Straight A’s worth the anxiety?

At this time of year, anxiety is running high for students across the country. Time is running out for students to improve their grades, and finals are approaching.

Although in most cases students have the tendency to procrastinate and lose all motivation to do the best they can in their classes, there are several out there who obsess with perfecting their grades. To many, this may sound like a good thing. Most people out there would love to have the motivation to dedicate their time to studying and getting fantastic grades. Is it possible, however, for a student to go too far?

Of course it is. As a student who is ambitious for an excellent future, I have struggled with obsessing about my grades. About two years ago, I became so obsessed with getting straight A’s to the point I rejected many amazing opportunities and quality time with friends and family. This unrealistic obsession caused me a lot of anxiety and depression. I know now, however, that there are thousands of students out there who struggle with the same flaw as I once did.

Healthline.com references a study performed by a Stanford researcher and published in the Journal of Experimental Education that found too much homework and studying can have negative effects on students’ behavior and well-being that can extend to their lives outside of school. Students who completed more than 3.1 hours of homework per night experienced physical health problems, depression, sleep deprivation, academic stress and a lack of balance in their lives. Results indicated that anything more than two hours of homework or studying per night could be counterproductive.

So, how can our school help students who struggle with the obsession of academic perfection? I believe if our school took the students who struggle with academic perfection obsession to as much consideration as they have for those who procrastinate, our students would not only be academically successful but their daily lives and psychological health would improve significantly. Some ways our school could help these students is to first help them realize a few B’s or C’s here and there will not be the end of the world. Realistically, with the ambition that these individuals have, they should have no issues in getting into any college or career they want. Another way teachers could help these students is to share their own experience and advice from their education career.

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