GP-Ayeee

Hay hay!!

Day two is over, meaning that we have all weekend to study for whatever next week is going to be hurling at us in terms of exams. For me, it means that my inevitable procrastination gives me all the more time to write, which may either make your day, make you laugh, or give you the misconstrued notion that you have the latitude to comment on said writing.

For future reference, all comments are appreciated, nasty or otherwise, but I am a bit confused when I get unconstructive criticism from someone I’ve never spoken to before. Like, who even are you? Do you go to this school? Are we even friends on snapchat? Makes me wonder. But thanks for reading, nonetheless.

Anyway, I digress. What I’d like to discuss today is the suffocating obsession with grades at PHS. People seriously need to chill. C’mon guys, don’t you ever wonder why you’re breaking out so much? It’s because you’re always buggin’ out. Relax. Take a break. Learn to knit. Quit checking PowerSchool.

I’m not gonna sit here and feign as though I don’t care about my grades, because that’s just false. But the extent to which they’re overly emphasized at PHS is unhealthy. I came to this conclusion when I recognized a similar trait in everyone who’s ever brought up grades or GPA as a conversation topic to me: they all base a portion of their self worth on how well (or how poorly) they perform in school. Honestly that is just so convoluted it makes me nauseous. But, it isn’t the individual students’ fault.

Yes it’s messed up and no people are not what their grades make them out to be, but one has to wonder where this ideology even stems from. There is so much pressure on the student body to succeed, but from where does that pressure originate? I think it differs. Some people have crazy parents who don’t know when to lay off. Some people have crazy friends who want to make everything a competition, grades included. And some people- most people are just subject to the hypersensitive grade-culture we have at our school.

I use the word culture because everyone is a part of it, and everyone is influenced or affected by it in some way, shape or form. Don’t believe me? Think that you’re perhaps exempt from it? Well let me ask you this, darling reader: has anyone ever asked you what you got on a test or quiz or essay or anything else with a grade attached to it? Anyone ever asked you how many AP’s you’re taking? Ever been asked where you’re applying to college? How many extra curriculars you have? Your GPA? Tell me no, that no one has ever asked you any of these things, and honestly, I won’t believe you.

We have this notion that it’s okay to pry into the academic lives of our peers. That we have some sort of right to know how well everyone else is doing. And for what purpose, other than to utilize that information to form conclusions about the competence and ability of our classmates and ultimately ourselves?

Hate to break it to ya, but you don’t really need to be so inquisitive about the in-school preformence of your peers. Because in all honesty, who gives a damn? Are your college admissions supplemental questions going to ask about how well your lab partner did in your science class? No, probably not. They don’t care about anyone’s performance except for yours. So logically speaking, that’s really all you should concern yourself with as well.

On top of being overly intrusive into the academic lives of our peers, our culture also merits utilizing their school related failures as ammunition against them. Which is crazy. It’s just crazy. The number of times I’ve been told to use the fact that some boy who’s been annoying me didn’t get into a couple of schools as a weapon against him is literally insane. Who does that? Trust me, there are a plethora of better things I can remind this guy about himself to get him to leave me alone, none of which include his academic performances.

It’s no wonder we’re so stressed out. We already get too much homework and have too many commitments. Throw a couple hundred overly competitive kids on top of that and stress becomes inevitable. We act like this is an Ivy or something. Just because it’s called Princton High, doesn’t mean that we need to behave as though everything here is the end of the world. Chill. Out. But also, go study. Because ya know, midterms.

Until next time,

– Jamaica☆

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2 thoughts on “GP-Ayeee

  1. It might have escaped your notice – being privileged and having all the money and time to get trashed, bitch about other people, etc. – but for a fairly large portion of us, worrying about grades is a NECESSITY. Why? Hm I don’t know, maybe because we don’t come from rich backgrounds where we can pay our way through everything. Maybe because we can’t afford tutoring, or any of the other opportunities due to socioeconomic disparity. You have no right to trivialize the grief of students like us and you have no right to casually place the burden of promoting a grades oriented culture on us. If it’s about survival and not jeopardizing future security, it might as well be treated as “the end of the world”.
    – Sincerely, the couple hundred overly competitive kids “acting” like this is an Ivy

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    1. I would like to preface this by saying that I usually don’t reply to comments, but this one struck a chord with me, so here you go.

      Firstly, to say that I am “casually [placing] the burden of promoting a grades oriented culture” on only you and others like you is incorrect and I apologize for the miscommunication.I place this burden on all PHS students. I think that you are missing the point of the article, as people frequently do. So allow me to reiterate. I think that basing the self worth of oneself and others off of their academic performance is wrong. I also believe that it is intrusive to dig into the academic lives of others but it is unfortunately found to be acceptable at PHS and is culturally ingrained into how we behave and interact with one another. I push for an internalized academic focus as opposed to an externalized one because the latter inevitably results in comparisons between people. I’m not saying, “screw grades, let’s go get drunk.” But if that’s how you want to take it, then I can’t stop you. But for the record’s sake, I don’t advise that line of thinking.

      Secondly, your misconstrued notion that kids who are of lower socioeconomic status are the only ones to whom good grades are a necessity is exactly what it sounds like: misconstrued. You don’t know what other people’s parents expect of them, or what they need to do to get into the college/university of their choice, or what “survival and not jeopardizing the future” means to them. For someone who doesn’t want their grief trivialized, you sure do a lot of trivializing of the grief of others. Further perpetrating the obvious disconnect between yourself and those of a different socioeconomic class. Making “being privileged” a blanket statement. Meaning that you are assuming that all who are what you consider to be privileged have the same lifestyle. This is just incorrect on so many levels. Just because someone is what YOU consider to be well off does not mean that they have the leeway to “pay [their] way through everything.” Not everyone is of the same socioeconomic status, as I’m sure you’re well aware. Even if someone is doing well, it doesn’t mean they can buy themselves the world. Remember that.

      Thirdly, it seems oddly misinformed of you to assume that I come from a rich background. Especially since I’m sure that you’re making this assumption off of one of several things. That being, either my blog posts, who you see me hang out with at school or things you’ve heard about me. None of which are substantial basis for you to form an opinion about who I am and treat it as fact as you do in this comment. To put it simply, you don’t know me, it clearly shows through your writing and your point could’ve been made just as effectively without the personal attack.
      And finally, I only speak for myself and find it puzzling that you claim to speak for a couple hundred kids. Very puzzling indeed.

      On behalf of me and only me,
      -Jamaica☆

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