Social Situations: School

Social Situations: School

Claire Marvin, Staff Writer

As winter break approaches, students are in a frenzied mood. Nervous chatter fills the air, kids scurry from class to class, and it’s impossible not to notice that every class seems to drone on longer and longer. Perhaps even longer this year, because winter break comes a week later than usual. Not only is this last week of school both agonizing for students and teachers alike, it means that students will have one school week less to prepare for finals upon returning from break. Just one, impossibly short week for teachers to cram in last-minute curriculum and for students to go insane trying to remember an entire semester’s worth of material.

  Finals can often bring out the worst in teenagers. Teens are constantly trying to jump farther, run faster, score higher and just all around be better than their peers. School is certainly no exception to this competitive nature. In fact, school may be the biggest competition of all.

The pressure on teenagers to do well in school is overwhelming. But is getting good grades really the end all? I would say no. Grades after all, are just letters. Since when has anybody really been scared of the letter F? Yet it is these seemingly innocent letters by which we have come to measure our self-worth. When somebody asks, “What kind of student are you?” nobody ever says “The kind I want to be.” More often than not they will reply “I’m an A student” or “I’m a B student” and so on.

If a student has a lower GPA than his or her friends, that student may deem him or herself as lesser or dumber person. The truth is there will always be someone who is ‘better’ or ‘smarter’ out there. Just because one person has a 4.0 in high school and another has a 2.0, does not mean that the person with the 4.0 is guaranteed to lead a more satisfying life. We need to come to terms with the idea that the short range of five letters is not synonymous with intelligence.

True intelligence is achieved by successfully applying what we have learned in school to our lives in the real world. I am not saying that teenagers should slack off in school and not care about what grades they get, because we all know the impact grades and test scores can have on our futures. Rather, I am saying that society’s view on the measure of one’s intelligence is flawed. As Mark Twain once said “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”