin their behaviors prior to the age of 15, this film frightens me even more.
When did school get so competitive and stressful?
Much of the over-scheduling of extra-curricular activities and hours of homework is in response to the demands, both perceived and real, associated with getting accepting into a college or university.
What is sad is that the stress and pressure begin long before high school. My wife and I spent a couple of years tearing our hair out (the little I have left) trying to identify and enroll our son in the best possible elementary school.
I put more time and effort into researching options, attending open houses, completing enrollment packets that included writing lengthy essays, than I ever did applying to graduate school!
The process was absolutely crazy, and I know we were not alone. And now I know it was just the beginning. Race to Nowhere illustrates painfully many of the current antecedents to addiction, and why we absolutely must reexamine our understanding of what education means and how we are going about educating our children.
Failure to do so will only lead to a new generation of addicts.
As a college student I definitely resonate with the stress factors you talk about and sometimes feel like I am in a mad race just to get through each day! It bothers me even more to think about similar pressures and stresses being placed on grade school kids who are still developing cognitively and emotionally. At that age, kids are so impressionable that just dealing with peer influences and adjusting to growing up is enough of a stress factor. I remember being a 10-year-old and how something as simple as math homework could become a life crisis in a matter of seconds! I very much agree with you that it is unfair to children to ask them to step into this marathon when they should be in training, not actually competing! It is setting them up for failure to put such an undue burden on their shoulders.
I too am a college student and I can definitely relate to many of these stress factors. I’m a little bit lucky in the sense that I really only have to focus on school right now. I’m not working, and I don’t really do any extracurricular except volunteering once a week at an after school program. However, I do remember what my life was like in high school and I can’t say I enjoyed it all that much. I woke up at 6:30 to catch a bus by 7:15, went to classes until 2:50, had practice or games until at least 7, sometimes it was 9, and sometimes I didn’t get home until 10 and then I’d still have to do my homework and I wouldn’t get to bed until 1 or 2 which then left me with 4 or 5 hours of sleep. Looking back, I honestly don’t know how I managed to do all that.
I can definitely see how so much stress could lead to addiction. Drugs and alcohol put people in a whole different mind-set; a mind-set where they don’t have to worry about anything and they can forget about all the chaos and stress in their life and I could see how it would be tempting to jump on that train when there’s so much pressure being put on these kids.
It’s sad. I hope they can come up with a better solution to our education system.
Andrea G. says
As a college student and Education major who is looking to teach in public schools this post is extremely relevant to me. (I look forward to receiving this DVD from Netflix in the mail.) What worries me even more than the pressure put on the kids is how much of a disadvantage children who come from low-income and single parent homes are at. You mentioned in your post about filling out more paperwork than it took to get into graduate school. I imagine that for a parent who didn’t attend college writing lengthy essay could be quite daunting. That is, if they have the time and resources to even attend the open houses and do the research it takes to find the best schools. This brings me to my point, the problem is bigger than the educational system it is a societal/cultural/political issue.
Thanks for your feedback! I agree with your insights and that it is a very challenging problem, but one we must go after and do our best to fix. I believe we must approach it through the lens of systems science, and identify powerful leverage points for change that when acted upon, will impact the entire system in a positive way. Trying to change too many things at once will only lead to more frustration in my opinion. I am glad you entering the public school system as it needs your energy and wisdom. Good luck –
I think this is really relevant to the education systems in this generation. I just started college and graduating from high school was great. Things were only getting worse and to be involved in extra curricular activities you had to pay a couple hundred dollars for each thing. Those were the things that helped keep me out of trouble so I think having more funding for those things and making sure that kids are getting the help they need to succeed in certain areas. I think if they had better things to do they might not fall into those tracks. I have younger siblings and I don’t want to see them go down that path. I try to make them aware of the things that could happen but if a lot of this happens from not having good school systems then there isn’t much else I can do. Hopefully things turn around.
Johanna N says
Although I don’t agree with the wide range of stresses that students face in today’s society, I want to point out that students are being prepared to face reality when they are on their own. Once students graduate from high school they are either contributing members of the workplace or they are taking college classes. Both of these pathways in life are highly demanding and stressful. As a college student myself, I am forced to deal with balancing work, school, excess homework and little sleep, resulting in increased stress. I feel that the best way to overcome this issue is to teach students at a young age how to manage stress so that they don’t turn to drugs, alcohol or other unhealthy coping strategies. It is unrealistic to think that society’s demands and expectations will decrease, but if we find a way to better deal with these demands then we can live a healthier life.
Thanks for the feedback, but I am not sure I agree with your stance that “students are being prepared to face reality when they are on their own.” In my experience, school does a very poor job of preparing people for life. Sir Ken Robinson does a better job than I at discussing this issue. In addition, keep in mind that nearly one-third of high school students drop out. I would love to see our educational system completely retooled with a focus on ensuring that students obtain the developmental capacities to succeed in life (relationships, rearing children, contributing to society, etc.) beyond passing exams. I do agree young people need to learn skills to deal with stress, but I also believe our society continues to push the envelope on everything – sex, violence, money, social media – you name it, and this ramping-up of adrenalin is creating a society increasingly in need of addictions to squelch the flame.
I thought your analysis on the movie was very interesting. I come from a household of teachers my mother being a second and third grade teacher for 25 years and I know that from what she has shared with me that kids are being forced more into structured learning and being pushed out of any creative time that used to exist. She said in the last ten years and since the introduction and increase of mandated state testing (WASL for Washington State) both recess and lunch times have been cut substantially to make more time for structured, lecture style learning. The pressures put on teachers to get their kids up to the required level and passing these requirements is greater than it ever has been. I remember my mom saying a few years back that there isn’t fun or creativity in teaching anymore, it’s all about the hard numbers and how high of a level you can get your students to. I used to love recess and playing with friends at lunch and I certainly turned out fine so I’m not sure why state testing is the only priority. It is my opinion that if a child’s creative outlets are not being fulfilled and challenged they will not, and cannot be the best they can be after their schooling is finished.
Thanks for the feedback and insights from your mom. Teaching continues to be a challenging profession and your comments lead me to believe it will only become more so. It is sad that the educational system no longer values as much what is really truly important – creativity, play, emotional development, relationships.
Joyce A. says
I am so thankful for your post because you brought up an excellent point which is education. I noticed that there is a lot of missing parts in our educational system. I went through a lot of stress while I was trying to find the best elementary school for my son after failing on the first school I chose for my son when he went to kindergarten and first grade. My son was so stress at that school and he was only in first grade. When I realized how much damage that school was causing to my son’s health was when my son started to throw up on purpose every morning so I wouldn’t send him to school. When I realized how bad was that school for him I started to search for another one. School should be fun and not stressful or depressing.
Education is the key for our young people to succeed in life in all aspects. The educational system has been emphasizing about child abuse and global warming for too long. Yes, this is important too but in my opinion the system needs to focus more on things like how we can teach our kids the dangers of drugs and the irresponsible use of alcohol. Of course this is a subject that parents should talk about with their kids at home it is still important that our educational system include or make more emphasis in the subject. Increasing the amount of homework and school hours is keeping families from having more time to spend together, ad kids are becoming frustrated, depress and verbally aggressive. It is so sad to see how many overweight kids we have in this country, and I agree that part of the reason for that is stress and depression.
Creating programs where parents and their kids learn together about drug addictions could be a positive way to bring families together. I believe if a family learn together about such an important subject can be the key for reducing drug addiction in our society.
Thanks for such a great post,
Thanks for the nice feedback! Your son is lucky to have a mom willing to fight for his future.
I know that in my case I never liked school in fact as a child I struggled a lot. Come to find out that I was diagnosed with having dyslexia. I didn’t like the fact of being labeled as a child. Nor being pulled out of class to meet educational goals or having children make fun of me. I think that so many children have stress today whether that’s exceeding or failing their parent’s goals. For me because I was diagnosed with dyslexia I felt like a failure to my parents. So I thought many times there was no point in studying hard and getting good grades. And because of my poor attitude and how frustrated my parents got with me I started to hang out with a tough group of kids and began to drink in middle school. Later in school I found that sports helped me achieve good grades. This is because of the expectation that the school had to get a certain grade point average in order to play. I think overall parents play a big role in adding stress to their child’s life. We want so badly for them to achieve greatness that we lose interest in the bigger picture and that’s our children’s happiness.
I find this subject very interesting because our education system is broken. With government focusing spending on other aspects in our country so much has been taken away from education. The programs that are getting cut are the programs that enhance a child’s creative side. For example music and art these are essential and if there isn’t something at home for a child to expand upon maybe that child could get something in a program at school. Now these programs are being cut. Who knows what is being limited now in youthful minds because their creativeness isn’t being expanded upon? So without the outlet of creativity I am sure many more will be more stressed and turn to addiction. Sometimes cutting programs for the sake of cost effectiveness can hinder the long term results and then the cost is even greater.
Jen Davis says
After reading about this documentary, I have to watch it! It seems to touch on something I see weekly. I do not have any children, but I nanny for 2 girls who attend private school. They are 8 and 10. During the year they are enrolled in soccer, swimming, track, volleyball, bike races, instrument lessons, art class, glee club, girl scouts and the list goes on! The parents always leave me a note about what the girls need to get done after I get them home from school. Some days are so busy that I have to really rush them through snack time and can’t allow them even 15 minutes of free time to play in order for us to stay on track with what their parents want done! When I was young I enjoyed my free time and, while I know structure is important for kids, so is just being able to relax and do nothing at times. On top of all this, they are very smart and when they have problems with their homework it frustrates them to the point of tears because they are perfectionists who can’t handle their emotions sometimes! With the stress they face as young girls, I can’t even imagine how life will be for them when they enter college.
Very sad…please encourage the parents to see the movie.
Adam Caughell says
I am someone who went to high school in a small town with a graduating class of only 43 people. This movie sounds interesting to me and am curious as to how, if at all, education differs in small towns verses large inner city education systems. Especially when it comes to addictions. I feel as though I got to know my high school educators on a much more personal level than I would have in a larger city. I would run into them at the store, restaurants, and even on occasion work for them (mow lawns, help move, and help build additions to their houses). Does going to school in a small town and having more than a “classroom relationship” with educators help against huge stresses and potential drug addictions? Or is there any correlation at all? I was also the last class, back in 2003, who was not required to pass the WASL in Washington State so I wasn’t faced with the stresses of having to pass that test in order to move ahead. My mother, who has also been part of the education system for many years once said to me that it’s not the educators failing to teach, it’s the parents. I tend to agree with her statement in that the educators that I grew up with were always willing to help, put in extra time, and encourage me to do my best. This I’m sure is not the case for some people, but instead of blaming educators, as I am often seeing parents do, they should at times be blaming themselves for not being as strong of educators as they should be. It’s up to teachers to teach math, history, and English, but it’s up to the parents to teach life lessons and prepare their children for the stresses that lay ahead.
Candice Marshall says
Dear Mr. Race to No Where,
I read your blog and I must say, no, you are not alone in this overwhelming pursuit to make sure your child receives the best education that this world has to give. Although I cannot say that I’ve seen this movie, but it sounds to me like this is something that I must see. I believe, from what you’ve told me that is movie is dead on what the school system expects from a child. Don’t get me wrong, I love for my children to be challenged in their academic studies. I don’t want my children to feel like if don’t spend at least 4-6 hours doing homework daily that they won’t amount to anything. Looking back to my school days, I didn’t feel overwhelmed with what the teacher was asking from us. Our school days started from 9am to 2pm, came home did the activity sheets-that what they consider homework, and that was it. I remember playing educational games at school and actually learned from them. Today’s school system is totally different from what I’ve experienced and I also believe that the educational concern is different from school to school. And what I mean by that is, certain schools are strict in following certain guidelines in regards to what they need to teach, how they’ll teach it, and how much is needed to be teach. Whereas other schools would go at the child’s pace, if they don’t get it, they would stop, slow down, and ask questions as to why they don’t get it. And if they feel that a child excited about learning or they feel that they are losing the kids, they would create either a game or a contest and pass out treats to those willing to raise their hand to answer the question. A prime example of this would be my son whom is 8 years old now, but when he was in first grade is where I felt concerned. Everyone knows first grade is where you learn your vowels and how to sound things out, process them so you can learn how to read stories. He attended the school that was across the street where we reside. Months into the school year, parent-teacher conferences were in effect. I was told by his teacher that he was not reading at his grade level and I needed to figure out why this is. And me already this because I have them read a book daily, said that I believe it was the way they taught him the sounds of his vowels. Having a child a year older than his, witness how it needed to be done, and I went on to explain to them that his previous school taught in a different way and I feel this is not the same here. They confirmed it, stating that they tell and show the kids once and let them grasp it on their own. Ummm, I don’t about anyone else, but I felt something was wrong with this method. When my now 9 year old daughter was in this grade she went to a school that was not in our school district, and I tell, whatever method they used to teach her how to sound out things and be enthusiastic about reading… paved the way for her be the top best 12 reading and descriptive writers in her new school. Her teacher and her principle explain to me that she is two grades about herself and that she can go to a prep/private school on a scholarship, and this is something in the making. Talk about a proud parent. So I made the decision that I needed to transfer him to the school my daughter previously attended so that I know they will teach him the right way. No lie, I saw a dramatic change in his reading skills, the sounds of his vowels were outstanding, and so I had to ask the teacher for myself to see if they see a change in it as well. The agreed, his vowels were misconstrued and it was preventing him from noticing silent sound and long sound when speaking or reading a word.
Though I have not seen this movie, I definitely would agree that certain pressures present in elementary, middle school and high school today, differ from my experiences. To begin, the school years are getting shorter and shorter and programs cut from every end. Creative art classes and music seem to be the first to go, and yet are so important. With the advancements in technology and the popular social media that we cannot escape, kids now have access to what I would consider more adult opportunities. The classroom is turning to the virtual classroom and the teachers being cut by the thousands. How is it that we expect over-worked and under-staffed and under-paid teachers to instill values, goals, and curriculum to the kids of our future. Dr. Fitzgerald brings up a good point when he mentions that we are on the verge of creating a new generation of addicts, and I agree. With the media, advertisers pushing corporate propaganda in the faces of children, with the ease of access of the internet, with cell phones, kids today face a new set of challenges when it comes to drug and alcohol use. I feel that many more campaigns are set out to portray the young, hip, and beautiful out engaging in alcohol use. The capability of the media far surpasses what it once was capable of and far more children are exposed to these messages.
I have seen few clips of this movies and I truly believe that what this movie proposes is real. If we looked around we’d definitely observe how teens misuse ADHD drugs, alcohol, involve in bad behaviors like cutting their arms, suffer from anorexia, might suicide, etc. These kids are lost and that is why they engage in such behaviors. Where IS the system that allows these kids to be nurtured and trusted? The school system is set up to train our kids how to live in Corporate America. Idealism is often pushed into our children because its what we think is right. Academic achievement and the ability to be involved in social activities are desired and that’s why children are often pushed into achieving them and getting involved in them. Where do we honor them, teach them to know when too much is enough and how to say, “NO” this is not working for me! We do not have to buy into something that everyone is doing. What we as a society fail to realize is that one way does not fit all kids! Each of these kids are unique individuals, they learn differently, thrive in different environments and will all go out into the world in different ways and express themselves. How can one boxed in system support this diversity?
It is pretty stressful for them to be in that position. If I, a 21 years old, who still feel stressed and overwhelmed whenever I am placed in such position, how would a 10 or 15 years old feel ?
With that being said, it is completely understandable how kids at such a young age would fall into the addiction pool. The stress from both the family, school, and i am sure from their peers, would make them engage in things that take them into that “happy place”, where stress is no option. One would simply say that the reason one fall into addiction would be due to their low socioeconomic status and so on, but even kids of high socioeconomic status would be as stressed as the others due to the need to be successful. Change shoudnt be expected from the school system , but also from parents and the society as a whole.
I think this movie addresses some very good points. A lot of stress and high expectations are in place for them as they grow up. The pressure can become overwhelming and often parents are so involved in making their children successful and desirable to colleges that they miss some very early warning signs. I can’t imagine growing up the way that most kids do now because between the bullies (who are ruthless) and all the homework, activities, and sports I would have gone insane. The only planner and agenda I had to follow was for school and it was never overly booked. I had time for me and never felt societal pressure to be the best at my school or in my community. I was just an average kid and I think that because I didn’t have all the pressure and stress I was able to avoid drugs and alcohol. I think the entire educational system does need an overhaul but at the same time I think parents today do as well. Parents seem to either be overly involved and overly critical or disengaged and aloof. I often see kids that are either being overly parented or under parented. There doesn’t seem to be a happy medium anymore. Without all these factors being changed and working together I think we will be destined for failure. But if educational system had an overhaul and parents could find middle ground with their role we wouldn’t see nearly as many youngsters turning to unhealthy lifestyles such as drugs/alcohol/and eating disorders.
There is a difference in schools, teachers, and teaching methods. Some are much better than others. It’s sad we have not found a way in our school system to use the science of education as a foundation for creating outstanding learning outcomes across schools. Until that time, parents have to fight for what is best for their kids.
As a full time college student in my junior year, I can honestly say I have more free time and less stress than I did while I was going through high school. Back then, I was doing school from 8 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon, then going to music lessons or sports practices, getting home and doing homework, going off to an evening activity, coming home too late, not getting enough sleep, and waking up the next day to do it all over again. And all of that doesn’t include the extra stress of maintaining good grades and applying for schools and trying to pick a college. I can easily see how the stress from high school could drive someone towards addiction, although I did find is surprising that the age is as young as 15. For me, the stress wasn’t as bad until I had to start going through the college application process, so around age 17. High school should be somewhere that we are learning how to be adults and survive in an adult world, and part of that is learning how to manage stress in healthy ways. It shouldn’t be a place where we are suddenly just thrust into a whirlwind of stressors without being trained how to handle them.
In my opinion, it is very sad to see all of the stress that younger students are under to be the best at everything; student, athlete, and artist you name it. What are we as adults really teaching the younger generations by staying up late and getting up early? They are being taught that our duties are everything and success is guided through accomplishment and that completion of projects is more important than health (lack of sleep, too much stress, etc.). This does not apply to all adults but many that I know are deeply embedded in their careers. It seems our society is traveling at an even faster pace, I was unaware until after reading this that it most certainly effects the younger generation as well. I thought competition and fast paced lives effected mostly career people or college students.
This movie seems ideal for any new professional or beginner into the education field to learn and expose the truth. Great recommendation!
I can see where the people who made this video are coming from. I have a younger brother in the 4th grade and sometimes his schedule is completely booked! Certain times of the year he goes from school to the after school program to basketball practice then does his homework after that. During these nights there isn’t much time for him to play or be a kid. I asked him if sometimes its too much to handle and he replied with a yes. I can sympathize with him for not really having a break during that season. I remember doing sports and still having plenty of time for other activities as a kid. How did it get like this?
It’s shocking to me to discover that 80% of addicts started their addiction when they were around 15 years old and usually due to the fact that they were too stressed out from achool and all their extra curricular activities. How teachers happing with the fact that they’re developing addicts and not well rounded individuals with all the work they’re assigning? Teachers should implement ways to help their students relax instead of enforcing a tough work load because stress can only have negative consequences.
Yes, 80% do start down the path prior to the age of 15, but NOT usually due to stress with school, although it may contribute. Usually, the primary drivers are adverse childhood experiences including trauma, abuse, domestic violence in the family, etc…in addition to genetics and other family/community risk factors.
Dana P. says
I have not watched this film yet but after reading this blog post I have been inspired to. I too think out eduction system is corrupt. We have after school programs to keep kids off the streets and away from drugs, yet if a child mis behaves or is found with drugs on them, we remove them from either school or these after school activities which in truth is what they need most. Kids need to stay occupied. I don’t know if they are necessarily overwhelmed and pressured to do sports, my friends and I in middle school throughout high school and college have always freely chosen sports to play and not to play. But I do agree that the expectations of home work required by middle schoolers and high schoolers seems un reasonable and equally stressful.
David H. says
Dr. Fitzgerald, I found your post to be very captivating in regards to the state of our education system, and the way our society has imposed these “requirements” for the younger generation. I have not seen the film, but based on what you have written, I can attest that there is some truth to what is happening in today’s world. As someone who recently graduated from college, I had my fair share of stress via the demands of higher education. However, I clearly remember during the middle and high school years, how hard it was to tackle extracurricular activities on top of increasing homework and preparation for the “next year.” Like many students, my parents wanted me to have the best possible education. There were nights where a lack of sleep made it even worse, ultimately spiraling down into a cycle of almost endless and intense stress. What came out was a mindset that says “hard work pays off,” but when can one say enough is enough? I now watch some of my younger relatives and family members trying to multitask like crazy, struggling ever more so than I did. It appears these new generation of students are trying to juggle even more things that the school and parents throw at them. When you wrote that you and your wife had to attend open houses, complete enrollment packets with lengthy essays just to “compete” with other applicants, I thought that was quite surprising. I remember how exciting it was to just even attend school (or just having the privilege to go to school), but now it seems like the process is more of a fight and competition to stay at the top. With these types of stressors continually increasing at a young age, I can definitely see how addiction can come into play. I believe there should be a distinct line between motivating challenges and ridiculous expectations.
David, thanks for the comments! I agree, balance is key.
To add another element of the conversation, that of how conservative the teachers must act in accordance with their own school’s regulations. Having grown up in a family of teachers, there is much debate on how far the system allows (or doesn’t allow) them to go. There are rigid rules on how teachers may touch, debate, or react to a student. It appears that many of these regulations have good intentions, but it limits the ability of the instructors to help their students beyond the classroom. Growing up in my high school (2005-2009), the limitations on how the discussion of drugs were strict – which I am discovering now has led to an abundance of information that I don’t know anything about! Reading about how 80 percent of addiction behaviors beginning so young, I think that this may contribute to the problem. Teachers are not encouraged to take action, and our highly restricted in what they can, or cannot, teach. Currently I am also reading a book entitled “From Chocolate to Morphine” by Dr. Andrew Weil. He too states the point that “teachers must frequently present drug education programs based on incorrect information and irrational attitudes” (7). He also notes that teachers who point out the “falsity of the information…may cost [them] their jobs” (7). I too notice this pattern, both within my previous school and hearing talk about it from my family. Thank you for the post!
Weil, Andrew, and Winifred Rosen. From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know about Mind-altering Drugs. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. Print.
I really thought that this was a very interesting post. I have to agree with you about many of your posts about the movie. Since I haven’t seen it I have to go off your basis of the movie and what facts it brought out about our education system and the stress of extracurricular activities. This also hits very close to home because I am currently in college studying to be a high school teacher. I am going to school full time, waiting tables to pay my rent and schooling expenses, and applying to schools and internships as we speak. This is all so much for me and puts so much stress, sleepless nights, and other things like a little depression feeling like I have no social life. I can relate in all ways because right now things are hard but in todays day and age even being in college I have to work, go to school and have a minimal social life to survive or I would be working and never getting paid well or having a steady job. I just wanted to add on one thing about lower education such as elementary school through high school in that extracurricular activities are proven to help kids stay out of trouble but too much is where kids struggle and fall into depression and turn to drugs. I think that finding a happy medium is the key to our education system. Yes we put too much pressure on kids now days especially through academics and sports, many kids are being so stressed out as freshman in high school. One of my cousins is a top soccer prospect in the nation and already is so stressed out about where to verbally commit and he is 15 years old, where you said most addiction starts so I feel for him at such a young age. Also I think that it is pretty scary how you pointed out that you spent more time on finding an elementary school for your child than you did for applying for your masters. It just shows this day and age that we really do need better qualified teachers and better funding so our up and coming generations get a great education so they can further their education and even be educated about addiction and other issues that are harming the teens now days!
Even though I haven’t seen the movie, the things that were brought up about the movie were interesting to me because many of those are related to the current education today. I’m currently a college student and I do get stressed out alot from the amount of work given. I don’t think the stress in middle school and high school is anything compare to college stress. I also don’t get alot of sleep because I pull off alot of all nighters to finish my homework and studying. It’s not just from school either. Students can be stressed out from family problems as well. Stress also cause alot of students to do drugs and drug addiction is a big deal among young teens. I think extracurricular activities is a good thing because it keeps the students very busy and they won’t have as much interest to do much drugs and can possibly prevent addiction.
Trevon Hartliep says
Even though I went to high school over 5 years ago, I know that it was already beginning to become a nightmare of stress for underclassmen and the junior high kids that dreaded coming up. This was because the work loads were becoming bigger, more complex homework and even more tests, but none of the classes really taught you anything except how to memorize the material until the next exam. After that you forgot everything until you needed it for another test. It is no wonder that more and more kids are turning to drugs to be able to handle their school lives alone, not to mention if they are having a hard time with family life or social life as well. School, especially junior and senior high, should be meant to prepare kids with the knowledge of being successful in the world as adults and general subjects such as social science and history. This way they will understand how to function and manage their lives in society without having to turn to external means such as drugs. Have college be where they refine their skills for a particular career once they have learned how to deal with the stressful real world.
Andrea Herrera says
After reading this post, now I really want to see the movie Race to Nowhere. It seems like every year school gets more intense with all the stress and pure pressure. I really think we need a better look at our school and how the students can better benefit in learning experiences and social pressures at school. Educating the students about drugs and sex should be a requirement for all grades. I remember back in high school that the education we received was minimal when it comes to these topics. I think classes should talk more about how to deal with pure pressure, drugs, alcohol, sex, and other topics that relate to what teens are going through. Maybe this can change people’s lives.