The Student News Site of Lyman High School

Greyhound Growl

The Student News Site of Lyman High School

Greyhound Growl

The Student News Site of Lyman High School

Greyhound Growl


Opinion: Unhealthy pressure of grades impact students’ mental health.

School has always been important to the human cycle. We all start going to school at the young, innocent age of three or four and we continue until 18, maybe even later, like 22, if said person goes to college. Throughout all of this school, having assignment upon assignment piled up, along with what I’d personally call unnecessary homework. You may have a job, after-school activities, or a lot of at-home chores or errands to run.

Besides all the physical things that may impact a student’s grades and overall academic prowess, a lot of mental issues often get in the way. By the time a student becomes a pre-teen, things like depression, hormonal problems, and so on can get in the way. Not only that but a student’s home life, such as their relationship with family, mostly their parents or siblings, can have an even greater impact on said students, not just academically but mentally as well.

As a student myself, I have personal experience with this. For years, I’ve felt mentally exhausted, not just because by the time I made it to sixth grade, grades became way harder to manage, but also because my home life was nothing but stressful. I was stressing out over keeping grades at no lower than a B, which for some students, isn’t enough: whether it be that they believe a B isn’t good enough and they need to do better despite doing their best; or worse, the pressure of their parents still trying to enforce all As out of said student, despite them doing the best they possibly can. I understand a student’s best—although it might not seem like their best—but sometimes one’s mental health can impact their absolute best. These side effects of mental stress are only worsened when parents are not understanding when it comes to grades. 

Students should never, and should have never, been pushed to the point of mental exhaustion over grades. Sure, grades have been and always will be important but I believe it’s also important to realize when students are struggling with their mental battles, making it hard for them to have the motivation they need to do assignments correctly, or even do them at all. Some students may be feeling alone, not only academically but also emotionally. 

If you’re an adult who’s already gone through school, and maybe did great academically, you may be thinking: “If I could do it, why can’t you?” I can understand why you’d think this, believe me.

But nowadays, 44% of students report symptoms of depression, 37% report anxiety disorders and 15% report having seriously considered suicide in the past year. These numbers are currently the highest rates in history. My point is that so many more students suffer from mental illnesses than in the past which, in turn, makes keeping grades up much harder.

I am not suggesting we make school work easier or be more lenient. I’m simply asking we all have more understanding when it comes to a student’s workload. And by we, I mostly mean parents. While I do know there are students out there who truly do no work and put in no effort at all, there are way more students who have bad grades and are struggling academically due to other problems, whether it be physical or mental, and are being treated almost the same as a student who is purposely not doing their work.

It’s unfair, and in my opinion unjust for not only me but hundreds of thousands or even millions of students to be treated as if our best isn’t our best when we are truly trying. All I ask is that we think about the students and what may be going on in their heads, as well as their overall mental and physical well-being, over a simple grade, because after all, good grades can only come when the student is alive and well.

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